A guide to keeping your electronic devices clean

Your phone is dirtier than a toilet seat

Image by: Tessa Warburton
Phone screens can be deceptively dirty.

There are only a few moments in the daily lives of university students where we’re apart from our screens.

We watch Netflix on our laptops while we eat, take smartwatches on runs, and if we don’t go on Instagram while on the toilet, we risk being labelled modern-day psychopaths.

This omnipresence of our electronics naturally means they’re prone to germs. We’ve all heard phones are dirtier than toilets, and even though Metro UK estimates phones are actually three times dirtier than toilets, we’re not going to stop holding them up to our face to answer calls.

Here are some ways we can take care of our electronic devices to ensure we’re not constantly touching filth when we send Snapchats.

Turn household items into screen cleaners

A lot of dirty screen owners are deterred from cleaning their phones or laptops because they don’t want to buy a fancy screen cleaning product. However, a combination of household items could be used to clean a screen just as well as overpriced speciality cleaners.

Rubbing alcohol, applied using a microfiber cloth—which comes with most MacBooks—will make any product’s surface shine like it’s fresh out of the Apple factory. You can also apply the alcohol to a cotton swab to clean computer keyboards between its keys.

For screens, applying a little bit of water to a microfiber cloth should do the trick. Don’t use any household cleaners on screens—their harsh chemicals will fry your phone faster than you could throw it in a battery-saving bag of rice.

Make sure not to apply the rubbing alcohol or water directly to any of your devices, and to wring out the cloth before applying to avoid drippage. As long as the solution doesn’t seep inside your electronic device, there shouldn’t be any damage.

Avoid dust build-up

Dust is mostly a computer problem, though phones and smartwatches can be affected in extreme conditions as well. If a laptop’s vent collects enough dust, it could start overheating and slow down the device entirely.

To prevent dust build-up, the best strategy is spraying to spray air, which you can purchase at most retailing stores. Turn off your laptop, remove the battery if possible, and spray the compressed air into all openings or ports to blow dust, crumbs and hair away.

Put your device in cat litter—seriously

If your phone, computer or smartwatch hasn’t been cleaned since you bought it, chances are it’s carrying a foul odour.

There are various ways you can rid your devices of bad smells, like sealing it in a bag with charcoal or a charcoal-based grill briquette. But the most common household odour-killer is likely the thing your cat uses as a washroom.

Cat litter is filled with active charcoal to eliminate litter box smells, which also works to kill your phone’s stank. 

Turn off your device, grab a cup of kitty litter from your house—or your cat-owning friend’s house—and seal your electronics with the litter in a closed bag or bin. 

After leaving the device sealed up for a day or two, your phone or laptop will finally smell new again, and you’ll find yourself bowing down to the all-purpose force that is cat litter.


life hacks, Technology

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