One of the things I’ve always liked best about my homemade cleaners is that they are so multi-purpose and versatile. I often find myself cleaning all kinds of surfaces with whatever homemade spray cleaner I have in my hand whether it’s my club soda, my vinegar and water, or my alcohol and water mixture.
So when I recently looked at my laptop and it was looking rather grungy with fingerprints and smears, it got me wondering . . . can I use my homemade cleaners on my devices like laptops and phones? If I’m walking around with one of my homemade cleaners in my hands, can I give my electronics a quick wipe too?
And I suppose we could all admit that our laptops and phones are things we kind of ignore when it comes to our regular cleaning!
But rather than keep ignoring them, I decided to do a little research and come up with a plan for how to clean laptops and phones. Here’s a few things I discovered:
1. Always use a soft cloth.
When cleaning the screens of your laptops, tablets, or smart phones, always be sure to use a soft cloth (never scratchy paper toweling). Because my favorite cleaning cloths are very soft, that’s not much of a problem for me. I also have a microfiber cloth I bought several years ago that works great, and you can buy something like these packs of microfiber cloths for cleaning electronics on Amazon at reasonable prices too. A soft cloth is the best on the outside of your laptops and phones as well.
2. Try cleaning screens first with only the cloth.
Many times smudges and smears can be removed from your sensitive laptop or phone screens just by gently rubbing them with the cloth with no cleaner needed. Always give this a try first.
3. If more cleaning is needed, try a damp cloth next.
If you can’t get your screens clean with just the cloth, the next thing to try is getting the cloth just a little bit damp with water and wipe the screen again. Some things I read said it was best to use distilled water, however if you are barely getting the cloth damp with water, it seems that using tap water for that small amount would be OK too.
4. Spray a cleaner on the cloth first, not on the device.
Finally, if you are using a cleaner (most likely on the non-screen areas) it’s best to spray it onto the cloth you are using not directly on the device. The thought here is that you want to use any cleaner sparingly as you don’t want lots of liquids getting into your electronics.
How I Cleaned My Laptop and Phone
OK, so those are a few general rules. . . now what about those homemade cleaners? Even though I found this article on cleaning devices with vinegar and water and this article on cleaning devices with alcohol and water, here’s what I did to clean my laptop and phone:
I tried just the cloth alone first without any cleaner.
This worked great on my phone screen, but my laptop screen was still dirty.
I used a damp cloth for the final screen cleaning.
For the laptop screen, the soft cloth dampened with just a little bit of water worked fine to get rid of the final smudges that the cloth alone couldn’t get rid of.
I used a homemade cleaner on the outside.
For the outside of my laptop and for the keyboard, I decided to use my homemade eyeglass cleaner in the small mist bottle. This is a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol) and water with just a tiny bit of dish soap added too. I misted a little bit of the homemade eyeglass cleaner on my cloth and wiped down my keyboard and the other outer areas of my laptop. It worked perfectly -AND – I felt that it added a bit of disinfecting too because of the rubbing alcohol.
So when it comes to homemade cleaners and your electronics I think the most important thing to remember is to treat the screen differently than the outside of your device. For the screen, just try the cloth alone first, and then try the cloth slightly damp with water. If that still doesn’t work, I would try the water/alcohol homemade eyeglass cleaner solution on it (although there are warnings about using rubbing alcohol on smart phones with oleophobic coatings.)
For the outside and other non-screen areas of electronic devices, I think the homemade eyeglass cleaner is still the best choice too. It gets them shiny and clean and does some disinfecting as well. However I think if you wanted to use vinegar and water, or club soda, or another homemade cleaner on the outside of your devices, that would be OK as long as you remember to use it sparingly and never get a lot of liquid into your devices.
How about you? Have you found a favorite way to clean your phone or laptop? Are you using a homemade cleaner? I’d love to hear your solutions.