Your electronic devices and accessories get very dirty fast. However, there’s no need to suffer through a sticky keyboard or a phone smudged in fingerprints. Just read on for simple ways to clean digital devices and keep them functioning at their best.
Clean your keyboard with a DIY ‘sticky ball’.
Cleaning putty is great for lifting crumbs and debris off your keyboard — and you can make your own for pennies, says Alicia Johnson, owner of Cleaning Green LLC. To do: Mix one cup of warm water with 1⁄4 cup of borax until it dissolves. In another bowl, mix 1⁄2 cup of warm water and five ounces of white glue; combine the two bowls and stir until it turns into a ball, about five minutes. Once your “slime ball” is formed, press it onto the keyboard to get rid of gunk and crumbs fast.
Sanitize remotes with a vodka ‘cocktail’.
Getting rid of grime on your remote just requires a visit to your liquor cabinet, says Allen Rathey, director of the Indoor Health Council. “Dampen a cloth with one part water and one part vodka, and wipe the remote once a week. Vodka is 40 percent alcohol, so it kills germs and bacteria.”
Polish your phone screen with a coffee filter.
Your phone collects both fingerprints and bacteria, but harsh cleansers will damage the device. “Instead, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a coffee filter and use it to wipe down the phone,” says Tom Paton, founder of GreenSmartPhones.com. “Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, so it won’t damage your phone, and the coffee filter gently lifts away dirt.”
Keep screens dust-free with a dryer sheet.
Electronic screens are positively charged, meaning dust floating in the vicinity will be drawn to them. To the rescue: dryer sheets. “They eliminate the static that attracts dust, and they leave behind a layer of silicone that helps decrease the screen’s natural charge,” says Rathey. In other words, not only do dryer sheets clean your electronics, they also repel future dust.
Lift wax from earbuds with a dry toothbrush.
Over time, earwax builds up in the speaker holes of your earbuds, dampening their sound. The easy way to clean them: Turn earbuds speaker side down; holding a dry toothbrush below them, gently push the bristles up to dislodge anything stuck. Says Rathey, “Then wipe them with a microfiber cloth — they’ll be as good as new.”
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.