How to Clean ALL Your Electronic Devices

May 23, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


We’re all pretty dependent on our electronic devices, from smartphones to smart TVs and everything in between. However, these devices can become dirty over time, so you should know how to clean electronic devices. 

Dust quickly gathers on our television screens, fingerprints and smudges are all over our tablets and crumbs from lunch get into our keyboards. Consider cleaning your devices more regularly to keep them germ-free and dust-free. 

Essential Cleaning Supplies for Electronics

Here are some of the items you can use to clean your electronic devices:

  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small brush or toothbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • A clean microfiber cloth 
  • A can of compressed air
  • DIY electronic cleaning solution

Here is what you need for a DIY electronic cleaning solution:

  • 8 oz of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • 8 oz of distilled water
  • Small spray bottle
  • Masking tape for labeling (optional)

Combine the rubbing alcohol and distilled water in the spray bottle, cap it and shake it quickly. You may want to label the bottle to ensure the solution isn’t mistaken for something else.

Amazon also has a huge selection of sprays, handheld vacuums, cloths, brushes, wipes and gadgets safe for device cleaning. Type “electronic device cleaning” into the search bar and see tons of products appear.

Basic Cleaning Tips

Here are some basic cleaning tips to follow:

  • Unplug or turn off the device before cleaning it.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays or cleaning products that contain bleach or abrasives.
  • Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth slightly dampened with dish soap and water.
  • Never spray cleaning products directly onto the device.
  • Keep liquids or anything with moisture away from the device’s openings or ports.

Before you begin cleaning a device, check the manufacturer’s guide. It may offer cleaning guidance for your device or list products to avoid.

1. Smartphones and Tablets

Use a toothpick to gently scrape debris from the small crevices of your device, but not too hard, as it could cause damage. Lightly spray your cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth and wipe the surface of the phone or tablet. You can also use a dry microfiber cloth every so often for a quick clean.

2. Laptop and Computer Screens

Spray the cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen. You can use a toothpick or cotton swab to get into the ports or other small openings on your laptop or computer.

3. Keyboards

First, carefully turn your device upside down and lightly tap its back to release any crumbs or debris from the keyboard. Then, spray your solution onto the microfiber cloth and wipe down the keys. You can also use a cotton swab to get into the tiny areas between each key. Finally, use compressed air to remove small particles around different surfaces of your keyboard and device.

4. TVs, Remote Controls and Gaming Controllers

Turn off and unplug your TV and give it time to cool off. Dust the surface of the TV with a cleaning cloth. If the screen has smudges or fingerprints, spray your solution on the cloth and gently wipe back and forth on the screen. Avoid using a glass cleaner on a TV screen.

To clean your remote control or gaming controller, remove the device’s batteries (if the device uses them). Use a small brush or toothbrush to wipe away debris in the nooks and crannies. Use your solution and cloth to wipe the device. Finally, use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to clean the buttons and the spaces between the buttons.

5. Smart Speakers and Devices

Start by wiping your smart speakers or other devices with a dry cloth. For a deeper clean, lightly dampen your cloth with your cleaning solution and wipe it again. You can also use a blowdryer on a low speed (and a cool setting) to clean within the speaker mesh.

6. Gaming Consoles

First, dust the gaming console with a dry cloth, paying attention to the vents. You can wipe the top of the console with a lightly dampened cloth or use compressed air to remove dust and debris. Avoid using a wet cloth on the back of the console to prevent damage.

7. Headphones and Earbuds

Wipe the exterior surface with soap and water or your cleaning solution for over-the-ear headphones. To keep them clean, wipe the ear cushions with a dry cloth to prevent buildup.

Earbuds can be tricky. First, remove the ear tips — if they can come off. Clear out any wax or debris, then clean the tips using soap and water. Finally, use a cotton swab with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to remove dirt from the speaker grill.

8. Cameras and Lenses

Cleaning the exterior of your camera is simple. Use a disinfectant wipe to wipe away smudges or dirt. However, you want to be careful about the camera lens.

The best way to clean your lens is to use a dry microfiber cloth. If the lens is particularly dirty, you may need to spend some money on a quality lens cleaning solution and use it with your microfiber cloth. Always consult your camera manufacturer’s guide for more information.

9. E-Readers

An e-reader is not much different from other electronic devices. Use either a dry microfiber cloth or spray the cloth lightly with a cleaning solution. Make sure not to get the cloth too wet to avoid damaging the e-reader.

10. Modems and Routers

It’s best to give your modem and router a weekly dusting or use compressed air to clear out debris. Then, wipe them down with a dry cloth to keep them in good working order. 

Keeping Your Devices Clean

Hopefully, you feel more confident when it comes to cleaning your electronics. While you don’t have to clean each device every day, consider doing it every few weeks to keep all of them working properly. Happy cleaning!