How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard, Cell Phone, and More

We use our computers, tablets, and smartphones every day, but we often forget that they need regular cleaning. Removing dirt and grime from your computer keyboard, cell phone, and other electronics not only protects your investment, but also increases a device’s longevity and functionality. To help keep your electronics working like new, follow these steps.

Clean Electronics - Material Needed

What you will need:

  • Compressed air (You can purchase this at most big box stores or electronics retailers.)
  • New sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • New soft bristle toothbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Spray bottle with mixture of water (50%) and rubbing alcohol (50%)


Clean Electronics - Step 1

Step 1: Turn off and unplug. Whether you’re cleaning your smartphone, computer, or tablet, make sure the device is turned off and unplugged.


Clean Electronics - Step 2

Step 2: Loosen debris. Gently run a soft toothbrush over the device to loosen debris. When cleaning a smartphone or computer, do not insert the toothbrush into any plug holes.


Clean Electronics - Step 3

Step 3: Blow away debris. Compressed air, also called canned air, gently removes debris from between keyboard keys, plug holes, and other openings and crevices. Be sure to hold the can upright and a few inches away from the device, and spray in short bursts.

TIP: For keyboards, hold the keyboard upright so that the debris will filter down once it’s loosened. This will make clean-up easier and more efficient.

TIP: Use the compressed air to also clean USB plugs for your phone or computer.


Clean Electronics - Step 4

Step 4: Clean holes and crevices.

Smartphones: For a smartphone, experts recommend using a sponge when cleaning the plug holes so that lint or fibers aren’t left behind. Simply twist a corner of the sponge inside the hole and then remove gently.

Other devices: For keyboards, computer edges, and other crevices on a device, soften a cotton swab with the 50-50 water/alcohol mixture and gently wipe the area. The 50-50 mixture will also remove sticky or tacky substances.


Clean Electronics - Step 5

Step 5: Clean the screen. Using a microfiber cloth, gently wipe the monitor or phone screen to remove dust and debris. For computers, you can also purchase a cleaning solution that will help remove dirt and grime that won’t budge with elbow grease.