How To Properly Clean Your Electronics

Hands cleaning an iPhone with an alcohol wipe, showing how to properly clean electronics

Written by: Jay H.

Given how much we rely on our phones, it should come as no surprise that they get dirty quickly. However, did you know that your phone could be carrying 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? Keeping our electronics clean is essential in preventing the spread of germs and viruses, but before you dunk everything you own in bleach, read through this guide and learn how properly clean your electronics.

Phones & Tablets  

Hand holding an iPhone at its lock screen against a blurred fence background.

We check our phones about 47 times per day, and each time allows microorganisms to move between our hands and our devices. Starting a regular sanitization routine for our phones and tablets is the best way to keep them clean.

Apple recently revised its cleaning guidelines to endorse using “70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes”. Continuing, the guidelines say, “you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”

An alternative if you do not have Clorox Disinfecting Wipes available is creating a solution of (70%) 99 percent isopropyl alcohol and (30%) water, spritzing a disposable microfiber cloth with the solution, and thoroughly wiping down your phone. If the concentration is off, however, you risk damaging your device. As such, we recommend that you use disinfectant wipes that contain 70 percent isopropyl alcohol to clean your electronics properly.

An issue with using alcohol is that it accelerates the wear on the oleophobic (oil repelling) coating on display. However, the coating naturally wears off over time. If you have an older phone, much of it is probably already gone.

If your phone or tablet has a case, remove it and wash it in hot soapy water. Ensure it is completely dry before putting it back on your device.

Never submerge your electronics in liquids, despite its waterproof rating. 

Headphones & Earphones

Black headphones against white backgrounds. Learn how to properly clean your headphones and other electronics.

We wear our headphones and earphones for music, videos, and calls, but all that usage gets them coated in wax, sweat, and germs.

Clean over-the-ear headphones with a microfiber cloth lightly dampened with water. Clean AirPods and similar units without ear tips only with a dry microfiber cloth. To remove gunk, roll the adhesive putty into a ball and press lightly against the grille parts of headphones or earphones.

To clean earphones, remove the ear tips and wash them with some water and a tiny amount of soap applied to a microfiber cloth. Rinse them well with water. Using the previous solution made for your phone, you can wipe down the body and wires with a disposable microfiber cloth.


Laptop against white background. Know how to clean your laptop.

Your laptop has plenty of opportunities to pick up microorganisms whenever it travels. To clean out crumbs that may be scattered on the keyboard, turn your laptop upside-down and gently shake out the keyboard over a garbage bin. Then use a can of compressed air duster to blast the keyboard to remove crumbs and dirt that may be under the keys.

Remove your battery, unplug the power cord, and then wipe over the plastic and metal surfaces with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to clean them.

To clean your laptop’s LCD screen, ensure you are using a screen cleaner product along with a microfiber cloth to prevent unsightly streaks and potential damage. If you have a touch screen, use a microfiber cloth with an eyeglass cleaner applied to it.

Desktop PCs

An iMac on a white desk against a white background.

Cleaning your desktop PC has similarities to cleaning your laptop. First, turn your keyboard over a garbage bin, shake out any crumbs, and then use a can of compressed air to get rid of any dirt below the keys. Then, mix a half isopropyl alcohol and half water solution, apply it to a cloth, and run it over the keys to give them a proper cleaning.

Don’t forget to clean your mouse, which gets covered in plenty of dirt and germs. With the same alcohol and water solution, use a cotton swab to clean the mouse’s feet. Then use a cloth dampened with the solution to clean the body and cord of the mouse.

To clean an LCD screen, use a screen cleaner product along with a microfiber cloth. For a touch screen, dampen a cloth with eyeglass cleaner and use it to wipe the display.

For any of the plastic components, including the encasement around the screen and your tower, go over the surfaces with a cloth dampened with water, general-purpose cleaner, or a half isopropyl alcohol and half water solution.

Get Computer Hardware And Software For All Your Needs

No matter your computer hardware or software needs, consult with computer enthusiasts to meet your requirements. Then, refer to this article to learn how to clean your electronics properly.

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