The Right Way to Clean Your Home Office Tech
After a year of working from home, your home office is probably past due for a deep clean. But before you spray a bottle of Windex on everything or use your last precious Clorox wipe, ask yourself: do I actually know the best way to clean everything on my desk? This post features smart strategies to help your home office tech devices stay clean and functioning at their best so you can work from home like a champ.
Your trusty partner through the challenges of working from home , virtual lectures, and the occasional workout sesh, your laptop puts up with your blood, sweat, and tears. It’s time to give it some love and attention.
Why a laptop needs to be cleaned
Crumbs, dust, hair, and other nasty particles can wreak havoc on the sensitive components within your laptop. When dust makes its way into a laptop’s fans and vents they lose their essential cooling power, making the laptop susceptible to overheating. If keys and ports are not properly cleaned they could easily lose their functionality, leaving you with a (very expensive) giant paperweight.
How often should you clean a laptop?
The type of environment that your laptop is exposed to will ultimately determine how frequently it needs to be cleaned. Laptops that live in a home office around pet hair, poor ventilation, smoke, or other harmful factors may need to be cleaned every 3-6 months. However, if your environment is free of these things, aim to give your laptop a detailed cleaning once a year.
How to clean a laptop
The interior: Accessing a laptop’s interior could potentially void your warranty. However, you can still dislodge some of the dust and grime without going under the hood. Simply grab a can of compressed air (or a more eco-friendly electric air duster ) and direct the air at any vents and ports on the bottom or sides of your laptop. This process may result in a flurry of dust so make sure to work in a place that you don’t mind getting dirty from whatever particles come flying out of your laptop (like a garage or outside).
The keyboard: A shot of air also comes in handy for giving keyboards a clean sweep. Using short, quick bursts, spray the air between the laptop’s keys. Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess dust. For regular maintenance, you can use a soft brush to sweep away crumbs or dust on the daily. Reach stains or greasy keys with a cotton swab lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to leave too much moisture on the keys.
The screen: There are hundreds of cleaning solutions for computer screens out there. But your safest and most effective solution is a microfiber cloth and good, old-fashioned water. For a regular screen cleaning, take the cloth and gently wipe it across the screen from side-to-side. Avoid applying too much pressure or moving in circular motions. If your screen is adorned with greasy fingerprints or other gunk, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with water and repeat the same process as before.
The exterior: Make use of the microfiber cloth that comes with your glasses or electronics and give the outside of your laptop a gentle rub down. Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the cloth to amp up the cleaning power. When the laptop is free of all exterior nastiness, dry the laptop with a clean microfiber cloth.
- Place a screen protector on your laptop as soon as you purchase a new computer or after a good, thorough cleaning. Not only will a screen protector protect your screen from damage, but it can withstand the sanitizing strength of rubbing alcohol.
- Keep bursts of air short when spraying compressed air near a fan. If a fan spins too fast it could break.
- If you’re using an electric air compressor, don’t touch the tool to any internal parts of the laptop.
Cleaning a digital whiteboard isn’t like cleaning a typical whiteboard. Thankfully, it’s a much simpler process that doesn’t involve much muscle or nasty chemicals.
Why a digital whiteboard needs to be cleaned
Dust, dirt, and greasy, germ-ridden fingerprints linger on digital whiteboards. Typically used by more than one person, these devices need to be cleaned regularly to keep germs and grime under control.
How often should you clean a digital whiteboard?
The timetable for cleaning a digital whiteboard depends on how many users share the board. If your whiteboard lives in an office setting, you should give it a good dusting and screen cleaning weekly. However, if it stays in a home office you may be able to get away with a monthly cleaning instead.
How to clean a digital whiteboard and stylus
First, turn off the board and unplug the power cord. Use a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust. For a more thorough clean, slightly dampen a second cloth with water, or a safe screen cleaner (that doesn’t contain alcohol or ammonia), and gently rub the damp cloth on the screen’s surface. Don’t turn on the board until completely dry.
Depending on the type of digital whiteboard, it may include a passive or active stylus to use with the board. A passive stylus (which is included with the Vibe board) does not contain any electronic components and can be cleaned with any standard cleaning products. This is super handy for thoroughly disinfecting styluses that are shared. But an active stylus, which does include sensitive electrical parts, should really only receive cleaning on its rubber tip with a damp cloth and mild soap.
- Strong chemicals like alcohol or ammonia can damage your whiteboard. Avoid them like the plague.
- Make sure power is turned off and disconnected from the board while cleaning and until dry.
- If you’re using a Vibe board, check out our other helpful cleaning tips
Phones, tablets, laptops , printers, cameras, remote controls, climate control devices . . . just about every device in your home office has touchscreen capabilities. This makes it extra important to keep this essential technology clean and functioning effortlessly.
Why a touchscreen device needs to be cleaned
A screen that can respond to the touch of your fingers involves pretty sensitive technology — technology that needs to be properly cleaned to keep working. Smudges and grime from your fingers can inhibit the sensitivity of the device and make it harder to use. However, improper cleaning can damage the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings found on touchscreens that keep oil and water from destroying your devices. Luckily, cleaning these devices is a breeze with the following tips.
How often should you clean a touchscreen device?
Studies have found that our phones are ten times dirtier than most toilet seats . With this in mind, phones and other touchscreen devices should be cleaned as often as possible. Use your best judgment for less-used devices like printers or cameras, but for phones and tablets — cleaning should probably happen every day.
How to clean a touchscreen device
If you’re looking to remove smudges and grime, simply wipe a microfiber cloth on the device in a vertical or horizontal motion to clean the surface. But if disinfection is your goal, you’ll need a diluted mixture of equal parts water and either vinegar or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Keep the solution close at hand by filling a spray bottle halfway with your choice of vinegar or alcohol and the other half with water. Spray the solution on a microfiber cloth and perform the same wiping motion as before on the entire surface of the device.
For added sterilization, there are also UV sterilizers for phones and other touchscreen devices that you can use. Some of these products even include a charger so your device can refuel while it cleans up.
- The CDC recommends putting a wipeable cover on devices to allow for regular cleaning that won’t affect the delicate coating and components within your touchscreens. Screen protectors and a good case for the device can help with this.
- Use distilled or filtered water to avoid streaks and mineral build-up.
- Never spray a solution directly on the device.
Your home office mouse could very well be dirtier than its furry rodent namesake. Though they now range in all shapes, sizes, and designs, there are some easy steps you can take to keep any computer mouse running smoothly.
Why a mouse needs to be cleaned
That blinding light on the bottom of your mouse helps to sense a change in position so you can freely direct your cursor where you need it to go. But when dust and gunk build up, this function falls flat. Regular cleaning ensures that your mouse can move the way it was intended.
How often should you clean a mouse?
The best practice is to thoroughly clean your mouse at least once a month. However, quickly disinfecting the part you touch with your hand daily or weekly would be a smart habit.
How to clean a mouse
First, unplug the mouse from your computer or, if it’s cordless, remove its battery. Take a microfiber cloth dampened with a bit of isopropyl alcohol (70-99%) and gently wipe it along the surface of the mouse. Use a toothpick to remove gunk out of the nooks and crannies found along its buttons and sides. Turn the mouse over and, with a Q-Tip or microfiber cloth lightly dampened with alcohol, carefully swab the mouse’s sensor.
The final step is to clean the inside of the mouse. You can do this by following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to remove the top — you may be able to gently pull it off or it could require the removal of a screw. Once inside, take a fresh Q-Tip or corner of a microfiber cloth dampened with alcohol and wipe down the inside of the buttons and other crevices. Allow all parts of the mouse to dry before reassembling.
- A clean mouse needs a clean surface to rest and roll on. Make sure your mouse pad is ready for use by running a lint roller over it to remove dust. Follow this up with a rub from a damp cloth.
Just as important as the cleanliness of a device is its functionality and ability to increase productivity. Whether you work from home or in an office, using Vibe’s innovative technology can improve team collaboration with better meetings, brainstorming sessions, and showstopper presentations. Learn how Vibe can become a part of your home office today by requesting a demo .