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How to Clean, Store, & Take Care of Your Tech Devices & Gadgets

Alyssa Mertes

Published: March 3rd, 2021

Let's face it - we're all addicted to technology. You wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is check your cell phone. Some of us work from home on a laptop every single day. And no evening is complete without a good Netflix binge.

It's a world of gadgets and gizmos, so it's useful to know how to keep them clean, safe, and ready to go! Consider this your ultimate guide to caring for the following tech devices:


Laptops & Tablets

Laptops, Tablets, & Computers

What Can I Use to Clean My Laptop?

You can use basic household cleaning supplies to clean your laptop. Grab a microfiber cloth, a can of compressed air, cotton swabs, a clean towel, and at least 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Don't waste your money on any fancy electronic cleaners!

Follow these steps to get your laptop nice and clean:


  • Step One: Detach your battery, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, and blow out the dust using a can of compressed air.
  • Step Two: Wipe down the screen with the same cloth to remove any smudges.
  • Step Three: Use the compressed air to spray in between the keys on the keyboard and into the USB ports.
  • Step Four: Dip a cotton swab into the isopropyl alcohol and use it to gently wipe down the outside of the laptop.
  • Step Five: Wipe the laptop down using a clean, dry towel.

You should avoid using wet wipes, detergent, or any harsh chemicals when cleaning your laptop or tablet. A simple can of compressed air and a dry towel can really work wonders!

What is the Best Way to Store a Laptop?

It's important to take the time to store your laptop properly. After all, you don't want to just throw it in a drawer somewhere and let it overheat!

Here are the best storage tips for your laptops or tablets:

Icycle

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

A laptop or tablet, like any piece of technology, won't operate as well if it's extremely hot or cold outside. Keep it out of direct sunlight and definitely out of snowstorms!

Laptop

Unblock the Air Vents

You can store your laptop or tablet vertically or horizontally as long as you ensure the air vents aren't blocked. This is ultimately what keeps your device from overheating.

TV

Place on a Stable Surface

Unless you're on a mountaineering expedition, there's no reason why you shouldn't keep your laptop or tablet on a flat, stable counter or table.

Food

Be Mindful With Food & Drinks

Even if you're super careful, it's still easy for accidents to happen! Save yourself a serious headache by keeping open drinks and messy foods away from your technology.

Duster

Keep Out of Reach of Children (and Pets)

Kids and pets have no idea how much you spent on your laptop or tablet. When your device is not in use, keep it out of reach on a high shelf or locked cabinet.

Latch

Carry in a Bag or Case

Laptops and tablets are portable and easy to take on the go. Invest in a stylish carrying bag or case for the job!

Tie Cords

Tie Cords

Are you done working for the day? Fold the cables accordion-style and secure them with a zip tie, piece of Velcro, or rubber band.

A few simple storage tips will keep your laptop and tablet in good working condition. Take the time to really make sure you're putting them away properly.

How to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Longer

Picture this: You're working hard on a book report, and all of a sudden you lose battery on your laptop. Avoid this disaster by making sure you're always at a full charge!

These tips will help extend the battery life on your laptop or tablet:

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Decrease the brightness

A super bright screen will quickly bring your power to 0%. Lower the brightness to a point that's comfortable for your eyes and doesn't cause any strain.

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Try airplane or eco-mode

Airplane or eco-mode should be your new best friends. They will help cut down on the amount of power your laptop is using, especially if you're working on it all day.

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Close apps and programs

The more programs you have running, the quicker your battery drains. Shut down Spotify, Skype, Chrome, Microsoft Word, or any other program as soon as you're done using them.

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Turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

If you're not actively using your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, turn them off. This can help save some much-needed battery life.

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Put it to sleep

Check your settings to ensure your screen sleeps after an extended period without use. You should also keep your laptop in hibernate mode and occasionally shut it down so it can reboot.

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Always have a backup

You should be in the habit of carrying a portable charger or power bank. These are lifesavers if you're in a pinch and need battery asap!

A well-made laptop will last between 3 and 5 years before it starts to slow down. If you try all of the battery-saving tips above and your machine is still moving like a turtle, it might be time to look for a new one!

Cell Phones

Cellphone

How Do I Clean and Disinfect My Phone?

You use your cell phone all the time and might even bring it with you into the bathroom. With that in mind, it's no surprise that your device is crawling with germs!

The best way to clean and disinfect your phone is by doing the following:


  • Step One: Remove the phone from its case and turn the power off.
  • Step Two: Gently remove any smudges or marks using a microfiber cloth.
  • Step Three: For a deeper clean, dip the corner of a soft cloth in isopropyl alcohol or white vinegar. Avoid the USB ports or audio jacks.
  • Step Four: Set the phone on a clean towel so it can air dry.
  • Step Five: Repeat steps 2 to 4 on the case.

You can also use antibacterial wipes to clean your phone, but you want to be careful that they're not overly saturated. Remember, moisture and technology are never friends!

How Do I Make My Cell Phone Last Longer?

Does your heart drop every time you see the "battery warning" notification on your phone? Not to worry! There are a ton of things you can do to help your battery last longer.

Try these tips to extend the battery life on your phone:

Sun over ocean

Stay at the Right Temperature

Whenever possible, keep your phone in an environment that's between 32°F and 95°F. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as this can also drain your battery.

Cellphone lights

Reduce the Brightness

The brightness of your screen could be the main culprit as to why you lose battery so quickly. Adjust the settings so they're dimmer and switch to dark mode on any app that offers it.

Wifi symbol

Use Wi-Fi Whenever Possible

Take advantage if there's a network around you. This is not only good for your battery life, but it can also help you avoid going over on your plan's data usage.

Netflix symbol

Be Wary of Videos

A Netflix binge is going to be brutal on your battery. Keep that in mind if you want to watch the latest season of Stranger Things from your phone.

Phone in airplane mode

Try Airplane Mode

Airplane mode can be a lifesaver if you're running out of juice. Switch it on while your phone is idle, and you can help increase the life of your battery.

Cellphone charging

Never Get to 0%

A phone battery should ideally be between 20% and 90% at all times. Try to stay in that zone, even if you have to charge your phone in the middle of the day.

Apple maps

Delete or Close Apps That Drain Battery

Apps that look for your location, like Google Maps and Facebook, will drain your battery faster than you can say "text message." Close them down, or delete them completely if you never use them.

Person in bed

Don't Charge Overnight

100% battery is the highest your phone is going to go. With that said, you shouldn't leave your charger plugged in overnight if you can avoid it.

How Do You Fix a Cracked Cell Phone Screen?

It happens to Androids and iPhones alike – you drop the phone, and there's an ugly crack on the corner or in the middle. If your screen is shattered, there are a few easy solutions!

You can fix a cracked cell phone screen by doing any of the following:

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Hide it with packing tape

Use an X-acto knife to cut pieces of packing tape and then fill in the cracks. It's a temporary solution until you can get a new phone.

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Cover with a screen protector

It might seem like it’s too late for this tip, but a screen protector over your cracked screen will help you avoid further damage.

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Buy a phone repair kit

If you feel confident, try fixing the broken screen by yourself. Amazon sells screen repair kits for about $25.

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Bring it to a professional

Reach out to your cell phone provider and see who they recommend. You might also have a warranty that allows you to get a replacement.

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Stop using toothpaste

Legend has it that toothpaste could fix the scratches on your cell phone screen. Most experts, however, recommend not trying this at home as it could ultimately destroy your device.

Need even more advice? Watch this video about caring for your cell phone!

Bluetooth Speakers

Speaker

How Can I Make My Bluetooth Speaker Louder?

Music can take any event from boring to spectacular. The day the music died will be when your speakers are no longer working or are too quiet to hear.

You can make your Bluetooth speaker louder by following these tips:


  • Tip #1: Keep the speaker either on the floor or near the wall, ideally in a corner, to amplify the sound.
  • Tip #2: Clear away dust with a microfiber cloth, a can of compressed air, and a lint roller.
  • Tip #3: Double check that the volume on your phone is all the way up.
  • Tip #4: Use two Bluetooth speakers if you still want it to be louder, especially at a big party or event.

It just goes to show you don't have to crank the volume up to 11! These simple hacks will help you get clear, crisp sound from your speakers, whether you're in the mood to jam or just chill and listen to a podcast.

What Do You Do If Your Bluetooth Speaker Won't Connect?

Pairing problems can make you feel like throwing your Bluetooth speaker against the wall. Fight the urge because there could be a super simple solution right in front of you.

Try any of the following if your Bluetooth speaker won't connect:

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Check to make sure Bluetooth is on

You want to be sure the device you're trying to connect and the speaker both have the Bluetooth symbol selected.

Cellphone lights

Try “discoverable mode”

Some speakers contain “discoverable mode,” which helps the device find gadgets nearby that contain Bluetooth technology.

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Move your speaker closer

The majority of Bluetooth speakers will connect at about 30 feet away. Keep your device within that distance to ensure it will connect properly.

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Reset the speaker and/or the device

It might be that a simple reset will do the trick. Try to power down your speaker and device and then turn them both back on again.

Phone in airplane mode

See if there are software updates

A software update may seem pesky, but it keeps everything operating at peak performance. Look to see if either your speaker or device needs to be updated.

Cellphone charging

Rediscover a device

First, remove any old Bluetooth connections that may be on your device. Then delete the device you're trying to pair from your settings (usually by clicking “Forget This Device”) and try to rediscover it.

Apple maps

Be at a full charge

Your speaker or phone might be upset if it's operating at a low battery. Make sure both are charged up and ready to go!

Bluetooth speakers are genius inventions that are built to last. So don't get frustrated if you're having a tough time pairing yours to a device. Try any of the above suggestions, and you should be good to go! If all else fails, it might be time to reach out to the manufacturer for more help.

Televisions

Television

How Do You Clean a TV Screen?

According to Consumer Reports, you should clean your TV with a dry, soft microfiber towel. Most televisions are flat screens, so be gentle. You can then use a can of compressed air to remove any dust that's in the vents.

If your TV is mounted on the wall, you can still get the screen cleaned. Simply grab a step ladder and carefully wipe it down with a microfiber towel. Don't forget to also wipe down the remote control!

How Do You Hide TV Cables?

Do you have a video game system, cable box, and soundbar hooked up to your TV? If so, you probably have an ugly mess of wires in your living room.

Give any of these ideas a try to keep your TV cables out of sight:


  • Hook to the back of the furniture
  • Cover with storage
  • Hide in a 3-ring binder or bin
  • Use binder clips
  • Build a makeshift TV stand
  • Make a decorative wall piece
  • Turn the wires into art
TV wires https://www.bobvila.com/

Hook to the Back of the Furniture

Stick command hooks on the back of your furniture at the top and on the legs. Your cords will then be neatly tucked out of sight!

TV

Cover With Storage

Place storage bins at the bottom of your TV stand in front of the wires. It's a great way to also organize additional odds and ends like remotes and batteries.

Binder

Hide in a 3-Ring Binder or Bin

A 3-ring binder is perfect for hiding wires. Slip the cords through the rings and make the binder look nicer on your shelf by hot gluing fabric on the top.

Paper clip https://www.wikihow.com/

Use Binder Clips

If you're comfortable putting a small hole in your wall, you can put a thumb tack through the top part of a binder clip and run the cables through the middle.

TV https://www.homedepot.com/

Build a Makeshift TV Stand

Is your TV mounted to the wall? Build a plastic tube over the wires and seal them all in place. You can make it look like it's just another part of the furniture.

Wall TV https://dailyhomesafety.com/

Make a Decorative Wall Piece

Your ugly TV cables could be an opportunity to give your room a makeover! Wall art adds a nice accent to the space and serves as a good piece of home décor.

Drawing https://dailyhomesafety.com/

Turn the Wires Into Art

Go ahead and let your inner artist shine. The cables from your TV could be an opportunity to create your next masterpiece!

Headphones & Earbuds

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How Do You Clean Headphones?

If you're commuting on the train or jogging through the park, earbuds or headphones are essential. We use them to listen to music or podcasts and watch videos all the time, which means they can get easily dirty and covered in ear wax. Gross.

Here is the best way to clean your headphones:


  • Step 1: Wash the foam or rubber pieces with isopropyl alcohol. Do not overly soak the towel you're using, but simply dab a corner into the rubbing alcohol.
  • Step 2: Scrape away dirt on any metal or plastic pieces using a soft bristled brush.
  • Step 3: Dry thoroughly before using.

It's pretty simple to clean your headphones and definitely worth doing regularly. You should try to clean them at least once a week, especially if you use them every day.

How to Keep Headphones From Tangling

When you're on the go, a tangled pair of headphones can really slow you down. Luckily, you can say "goodbye" to this problem forever with these super easy hacks.

Try any of the following to prevent your headphones from tangling:

Headphone icon

Use a rubber band

Fold your headphones up accordion style and secure them with a rubber band. You can also use a hair tie or a zip tie to hold everything together.

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Store in a prescription bottle

A prescription bottle is the perfect size for your earbuds. Stick them inside and carry it with you in your bag or pocket.

Headphone icon

Put in a mint tin

You should never throw away mint tins when the candies are gone! These little boxes are especially handy for keeping your earbuds tangle-free.

Headphone icon

Wind around a wine cork

After you're done with your bottle of wine, keep the cork. It's super handy for winding your earbuds around, so you can take them with you without any tangles.

Headphone icon

Cut grooves in an old credit card

Is your credit card expired? Cut slits into the side and bottom and wind your headphones through those grooves.

Headphone icon

Wrap around your cell phone

You can simply wrap the headphones around your cell phone, especially if you're always using it to listen to music or podcasts.

Headphone icon

Rock on

Make the devil horns or the "rock on" gesture with your hand and wrap the cords around your fingers. Take the audio jack and wrap it around the middle, and your earbuds should unwind with ease.

These methods are awesome because they find new uses for old items. You don't have to throw mint tins, prescription bottles, wine corks, and credit cards in the garbage. They can be repurposed to hold your headphones!

This video has even more care tips and tricks for your headphones. Give it a watch!

How to Care for Other Tech Devices

If you're a techie, you might have even more devices and gadgets that need a little TLC. Here's your guide to cleaning and storing other types of electronics!


Game Consoles

Whether you’re an Xbox fan or are into retro systems like the NES, you need to take time to care for your consoles. How else will you beat your friends in “Mario Kart?”

Sponge

Cleaning: Use a microfiber cloth for the outside and use compressed air to blow dust out of the vents. You can use the compressed air to blow dust out of game cartridges and controller ports as well.

box

Storage: Game consoles get hot the more they're used. Try to store them on a TV stand with an open back or sides, and keep them in a cool area whenever possible. Wrap the controller cords accordion style and secure them with a rubber band.

Game controller

Flash Drives

Students can't get through the semester without a handy flash drive by their side. Even in this day of Google Drive, it's still a good idea to always have a reliable backup.

Sponge

Cleaning: You can use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to clean your flash drive. Make sure it's completely dry before plugging it into the computer.

box

Storage: Experts recommend that you don't keep your flash drives in your pocket. Keep the cap on when it's not in use and store it in a zippered area of your bag. Remember to click "eject" before disconnecting any type of USB.

Flash drive

Fitness Trackers

Whether you have a fancy Fitbit or a simple pedometer, you should take care of your fitness device. After all, it could get awfully sweaty after repeated use.

Sponge

Cleaning: Gently clean your device with a soft towel and a little bit of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Let it dry on a paper towel for at least 24 hours.

box

Storage: Be sure to lock your fitness tracker in public areas like the gym or community center. It's also a good idea to change your password every 3 months and make sure your privacy settings are up to date.

fitness tracker

DVD or Blu-ray Players

Streaming has totally taken over our lives, but some people still have DVD or Blu-ray players. You can keep that media player for an insanely long time if you care for it properly.

Sponge

Cleaning: Remove debris and dust with compressed air and a microfiber cloth. Wipe down the buttons with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol.

box

Storage: The #1 rule for storing a DVD player or Blu-ray player is to keep it away from anything heavy. It should ideally be on top of other boxes in storage.

Blue ray player

Alexa, Google Home, or Amazon Echo

About 50 million households have an Alexa, Google Home, or Amazon Echo, with 40,000 more having a third-party version. These mini robots are helping make our lives way easier with their voice recognition.

Sponge

Cleaning: A dry cloth is the best way to remove any dust that builds up on your voice assistant. Do not use any cleaners as moisture can easily damage your device.

box

Storage: You shouldn't put your voice assistant near a toilet, sink, or any other water source. It's also a bad idea to keep it by a window or under your TV where sound can interfere.

Amazon speaker

Cameras

Say cheese! The best moments are captured on candid camera, from family vacations to weddings. Cameras are also an excellent way to make sure you always have embarrassing cards for the holidays!

Sponge

Cleaning: If you have a professional camera, it’s a good idea to look for a dedicated lens cleaner. Rub the lens in a circular motion starting in the middle and working your way toward the edges.

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Storage: Carry your camera in a dedicated bag or case and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. You should also cover the lens when it’s not in use.

Camera

Power Banks

A power bank can be a real lifesaver if you’re running out of battery. Make sure yours is always ready to be used when you need it by cleaning and storing it the right way.

Sponge

Cleaning: A microfiber cloth is the best way to clean your power banks. It’s a handy way to remove smudges and fingerprints.

box

Storage: Keep your power banks away from heat or liquids and avoid using your device while it’s charging. Like other electronics, you should also secure the cords with a rubber band vs. wrapping them around the device.

Power Bank

Printers

Most of the paperwork we do these days is digital, but we still need a good printer from time to time. It’s useful when you need physical copies, from signing the lease on your new apartment to printing out your English essay.

Sponge

Cleaning: Printers are similar to other tech devices in that you only need rubbing alcohol, a clean cloth, and compressed air to wash it down. Avoid using paper towels as these can leave streaks.

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Storage: Keep your printer near your computer in a place that isn’t too hot or too cold. The garage, attic, or basement are all bad places for your printer since they get colder than the rest of the house.

Printer

Drones

Drones are becoming more and more popular. It’s even possible to get food and packages delivered via these flying robots. They are the technology of the future, which means they need to be clean and safely stored.

Sponge

Cleaning: Apply 3-in-1 lubricant to the motor every month and wipe down your drone with a soft bristled brush. You can use pipe cleaners covered with isopropyl alcohol to get tough-to-reach areas and compressed air for any dust bunnies.

box

Storage: Drones can be pretty pricey, so it’s a good idea to be careful with storage. Keep your drone in a dedicated bin in your garage or shed or don’t take it out if the weather is bad.

Drone

VR Sets

Have you ever wanted to be on top of Mount Everest or 20,000 leagues under the sea? Virtual reality makes it possible to visit any place you can imagine!

Sponge

Cleaning: Frequently wipe down the lens and the headset with a microfiber cloth. You can also use antibacterial wipes every 10 to 15 uses for a deeper clean.

box

Storage: Put your VR set in a dedicated drawer with the lens covered, and do not put anything else with it. You should always be sure it’s out of reach from pets and young children.

vr
Messy desk

Why is Caring for Technology Important?

Our gadgets often cost a good part of our paychecks and are almost as essential to our daily lives as air and water. By giving them proper care, we ensure we’ll have them for years to come.

Our favorite gadgets are used for school, work, and everywhere in between. Make sure to give them the TLC they deserve!

Stats for Success

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According to Time Magazine, your cell phone may contain up to 17,000 bacteria from top to bottom!

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A report by ABC 11 News in North Carolina found that dirty headphones could lead to an increase in ear infections.

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Americans crack or break more than 50 million phones every year.

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Researchers at the University of Arizona found that your laptop can harbor 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

The Bottom Line

From pricy devices to small accessories, your tech products need to be cared for and cleaned properly. This saves you money in the long run and helps everything seem brand new. At the end of the day, a soft lint-free cloth, rubbing alcohol, compressed air, and a little bit of time can work wonders.

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.

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