7 gadgets you should be cleaning... but probably aren't

Woman cleaning a tablet - tech cleaning tips
7 gadgets you should be cleaningfotostorm - Getty Images

Do you ever stop to think just how often you handle your smartphone in a day? If you do, you'll probably realise it's probably covered in grime and germs!

According to recent research, smartphones can be covered in up to 10 times as much bacteria as a toilet seat... And it's not just your phone, other tech is likely to be just as grubby.

To get rid of germs and bacteria on your tech, just follow our simple guide...

Smartphone and tablets

The first rule of cleaning your phone or tablet is not to use a fluid, such as a window cleaning spray, on it, as this could damage any oleophobic coating on the screen that helps to stop fingerprints showing up.

Instead, use a dry microfibre cloth to remove and retain the dirt. We like the e-cloth general purpose cloths. Wipe the screen in a circular motion to avoid scratching it. And don't forget to clean your camera lens, too, to avoid blurry pictures.

Alternatively, you can use a specialist cloth on the screen to banish bacteria, such as the Techlink This Cleans Anti-bacterial Screen Cleaning Cloth. This is an antibacterial-treated dry cloth that will help deep-clean your screens safely.

Cleaning Phone
Photo by Lin, Yu-Chung - Getty Images


If you’ve got in-ear headphones you need to clean them every so often, especially if you use them when you’re out running or in the gym.

If your headphones have ear-tips and they're silicone, gently remove them and use warm soapy water and a clean cloth or cotton bud to clean them. Then leave them to dry thoroughly before refitting them. If the earbuds are made of foam, then just use a clean, damp cloth to wipe them, and then let them air dry. Don't use any soapy water though!

Once you've removed the ear tips, or if your headphones don't have any, check the metal grilles on the earpieces. If they're dirty, use a soft, dry toothbrush to dislodge the dirt. Also, if the cable on the headphones looks a little grubby, dip a cloth in warm soapy water and slide it down the cable.


Just like your smartphone, use a microfibre cloth on the lid and casing. If you have stubborn marks on the lid, slightly dampen the cloth, then ring it out before using it to buff them away.

Next, you'll want to focus on the keyboard. Use a can of compressed air, like the 5 Star Air Duster Can, to blow out any dust and crumbs from between the keys. For cleaning the keyboard, use specialised wipes such as Q-Connect KF32148 Wet and Dry Wipes.

Where possible, check the user manual first as some manufacturers, like Apple, only recommend using a dry microfibre cloth on their products.

Cropped Hand Cleaning Laptop With Duster At Table
Suparat Malipoom / EyeEm - Getty Images

TV Remotes

TV remotes are often forgotten in cleaning routines but they can be some of the grimiest gadgets you own. Everyone in the household uses it throughout the day so it collects lots of germs, grease and dirt.

Clean your TV remote by using a soft cloth to remove dust and then lightly spray a microfibre cloth with water to wipe away grime. Sanitise the remote using a clean cloth spritzed with a disinfectant solution. If there are stubborn bits of dirt stuck in between the buttons, use a cotton bud or toothpick to remove them.

Gaming Controllers

Gaming controllers should be cleaned every two weeks if they are used every day, according to cleaning experts at MyJobQuote.co.uk. It will also be a good idea to wash your hands before using them as that will keep them cleaner for longer too.

Use an antibacterial wipe across the whole device to give it a good clean, but make sure you have unplugged it first. Dislodge grime by carefully using a cotton bud or toothpick around the buttons and the joystick.

Computer Mice

Unplug or turn off your computer mouse before cleaning it, and remove the batteries if it has any. If it has a trackball, move the ball around to dislodge any dirt. Then use an antibacterial wipe or a cloth lightly sprayed with disinfectant to wipe over the whole mouse. Make sure it's not too damp to avoid getting moisture into the openings.

Activity tracker

If you wear your fitness watch regularly, it probably gets a little sweaty and will need cleaning.

Just like with headphones, use a cloth that you have put in warm soapy water and wrung out, and slide it down the strap of your gadget, taking care to avoid the face or tracking element if it's not waterproof. If you've got a buckle with a stem, it's worth dipping a cotton bud in warm soapy water to clean the holes the stem slots into.

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