Clean Your Household Gadgets
Photo By: Eric Perry
Photo By: Niels Laan
LED TV screens are fragile, so don't let harsh paper towels or chemicals anywhere near them. Use a lint-free, microfiber cloth to gently wipe down the screen. If a stubborn mark persists, pour a 50/50 solution of water and rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, spritz on the cloth, and wipe down again. Don't apply the solution directly to the TV, and do not press down on the screen, which could cause pixels to burn out.
Check your device's manufacturer's instructions, as many companies advise against using any sort of chemical on a touch screen. The 50/50 water to alcohol solution can be used with a microfiber cloth on the back of the tablet. To be safe, opt for a water-only damp (not wet!) cloth on the screen.
Since your smartphone goes everywhere with you, pack tech-cleaning mobile and packaged wipes in your purse or car. Make sure the wipes are specifically designed to clean screens and electronics and have antibacterial properties.
When a dusty cooling fan is a computer's problem, look to the laundry room. Dryer sheets work double duty to safely clean a computer's parts without interfering with its electrical system. As for a keyboard — that's seen its share of mess. Use a can of forced air to knock crumbs out of those nooks and crannies.
Forced air works well with printers, too. Point the can at any built-up filth around buttons and cords to blast it away. Open doors to check that there is no lint build-up inside.
Considering they touch sensitive parts of our bodies, headphones should be cleaned at least once a week. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the headphones down with a solution of gentle soap and water.
A stainless steel fridge needs special care to look its best. Use vinegar on a microfiber cloth, or a special stainless-steel mit to wipe the grime away. An equal-parts vinegar to water solution will also work to scrub away any messes on the shelves inside.
If you're addicted to the convenience of one-cup coffee makers, sweep away leftover coffee grounds with a toothbrush. Every 3-6 months run a descaling brew to get rid of any internal build-up by filling half the water reservoir with white vinegar and running several brew cycles without the K-cup. Then rinse, fill with clean water and repeat until the water is gone to get rid of any vinegar smell.
Mineral deposits taking over the inside of your dishwasher? Try this hack: Pour a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid into the detergent slot of the dishwasher. Let a cycle run, and watch the stains disappear.
A washing machine can get bogged down with soap and minerals after dozens of washes. Pour about a quarter cup of vinegar into the machine or the equivalent amount of detergent per load, and set the machine through a wash cycle to put it back on track to bringing out the best in your clothes.
Ensure clothes are getting their driest by going beyond just cleaning out the lint trap. Every couple months, remove the lint trap and use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment to grab any lint that made its way back to the dryer's body. Wipe both the dryer and washing machine with a damp microfiber cloth.
Unplug the DVD player from the TV and wall, and wipe it down with a cloth. Spray with a can of compressed air for hard-to-reach areas. If discs are consistently skipping, the inside of your DVD player needs cleaning. To do this, remove the top portion of the player, and blow dust out with compressed air. If you're not comfortable getting into the nuts and bolts of the device, use a DVD lens cleaner instead.