Consumer Alert: Cleaning dirty electronics

Consumer Alert: Cleaning dirty electronics

The average cell phone collects about 18 times more bacteria than a public toilet handle. Thankfully there are ways to clean our electronic devices without damaging them.

"One of the things you want to make sure you don't do is use glass cleaners or solvents on screens like tablets, computer monitors and smartphones," says Terry Sullivan of Consumer Reports.

Abrasive cleaners break down the special coating that lets fingers glide over the screen.

Televisions also have a delicate surface that could be damaged by ammonia, alcohol or even paper towels.

Instead, use a microfiber cloth, slightly dampened if needed.

"The problem is if you use a strong enough abrasive, it's like taking a varnish off a beautiful painting. You've just, you know, ruined your masterpiece," says Sullivan.

Devices with crevices like keyboards collect grime over time. Use a gas duster to blow out the gunk.

"One trick is to turn it over and then to use the compressed air to blow out the dust so that it falls out when you're doing that," says Sullivan.

One device called Phone Soap even uses UV light to sanitize phones while they're charging.

Click here for more safe cleaning tips for your electronics.

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