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Safe Cleaning Products for Electronic Devices

Electronic Devices

Which Cleaning Products Should I Avoid?

Before you start scrubbing your devices with the many cleaning products available these days, you should always consult your device’s manufacturing manual as it advises to avoid some particular chemicals. Furthermore, you should check the ingredients section of a cleaning product package before buying it for your devices.

Here is a list of chemicals you should steer clear of while cleaning your electronic gadgets, including mobile phones, tablets, keyboards, laptops, desktop systems, and smartwatches:

  • Ammonia
  • Ethyl acid
  • Butoxyethanol
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Methyl chloride
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Toluene

All these chemicals, especially ammonia, are often cited in the principal ingredients of electronic device cleaners as they are highly effective for leaving a streak-free gleam. However, using these cleaners, full-strength, on the gadgets you use multiple times during the day can damage the device and cause your skin to develop harsh rashes and irritation. You may also suffer from lung problems in the long-term if you have a medical history of lung problems or breathing issues.

Disinfecting Your Gadgets Using Safe Cleaning Products

In this section, we will show you how you can use safe cleaning products for electronic devices without damaging them and affecting your skin.

Mobile Phones and Tablets

Mobile phones and tablets have a fingerprint-resistant surface on the screens, generally called an oleophobic coating. Manufacturers recommend treading lightly when cleaning such electronic devices as using the wrong ingredients can damage the screens, taking off their protective films.

Safe Cleaning Products for Mobile Phones and Tablets
Step by Step Instructions
  1. Turn off your mobile phones and tablets and make sure they are unplugged.
  2. Take off the device’s back protection cases.
  3. Use Pre-moistened Lens & Tech cleaning wipes to rub the screens of your mobile phones and tablets. If you don’t have Clorox wipes, skip to step 5.
  4. Turn the devices over and scrub the back covers as well.
  5. The other way of cleaning your mobile phones and tablets is by making isopropyl alcohol and distilled water solution. Take a small sprayer bottle and fill it half-full with seventy-percent isopropyl alcohol (minimum strength).
  6. Add forty-percent distilled water and shake the bottle a couple of times to mix it well.
  7. Dampen a microfiber cloth by spraying the mixture on it. Don’t oversaturate the cloth.
  8. Wipe down your gadget’s screen and back cover.
  9. Lightly wet a cotton swab and clean around the crevices and edges of your device’s screen, including the side buttons.
  10. Leave the gadgets to dry for a few minutes, and then you can cover them back with the rear protection cases.


According to studies, keyboards are one of those places that have the most bacteria. That’s the primary reason why it is essential to clean and disinfect them regularly, whether you use laptop keyboards or a desktop system one.

Safe Cleaning Products for Keyboards
Step by Step Instructions
  1. For desktop keyboards, power off the system and unplug the keyboard. If it is a wireless keyboard, it would be best to remove the batteries. For laptop keyboards, power-down the device.
  2. Spray an electronic gas duster on the keyboard to clean all the leftover crumbs and dust particles.
  3. Now, take an isopropyl alcohol pad and gently rub it on and between the keyboard’s keys. Use circular motions when wiping your keyboard and don’t scrub it hard as it may remove the lettering on the keyboard key
  4. After you have thoroughly cleaned the keyboard using isopropyl alcohol pads, dry the keys by gently wiping them with a microfiber cloth.
  5. Once the keyboard is dry, you can put back the batteries and reconnect it with your desktop system and laptop.

Laptop or Desktop Screens

Cleaning your laptop and desktop screens is also necessary from time-to-time as they gather a lot of smudges and dust if left for an extended period.

Safe Cleaning Products for Laptop or Desktop Screens
Step by Step Instructions
  1. Make sure your devices are powered off and unplugged.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the dust particles from your laptop or desktop system screens.
  3. Take another microfiber cloth and dampen it lightly with a good-quality eyeglass cleaner.
  4. Rub the wet microfiber cloth on the screen to clean the smudges. Don’t forget to clean the nooks and crevices of the screen as well.
  5. Now, wash the microfiber cloth with warm water and squeeze the excess water thoroughly.
  6. Use the warm microfiber cloth to clean the plastic or metal borders around the screen.
  7. Leave your electronic devices to dry properly before powering them up again.

Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers

The smartwatches and fitness trackers need constant cleansing as they get sweaty due to everyday use. However, there are several ways to disinfect these watches, no matter of which material they are made.

Safe Cleaning Products for Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers
Step by Step Instructions
  1. Spray an eyeglass cleaner on a microfiber cloth and gently rub the screen of your smartwatch.
  2. If your watch has a metal band, you can clean that by spraying a soft cleanser on another microfiber cloth and scrubbing the metal band.
  3. Nylon or rubber bands can be cleaned by wiping them with isopropyl alcohol pads.
  4. Leather bands should be taken care of using a leather care kit that includes a cleanser and a conditioner. You can apply the cleanser and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Then apply a light coating of conditioner to restore the leather’s flexibility.
  5. Leave your fitness tracker and smartwatch to dry off, and then you can wear it again.


Using these safe cleaning products for electronic devices by the given instructions will leave your gadgets in an exceptional condition at all times.


The Facebook Data Debacle

I’m sure everyone has been following the news regarding Facebook. It would be hard to miss it, frankly. I thought I’d take a moment to explain the issue in general and also to tell you about aspects of the problem that are not being discussed in the media.

So, let’s start at the beginning. A few years ago a Cambridge University psychologist, Professor Alexandr Kogan, was studying whether he could predict people’s behavior based on the results of a social media quiz. He devised a personality test and, initially at least, he paid people in the U.S. to take the quiz. It isn’t clear whether all respondents were offered pay, however, so we can’t assume none of us took this questionnaire.

Click for Larger Image

All of us have seen these quizzes that lure us in with the promise of finding out which Beatle we are, or what U.S. president are you most like, and so on. How many of us play games on Facebook? Do you find Candy Crush irresistible? It’s unfortunate, but all these fun little time-wasters are not there for our own entertainment. They are there because, in return for creating the quiz or game, the game developers get some or all of your Facebook data.

This data includes not only the personal information you provided when you signed up and the names of your friends, as is being widely reported. The information they most wanted is far more personal than that. Timothy Summers, Director of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement at the University of Maryland had this to say: “Like other quizzes, his was able to capture all of your public information, including name, profile picture, age, gender and birthday; everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline; your entire friends list; all of your photos and the photos you’re tagged in; education history; hometown and current city; everything you’ve ever liked; and information about the device you’re using including your web browser and preferred language.” This, along with the personality profile itself, allowed the doctor to create a psychological profile of us.

Certainly, that’s evil enough by itself. But apparently, this questionnaire requested all information about your friends as well. This means all their Likes, Shares, etc. got dumped into his database along with yours or mine. This is how they got to 50 million plus Facebook profiles.

But, there’s more. There’s always more.

A shady political consulting firm (Cambridge Analytica) in London got wind of the database Dr. Kogan had and they convinced him to hand it over. They told him it wouldn’t violate his Terms of Service with Facebook. Now, why this educated man would take their word for it rather than checking with the entity he had the ToS with is beyond my capabilities as an observer. But it is interesting to note the good doctor has deep Russian ties.

Other psychologists working with Cambridge Analytica were able to reverse engineer the data of those 50 million users into a virtual personality test. Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD Business School had this to say: “Whether you choose to like pictures of sunsets, puppies or people apparently says a lot about your personality. So much, in fact, that on the basis of 300 likes, (CA’s) model is able to predict someone’s personality profile with the same accuracy as a spouse.”

So, where does this leave us? I have every reason to believe all of these time-wasters are data-mining. There is zero chance this particular quiz was unethical and all the rest of the games and questionnaires are legit Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about our past behavior. All we can do is move forward.

Let’s all stop filling out the silly “What flower is your dog most like?” surveys and stop playing games on Facebook. Games played on game web sites are safer because they get their revenue by selling membership or by showing you ads while you play. Unless you are logging in to that website with your Facebook account they don’t have access to all this personal data. (I’ll be sending out an Alert with more detailed directions on all of this)

I suppose we could all stop using Facebook as well. But you may notice I’ve posted this piece there. Feel free to take that as an indication of my feelings toward that idea.

Facebook has to be regulated much more closely, however. And that will likely prove to be the only long-term solution.

One more piece of news from earlier today. Facebook’s market tumble resulting from this mess has already wiped away more than $50 BILLION in stockholder’s portfolios. How low can it go?

Welcome to My World

In today’s context ‘Welcome’ is a two-faceted gem. This is the first post to the Technobabble Blog in quite a long time. Being a very small business sometimes we have to decide what we can do and what we can’t. But I anticipate posting once a week from here on out.

But the second facet of today’s post is a little peak at what repair people like us go through with Apple products and, by extension, what it means for consumers like you.

You see, Apple doesn’t want independent business people like me working on their products. They want to be able to control that market so they can keep charging outrageous prices. Any of you who have taken your Mac or iPhone in for repair will know what I mean.

Currently the state of Nebraska is trying to pass a “Right to Repair” law, which would force companies like Apple and other tech companies to provide us with repair manuals and spare parts. Apple is fighting this legal push, which would make repairing your equipment much cheaper (and me a little richer)

There are 8 other states attempting the same thing, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Wyoming. Maybe we need to add Wisconsin to that list.

Here’s a good article from BuzzFeed on the subject.

Let’s Talk About Passwords

Password Safety

I’m sure passwords have been on everyone’s mind lately. The Heartbleed SSL flaw has brought the subject to the foreground again. And, at the risk of being repetitive, I’m going to dispense the same advice as I always do in these situations.


Pardon me for shouting. This is a passionate subject for me.

So, what is a password safe? It’s a small program that holds all your passwords. Each entry can be named for the web site or whatever you want and they can all be organized by whatever categories you create. That way, you remember one password… to get into the program itself; and that password is never sent out over the internet.

But, that’s not where the benefits end. If you only needed the organization aspect you could just get a legal pad. The best part of these programs is in the password creation process.

At the click of a button it will create the kind of password that is so secure you’d never be able to remember it and would be too much of a pain to transcribe. Wonderful, unique, pure password!

OK, getting passionate again. But seriously, the best part of these passwords is they are terribly hard to crack. Even if the hacker gets into your data stream they could spend weeks trying to crack truly strong passwords.

So, what should you use? I use one called Password Safe. But that’s just because I wanted to remember what it did.

Others are available, such as: LastPass, Password Genie and SplashID


If you come here for good news, you’re not getting it today. There is another massive security breach on the Internet. This time it involves a flaw in SSL, which is the protocol for secure connections to web sites.

It seems this new problem, named Heartbleed, is able to steal your passwords from your RAM, or active memory. If you have visited a site, such as banking or shopping, where you have entered a password you are in danger of having that password stolen.


To protect yourself I am suggesting that you re-boot your computer immediately after completing your business on the business or banking site. I know, it’s a pain in the butt. But it will protect you until such time as this flaw is fixed.

It is such a pervasive problem that I suspect the flaw will be fixed relatively quickly. Come back here for updates.

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