Spring Cleaning: Electronics

America’s #1 Cleaning Expert, Don Aslett gives us his tips on keeping electronic equipment clean and working.


This is my entire cleaning kit:

• Compressed air

• electronic wipes that are treated with a slightly alcohol substance that quickly evaporates

• and a soft cloth.

These things will clean most all of your electronic components in your home.

For the outside of electronic equipment

1. We normally don’t use water;

2. Wipes from electronics store specially made for this. There are several brands, but they all work the same.

3. Wipe dust off and grime off, then toss.

• Both the wipes and compressed air are flammable, so don’t have an open flame around them. Candles or cigarettes!

DVDs & CDs

1. On a DVD the data is so compressed that even a fingerprint can make it not play properly.

2. Check for prints and smudges.

3. Take a soft, lint-free cloth, (or it’s fine to use tissue, I prefer a soft cloth),

4. dab little alcohol on corner then wipe from inside out in straight swipes all the way around.

• One thing I’ve discovered is that CDs are a lot tougher than I originally thought. Few of them are beyond repair. There are many scratch repair “kits” on the market and they are well worth the price.

Computer monitors

1. Computer CRT monitors are a little more hardy than

LCD and PLASMA screens.

2. On most of them you could use Windex, but still prefer to use electronic wipes to get off dust. Wipe front, top back around outside. Wipe and toss.

3. If you do use a Windex product: spray the cloth. Never spray liquid on any electronic items

4. Buff the computer monitor dry with a soft cloth to get the perfect finish. It takes seconds.

LCD monitor

1. LCD’s don’t have a glass front like CRT monitor, so they can be harmed by cleaning products, so avoid them.

2. Only use electronic wipes. First spray the off dust with compressed air. If you wipe with a bit of grit on there, it will scratch.

3. Then with the electronic wipes, go back and forth. Leaves no streaks.

4. Different manufactures say lightly damp cloth with soap and water, others say that won’t be okay. So be safe and use electronic wipes.

5. Never use acetone, ethanol alcohol, or ammonia—it will damage the screen and change the color quality.


1. Unplug it from the computer.

2. Along with my electronic wipes and compressed air, I use a toothbrush that I save just for this purpose.

3. Spray each row with the can of air and watch the pet hair and dust fly right out of there.

4. The wipes have a slight coating of alcohol, will not increase static (the bane of all electronic equipment), but they will take off grime and grease in all the crevices.

5. If there is a stubborn crumb or something you can’t get out, use the toothbrush in between keys to loosen, then blow it out again.

• Both the electronic wipes and compressed air are flammable, so don’t have an open flame around them. Candles or cigarettes!

Computer mouse

1. The old mouses had a ball that moved; to clean them you have to remove the ball, wipe it clean with alcohol and inside the mouse, too.

2. Newer mouses are optical, no ball. To clean the little feet or glider that gets dirty, wipe with alcohol wipes. Give that grubby mouse a good rub down, amazing how it will cut thru the grime. Wipe clean all over.

3. You can blow cracks if needed with compressed air.

4. To wipe the lens, wet a Qtip with couple drops of alcohol, wipe it around the lens. That’s it.


1. Use electronic wipes on outside.

2. Inside they have a glass document table. Spray glass cleaner onto a soft cloth. Wipe with soft cloth—super important so that you aren’t scanning dust.

3. Flip over the cloth and polish it dry.

4. If there is dust in the corners use compressed air to blow it out.


• Audio cassette players,

• VCRs,

• Camcorders and

• Many of your child’s video games

…have a cleaning cassette specially made for them.

1. Some come with an alcohol base cleaner that you drip into the cassette

2. Follow the directions carefully

3. Then the cassette goes in the player, turn it on for a few seconds, pop it out and let it dry.

4. Find the cleaning cassette recommended by your manufacturer—most camcorders even come with one.


• Buy a special cleaning cassette tape; they all work pretty well.

• It usually has slots to put cleaning solution in.

• There’s a soft rotating felt pad that turns and cleans the heads.

• Open player, insert, hit play for a minute. Take it out put back in case to reuse.

• Let your machine dry for 5-10 minutes


• Purchase a cleaning cassette.

• It has a cloth inside rather than a tape.

• The cassette has a hole to put in cleaning fluid in. The instructions says 5 drops max, so I’ll put in four.

• Put it in the player and push play. It will sound a little funny, let it run for 15-30 seconds. Hit stop and eject and the heads have been cleaned.

• Put cleaning cassette back in its case.

• Let the VCR sit for 10 minutes to dry the alcohol cleaner, then it’s ready to use.


• Most come with cleaners made by the manufacturer. Buy the one made by your specific manufacturer.

• Insert the mini cleaning tape, they do not require any solution. ONLY DO THIS WHEN NECESSARY when you have a misfunction or it is pixelating.

• Put in tape, push VCR for ten seconds and stop. That’s it.

• If you repeatedly use it or for too long, the slight abrasiveness will ruin the heads on your camera. So only clean as needed and only for 10 seconds. That’s it.


Don’t forget to clean your telephone. The telephone is the second dirtiest thing in your home only next to the doorknob. We use this equipment everyday yet neglect to clean it as often as we should. The best thing to use is a disinfectant wipe or electronics wipe. Never spray cleaner into a phone directly, especially in the area of the transmitter holes on the hand piece because moisture will cause a malfunction. Spray the solution onto a soft clean cloth and wipe the phone, then polish with a dry cloth.

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