How and What to Use to Clean All Your Home Electronics

We're right at that sweet spot between spring cleaning and summery fingers sticky with ice cream and barbecue sauce. So if you're planning to spend the summer catching up on console games, or at least have a kid who will, this weekend is a great time to quickly wipe down your remote controls, speakers, screens and docks to free them from dust, dirt and germs. This simple, 20 minute chore can help set you up for the long summer ahead.Real Simple magazine offered these spring cleaning tips for your gadgety gear, noting that a little effort will go a long way toward keeping your equipment running well. We've shared their list below, along with our own additions.

This chore only takes about 20 minutes or so, and makes a big difference in the look and feel of your gear.

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DVD Player, VCR
Dust the outside, including all the buttons. Use a lens cleaner to clean off anything inside the machine. Blast the vents and slots with compressed air to loosen dust.

iPod Dock
Wipe down with a dry cloth to erase smudges.

Remote Controls
Use a disinfecting wipe on the buttons and whole surface of the remote, taking care to remove gunky patches.

Stereo and Speakers
Wipe down the entire surface, including speakers, which might take a more delicate tool (Real Simple suggests a paintbrush). Compressed air can help with stubborn dust, as well as the CD tray.

Television
Dust screen with an electrostatic brush or cloth, wipe down the outside and take care with any patches of dirt on the screen. Try using a coffee filter so nothing is scratched.

Game Console and Controllers
Use a duster or cloth to wipe down the outside of the console, hit the vents and ports with compressed air, and wipe down any controllers with disinfectant. If you use a headset, clean off the ear and mouth pieces.

Computer, Laptop
Dust the vents and ports with compressed air, wipe down the keyboard with a light disinfectant cloth, and take care to dust the screen and wipe away any collected dirt or fingerprint smudges. Check out our list of free keyboard cleaning tools for more ideas.

Phone and Accessories
Wipe down the back, screen and buttons with an electrostatic or disinfectant cloth, and gently clean the speakers and ports with compressed air. These phones go with us everywhere, and can collect a lot of germs along the way.

Camera
Use compressed air to blast away dust, and clean the outside of your camera with a light cloth. If you're working with a DSLR, there are special methods to cleaning the lens.

Cords
Don't neglect to clean cords, like chargers or USB cables. They can collect a lot of grime from being carried around, or even just sitting on a desk, and it's a good idea to take this opportunity to wipe away some of the dust so you don't have to think about it later.

More advice about cleaning tech over at Real Simple.

(Image: Gregory Han)

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