Spring Cleaning

Here’s How to Spring Clean the Most Dusty, Germy Things in Your Home

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

With Spring Cleaning for Your Mood, we’re helping you get your housekeeping done no matter what state of mind you’re in. For 20 weekdays in April, we’ll focus on cleaning a new area of your space, with three different ways to get it done—so it’s easy to stay on track even when you’re busy, tired, or away from home. Sign up with your email now and enjoy a better space by the end of the month.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a super-wired, early adopting techie or a classic neo-luddite who loves living the simple life, you’ve got some kind of electronics at home. Maybe a TV, or a record player, or a whole network of smart home devices that keep your home ship running.

Whatever you’ve got plugged in and turned on—it needs cleaning, too.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Day 11 Assignment: Electronics

It’s wild how much these things get dusty. With all of the fields and frequencies at work powering our electronic devices at home, they tend to generate static electricity, which then attracts and clings to all the dust and dirt floating around your space. Time to give them a quick clean.

So what are you in the mood for today?

A Satisfying Deep Dive: Dust and clean your electronics.

Dust and clean your home tech. You can’t just spray down your electronics, so you need to be a little more mindful of the products and techniques you use today—water and electricity don’t mix well.

  • Turn off the device—it’ll be easier to clean if it’s not warm to the touch.
  • Start with a pass of your vacuum, perhaps using the soft brush attachment to get around any vents or buttons. Canned air or even your hairdryer can also help dislodge dust without introducing moisture. For really intricate or delicate spaces, try brushing the area with a dry paintbrush.
  • If there’s any stubborn gunk, you can spray a tiny bit of water (or mix of equal parts water and white vinegar) onto a microfiber cloth and wipe as needed. Never spray cleaner directly on your devices.
  • To clean screens, spray a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar onto a microfiber cloth and wipe gently in small, circular motions. Be mindful of the edges and making sure moisture doesn’t seep around and under the screen. Never spray cleaner directly on the screen, and don’t use paper towel, toilet paper, or tissue to wipe, as those can scratch your screen. You can, however, try commercial screen wipes designed especially for the task.

You’ll know what needs doing. I find it helps to assemble a kit and walk room by room looking for devices like TVs, cable boxes, DVD players, video game systems, speakers, and home assistants.

A Quick Win: Disinfect your remotes and controllers.

Remotes and controllers get handled just as often as your phone. You should be disinfecting them at least once a month, but it rarely makes it onto most people’s routines.

Take a second now to get all your controllers in top shape. You can wipe them with a disinfecting wipe—you should use enough that the surface stays wet for a few minutes—or use rubbing alcohol, a rag, and some cotton swabs to clean the remote and detail around the buttons.

A Mindful Reset: Set yourself up to de-germ when you watch TV later.

The next chance you get, I want you to leave your disinfecting supplies—like your wipes, or a bottle of rubbing alcohol with some pads and swabs—out on the coffee table. The next time you settle in to watch a show or movie, you can multitask and get some de-germing done while you watch. If you have space to keep a disinfecting kit in the living room permanently (maybe in a box on your coffee table?), even better. Try to make it a habit to do this once a month, or even once a week during a particular show.

Visit the Spring Cleaning for Your Mood page to check out all the assignments so far. Download the PDF calendar so you always know what’s coming. And sign up with your email so you’re always on track: