If you have headphones, you need to clean them every now and then. Picture: Pexels/Kaboompics
If you have headphones, you need to clean them every now and then. Picture: Pexels/Kaboompics

4 gadgets you should be cleaning ... but you probably aren't

By Nneka Jonas Time of article published Nov 12, 2020

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Do you ever think about how often you press your smartphone, plug in your headphones, or grab your laptop or tablet? If you do, you will probably realise these essential techie items gather grime and germs all day, every day.

Research has varied about how many germs are crawling on an average cell phone. However, recent research from tech company Kastus found smartphones carried a staggering 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

To get rid of germs and bacteria on your tech, follow these simple guidelines:

Smartphone and tablets

Don’t use cleaning fluids such as a window cleaning spray as this may damage any oleophobic coating on the screen that prevents fingerprints from showing up. Rather use a dry microfibre cloth to remove and retain dirt.

Wipe your screen in a circular motion to avoid scratching it. And don’t forget to clean your camera lens to avoid blurry pictures.


If you have in-ear headphones, you will need to clean them every now and then, especially if you use them while running or in a gym. If they sit in-ear, there’s a big chance oils, wax and sweat may be transferred to earbuds.

Do your headphones have ear-tips? Gently remove them and use a cotton bud to clean them. If your earphones are made of foam, simply use a clean, damp cloth. Wipe them and let them air dry. Don’t use soapy water.

If your headphones don't have ear tips, check the metal grilles on your earpieces. If they’re dirty, use a soft, dry toothbrush to remove the dirt. Also, if you notice your headphone cable looks a little dirty, dip a cloth in warm soapy water and slide it down the cable.


When it comes to your laptop, you won't have to do much cleaning. Just like your smartphone, it’s best to use a microfibre cloth on the lid and casing. For your keyboard, you can simply wipe it down with some disinfecting wipes.

Activity tracker

If you wear your fitness watch regularly, especially when you exercise, it probably gets sweaty and needs cleaning. Use a cloth that you’ve put in warm, soapy water, then wring it out and slide it down the strap of your gadget. Make sure you avoid the face or tracking element if your watch is not waterproof.

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