CLEANING RULES FOR TRICKY OBJECTS

Glasses In Hand

There are some things that cannot be cleaned the same as other, often ironically similar, objects. Glasses need to not get scratched as you wipe, and can have layers covering them that need to to not interact with any harsh chemicals that might destroy them. Tech screens shouldn’t be cleaned while they’re still on. But never fear, things aren’t so complicated. If you take note of a few more general rules and stock up on these cleaning items, you should be able to safely clean, without damaging, anything unusual that comes your way.

Tech

Laptops, phones, iPads and more. We live in a world of screens and tech and yet most people don’t know the first thing about cleaning them safely. Or that regularly cleaning them is a must.

There are two basic rules to keep in mind.

Firstly, tech doesn’t like water to get inside, as that fries it. So, you need to avoid anything soaked in water getting near any screens or keyboards. Especially inside any cracks, into the hardware inside.

Secondly, screens don’t like getting scratched or being cleaned while still powered on. These days they are quite durable, but should still be careful with how rough a cloth or how harsh a chemical you use are.

So, generally, to clean a laptop or phone, use a microfibre cloth (sold in most supermarkets). Avoid using general household spray cleaners – use a dry microfibre cloth to capture dust and general dirt (it will capture it fine even though dry).

And for when there are smudges and dried liquids on the screen use a microfibre cloth dipped in a 50:50 solution of isopropyl alcohol diluted with water. That’s 50% isopropyl alcohol with 50% water, very small amounts, wringing out any extra liquid out of the cloth before applying. The cloth must not be dripping.

Allow everything to fully dry before putting it away/closing the laptop lid.

Glasses

Cleaning glasses with water is a no go. Most of the time, what gets onto the lens of the glasses are oils from our face or fingers – and these only get smudged and left on the lens if you rub at it with just water.

Moreover, glasses can get scratched, so, same as tech screens, it is recommended to clean it with a microfibre cloth. Usually there is a small, very soft microfibre cloth added to the glasses case when you first buy a pair of new glasses. Use this, or the microfibre cloths bought in the supermarket if you don’t have it at hand.

Unlike tech screens however, normal glasses don’t do too badly with household cleaners – provided that they don’t have any kind of coatings on them. Normal glasses can do fine with being sprayed with a little bit of general household glass and window cleaner and rubbed with a microfibre cloth.

Whereas ‘chameleon’, ‘tinting’ or ‘transition’ glasses; glasses that change to sunglasses when exposed to sunshine, have a coating that gets damaged if exposed to harsh chemicals, such as alcohol or ammonia. You cannot use the isopropyl alcohol and water solution mentioned earlier for tech screens to clean these. Or alcohol wipes or alcohol-based household cleaners.

Instead, it is recommended that you either invest in alcohol-free spray cleaner for them, or use a mixture of alcohol-free hand soap mixed with water. But take care to wash off the soap fully, as leftover soap residue can leave streaks and smudges on your glasses’ lenses once they’re dry.

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