Tech Guide
Nov 22, 2009

How to: Spring-clean your tech toys

By: Yuki Hayashi

How to: Spring-clean your tech toys Author: Style At Home

Tech Guide
Nov 22, 2009

How to: Spring-clean your tech toys

By: Yuki Hayashi
Are you and your iPod joined at the hip? Is your Blackberry as familiar a sight on the dinner table as the salt and pepper shakers? If so, chances are you’re a major technophile. We Canadians love our mp3 players, laptops, smart phones and PDAs. So much so that the idea of losing or damaging them … hurts.

So if you can’t imagine life – let alone a week – without your top tech toys, read on to learn how to properly care for these objects of affection. Clean and protect them and they’ll provide you with many faithful years of service – or at least until you upgrade them for something better!

tech-iphone-550px.jpg
Tech toy: iPhone
How to care for it:

• Protect the surface with a clear “skin” and carry it in a hard-body case.
• Clean it with lint-free electronic wipes
• Detail around the speaker and mic. Check that debris isn’t clogging the speaker or mic holes. If it is, use compressed air and/or the teensiest-tiniest amount of rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip (think damp: not wet!) to clear debris.

Avoid:
• Keys! Even scratch-resistant screens are no match for keys in a purse or gym-bag pocket.
• Leaving it in heat, direct sun and extreme cold. Don’t abandon your iPhone in your car! blackberry.jpg

Tech toy: Blackberry or other smart phone
How to care for it:

• Carry it in a case, preferably hard body.
• Clean it with lint-free electronic wipes.
• Detail around the speaker, mic and buttons. Remove any debris or grime with compressed air and/or a bit of rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip (think damp: not wet!).

Avoid:
• Heat, direct sun, extreme cold – and metal keys!
• Toting it au naturel in your pocket or bag. Debris can clog buttons and keys, house keys can scratch the surface – or actually dislodge keyboard keys – and sitting on it can break the device. tech-ipodtouch-550.jpg
Tech toy: iPod or other mp3 player
How to care for it:

• Protect it in a slip or holder, unless you tote it (alone, not with coins or keys) in a dedicated pocket. Consider a protective skin if you have a larger screen model like an iPod Classic or iPod Touch.
• Clean it with lint-free electronic wipes. Use a Q-tip with just a tiny bit of alcohol (so it’s damp, not wet) around click-wheels or buttons.
• Charge it out of its case, to ensure air circulation and to avoid overheating.

Avoid:
• Tightly wrapping headphones or ear buds around the unit. This damages the wires.
• Leaving it in direct sun and extreme cold. home-stereo.jpg

Tech toy: Home stereo system
How to care for it:

• Clean the speakers using a dry, anti-static cloth (not the same wipes you use on your electronic gadgets or computer monitor).
• Clean the the CD player with a laser lens cleaning product and/or compressed air.
• Use a stylus cleaner if you’ve got a turntable.

Avoid:
• Setting speakers too close to one another or to other e-gear: the magnets can cause interference.
• Power surges. Use a surge protector whether your gear’s a bargain find or high-end. Those with higher-end equipment should consult with a store expert about what surge protector is best (some high-end types come with insurance). lcd-tv.jpg

Tech toy: Big-screen plasma or LCD TV
How to care for it:

• Turn off the unit before cleaning. Avoid getting any moisture into the unit by spraying cleaner onto a lint-free cloth, not the actual TV.
• Clean with an ammonia-free agent (ie. no Windex!) and soft cloth. Paper towels and conventional electronic wipes can be too rough and damage the screen’s optic film. So opt for a dedicated LCD or plasma-screen cleaner.

Avoid:
• The dreaded “burn-in.” Less a problem in the latest models, you can avoid it by preventing bright, high-contrast, static images (such as station logos) from lingering on your screen, especially during its first 200 hours of operating time. So: if your station gets wonky, change the channel or turn the TV off! And if you need to leave the room, turn your show or movie off rather than pausing it.
• Overheating. Proper ventilation around the TV is key. If you wall-mount it or recess it, make sure it still has air circulation. If not, install a PC-cooling fan.

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Tech Guide

How to: Spring-clean your tech toys