Home office gadgets that you need to be cleaning – including your smartphone and headphones

As we make a move to become a nation of home workers amid the coronavirus spread, there are certain gadgets in the home that we need to be cleaning but are probably not.

We are constantly glued to our phones and have our faces and fingers all over the touchscreen on an hourly basis, add in any tablets, and your computer keyboard and the germs quickly multiply.

There are four times as many germs found on a self-service touchscreen than on a toilet seat and according to research by tech company Katsus, 65 per cent of those they surveyed confessed that they never ever cleaned their phone.

Katsus revealed that touchscreens are a worry for many: “In a recent UK consumer survey from nano-technology company Kastus, over 70 per cent of respondents stated they were worried about using public touchscreens.

“Bank ATMs caused the most concern amongst respondents, with doctor’s surgery and hospital check in screens a close second. Fast food chain order screens, supermarket self-service tills and airport check-in kiosks were also identified as a concern.”

But in our own homes the top hotspots for bacteria according to Good Housekeeping include your smartphone, in-ear headphones and laptops.

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A dry microfibre cloth is the best method to keep your smartphone clean. Any liquid products used on your screen could damage it so by wiping it in a circular motion will get rid of any stubborn dirt and germs.

In-ear headphones

Good Housekeeping experts advise you to clean up your in-ear headphones because they have probably collected a lot of dirty ear wax.

Even more so if you’ve been sweating it out at the gym: “If your headphones have ear-tips and they're silicone, gently remove them and use warm soapy water and a clean cloth or cotton bud to clean them.

“Then leave them to dry thoroughly before refitting them. If the earbuds are made of foam, then just use a clean, damp cloth to wipe them, and then let them air dry. Don't use any soapy water.”

They also advise to gently clean any of the metal areas on the earpieces but not to let any water in.


You tend to handle your laptops more than you think, including probably sitting with them on your lap in front of the TV or watching Netflix while you’re in bed.

All sorts of grime and dirt gather on the surface of the keyboard, the screen and casing.

If dirt collects the keys they can get damaged and not work properly, so some advice to follow is clearing them out with a special keyboard brush, cotton wool bud or turn it upside down and gently tap to release.

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Then gently wipe the keys with a damp sponge of water – but squeeze it out until it’s almost dry! You can also use a pencil eraser to wipe away grime marks from inbetween your keys, if necessary you can remove your keys and clean underneath.

Invest in a good specialist screen spray and cloth to wipe your laptops and computer screens, and never use glass spray as it can damage the coating and leave streak marks.

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