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Reader Tech Question

Q: What is the best way to clean your iPhone or iPad?

A: Ah, the biggest (and most annoying) problem with touchscreens. So you got your new iPhone, iPad or tablet PC, totally sweet. The first thing you will notice is how cool you feel. The second thing you will notice is how quickly this thing gets covered with fingerprints, food particles and other smudges.

These things are designed to be touched all over, but lets face it, we all have some pretty dirty paws, don’t we? Just by operating your iPhone, iPad or tablet, you are getting it dirtier and dirtier. Plus, it really seems to keep the kids busy, but when they hand it back, your iPad is usually looking less than stellar.

If you are one of the few people that actually read the owners manual to completion, you will discover there are many common cleaners you should NOT use to clean the touch screen of your iPad or tablet PC. If you do not read these warnings, you can diminish sensitivity, mar up the screen or outright ruin the touchscreen on your fancy new device.

Many common cleaning tools and methods are forbidden when de-smudging a touchscreen. You don’t want to use anything abrasive, or anything with ammonia, and you really don’t want to get the surface too wet either. Put away your window cleaner and don’t use anything you have to spray on. Just because this thing is shiny like glass, does not mean you want to clean it like a window or mirror. If moisture gets in the cracks you will have a lovely looking paper weight, and if you are too rough on the touch screen surface, you will end up with a less sensitive interface, or one that no longer recognizes your touch at all.

The best thing is to go out and purchase a micro fibre cloth for the task. There are a variety of options available and they nearly guarantee to not ruin your tech savvy toy/business tool.

There are disposable wipes, but often times those run the risk of soaking your product and ruining them.

Another vital piece your phone and/or tablet should always, always, always (did I mention always) have a clear coat screen protector. It will prevent your screen from becoming cracked, scratched or bothered and most packs of protectors (many come with three) come with a small cloth to wipe away smudges. One suggestion I would recommend with these, ask the specialist at your phone store to put it on for you, they can be quite tricky and you don’t want your screen running around with air bubbles.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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