Oops! and other @%^# fixes children should learn…

Got Crumbs in Your Keyboard?

Since we all have to eat and we all have to work, it’s inevitable that occasionally our mobile phones and laptops will get mixed up with our coffee and snacks. The next time that happens, don’t spend 30 minutes on hold with customer support in some distant land. Be your own IT department:

Oops: Your keyboard is crumby
Invert your laptop and let the chips fall as they may. Resist the urge to shake it, though. That can disrupt internal components. For the gunk that remains, lightly moisten a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and swab between the keys. Or buy an inexpensive can of compressed air and blast away. (It’s fun!)

Oops: You spilled coffee on your smart-phone (or keyboard)
Turn the phone off and remove the SIM card and battery immediately. Now, the fun part. This is going to sound crazy, but try burying the drenched phone in uncooked rice for a few days – it can actually resuscitate it. The rice absorbs moisture. (Just never use a hair dryer or – heaven help you – a microwave.) If your keyboard took the hit, leave it upside down overnight to drip dry.

Oops: You got cream cheese on your touchscreen
Glass cleaner and a paper towel – or worse, your breath and a napkin – won’t do. These approaches can scratch, and the alcohol and ammonia commercial cleaners contain can yellow screens. Instead, buy a bottle of inexpensive LCD cleaning solution that’s alcohol free. Use a non-abrasive cloth, like the one your expensive glasses came with.

Oops: You gunked up your camera phone lens
Inspect it in sunlight to be sure there are no solid particles that could scratch the lens. If you see any specks, take it to a camera shop for cleaning. If the lens is particle-free, spray it with an alcohol-based cleaning solution and lightly wipe with a non-abrasive cloth. Re-inspect in sunlight then take a self-portrait as a test.