Your tech products are probably some of your most-frequently-used items. After all, how often do you not have your smart phone, tablet, or computer on you? But cleaning these devices isn’t as cut and dry as, say, your countertops — so make sure you avoid these mistakes when caring for them:

1 You spray or wipe screens with cleaner.

Whatever you do, don’t apply cleaning liquid directly to the surfaces of your tech items or you might ruin the picture. Instead, use a microfibre cloth to tackle sensitive LCD, plasma, or rear-projection screens and spot-clean smudges with a pre-moistened wipe specifically designed for electronics.

2 You forget to tap crumbs out of crevices.

If you eat lunch at your desk, listen up. The next time you disinfect your keyboard, turn it over and tap out food crumbs first to prevent an even bigger mess — i.e. wetcrumbs. This advice also goes for food gadgets, like your toaster.

3You don’t clean blades separately.

‘People don’t know they need to take the blade out and clean it,’ says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Why is it so important? It helps prevent gunk build-up. So after making your morning smoothie, wash your blade separately with warm water and soap — same goes for food processors and electric can openers.

4You ignore the germy nature of remotes.

Think about it: They’re handled by just about everyone in your home — and often. Give yours some love with a disinfectant wipe at least once a week.

5 You fail to tackle removable parts.

Many people don’t know that most ear buds have removable tops — but now that you do, there’s no excuse! ‘Wash it with mild detergent and water and make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry before putting them back,’ says Carolyn.

6You store wet items in the dark.

By stashing a drippy brush in a dark medicine cabinet, you’re preventing it from fully drying, resulting in an environment that breeds nasty bacteria! Instead, keep it out (and close the toilet lid before you flush).

7You only think about the surface.

…meaning dust and smudges. Sure, those might be the most pressing issues for your eyes, but when it comes to kitchen appliances, the inside is where flavours can get warped. Blow out grounds from your coffee grinder after every use and descale your coffeemaker every month.

8You plug devices back in too quickly.

You want to restore your gadget to its rightful place ASAP. But for safety reasons, try not to be in such a rush. ‘You should wait about five minutes before plugging it back in,’ says Carolyn.