Despite promises of a future where you only have to speak, wave or think at a gadget to make it work, for now you almost always have to touch a screen, button, keyboard or mouse. That means in short order your gadgets can collect oily fingerprints, dead skin, makeup, hair, food residue, saliva, dust and any number of other gross things.
It isn't just the gross factor, either. Dust, dirt and other contaminants can clog up gadgets, especially computers. This leads to overheating, which can slow down your electronics or cause permanent damage. But that's not the end of it.
Don't forget flu and allergy seasons. Dirty electronics are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria - especially if you share a gadget with kids. And when you're out and about, pollen can stick to a messy gadget and travel indoors with you.
Have we totally grossed you out yet? Good. Before you dunk your gadgets in boiling water, though, we're going to tell you how to clean them without ruining them.
Whether you're trying to clean a computer, smartphone, tablet, HDTV or any tech gadget, you just need to follow a few easy steps. Reminder: Whenever you're cleaning a gadget, make sure it's turned off and unplugged (the exception being a computer, as we'll explain in bit).