Computer Handyman Tool Of The Moment: Sonic Scrubbers
Recently I was looking for a small powered detailing brush and unintentionally came across a tool that’s darned good for cleaning computer peripherals: Sonic Scrubber Pro Detailer. This can be found in Wal-Mart in the automotive section where the auto cleaning supplies are. Cost is 10 bucks. A pack of additional brushes + microfiber pads is another 10 bucks for a total $20 very well spent.
The Sonic Scrubbers cleaning kit is essentially a glorified electric toothbrush (but larger) with detachable brush heads. It operates on 4 AA batteries (included).
What makes this auto detailing kit so good for computer peripherals? The low-abrasive microfiber pads. You get four of them in the add-on brush kit and can optionally buy more if you need them (see third image above).
Similar to an electric toothbrush, the head oscillates back and forth rapidly, meaning it is not a rotating brush. With the microfiber pad attached, the Sonic Scrubber in essence becomes a miniature buffing tool. This can make very short work of standard cleaning tasks when it comes to computer peripherals – especially considering you can clean with this tool dry.
A few examples:
The way most people clean a computer mouse is with glass cleaner and paper towels. It’s an annoying chore because of the way the mouse is shaped. You run the risk of putting liquid inside and potentially damaging the electronics. The paper towel is also guaranteed to tear and catch itself on the edge of a mouse button.
Dry-buffing the mouse with the microfiber head will clean just about every spot on a mouse and do it in record time. Top, bottom, sides, all of it – no problem.
Keyboards on laptops are notoriously difficult to clean. In most instances you can never give the keyboard a thorough cleaning for fear of breaking off a key by mistake and/or wearing off the lettering.
Dry-buffing the keyboard with the Sonic Scrubber works beautifully. You can actually press the microfiber pad down while cleaning with no fear of damaging anything, allowing you to clean the top and sides of those short-profile keys. Because of the low-abrasive nature of the pad, it will not shave off any of the lettering on the keys either.
Important note: If key lettering on your laptop keyboard has already worn off somewhat from general use and standard cleaning you’ve done up to this point, the Sonic Scrubber won’t prevent it from becoming any worse.
Whether it’s a power button on a laptop, desktop PC or printer, indented buttons always have that inner ring you can never seem to get completely clean. Pressing in with the microfiber pad and turning inward gently and in circular motion will have that button and the inner ring spotless in no time.
Rear Card Slot Area
On the back of every desktop PC are slots for cards. A quick shot of compressed air will get rid of the dirt, but the corners always manage to stay musty unless you manually clean it by hand with a paper towel. The pad once again comes to the rescue here because you can easily get in the corners and make short work of any dust you find. In addition, if the dust is slightly caked, not to worry, you have harder brushes at the ready (the “cone” brush included with the add-on attachment kit works well here).
Which To Use – Blue Or White Pad?
Blue. The fabric on the pad is slightly more “crunched” compared to the white and doesn’t run the risk of leaving any tiny white particles behind.
Quick Questions Answered
Is it noisy?
Yes, it makes a somewhat harsh buzzing noise when in use. If you’ve ever used one of those cheap electric Crest toothbrushes, think of it like that noise chalked up a few decibels. It’s not ear-piercing loud, but definitely enough to be noticeable.
Can I use it wet if I need to?
Being it’s meant for use as an auto detailing brush, yes. You can wet the pad or brushes if you wish. And although its design suggests it would work even though fully immersed in water (the sleeve around it is a thick rubber with the battery compartment completely protected), I wouldn’t suggest doing that. In other words, don’t wash the Sonic Scrubber under a running faucet.
Should I use the brushes on my computer peripherals?
Most of the time that answer would be a no because the bristles on the brushes are much more abrasive compared to the pads. Using the brushes on things like keyboards and mice are a bad idea. However for cleaning non-conductive metal components (like the slots in the back of a PC where cards go) that you don’t mind getting slightly scratched up because no one will see it, that’s fine.
Should I use it on my computer monitor’s screen?
Absolutely not. The pad although very low-abrasive will put scratches on an LCD screen, matte or gloss.
How long can I use the Sonic Scrubber before replacing batteries?
The designers smartly went with the decision to power it using 4 AA batteries instead of two. Realistically speaking it should take you a good long while to wear down the batteries before having to replace them.