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This 20-in-1 accessory kit is my new favorite tech essential (and it's only $12)

For less money than a phone case, this multifaceted tool kit can keep your handset, earbuds, laptop, and more clean and pristine.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
20-in-1 gadget cleaning tool
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • I tested a 20-in-1 gadget cleaning tool, which is available from Amazon for $12.
  • The kit is compact, the components are all quality items that can be reused many times, and the kit contains a variety of brushes and cleaners.
  • A larger container for lens cleaning fluid would have been useful.

I dare you to take a close look at your keyboard. If it's like mine, or the systems I find myself pawing, then it's going to be a dirt, hair and crumb-filled apocalypse. I've only had my new MacBook Pro for a few weeks, and it's already starting to look disgusting, especially when I take it outdoors and look at it from under the sun.

Now, I don't recommend that you pull out your household vacuum cleaner and start prodding that into your keyboard or other orifices on your system as this can suck up keys off the keyboard and damage fans inside the system.

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A 'tool' that I've been using to clean my keyboard has been cleaning slime. It's quite useful for picking up the worst of the debris, but I've come across people using it wrong -- smashing it into their keyboards and shoveling it into even holes in a system. Also, I've noticed that some of them can leave a slight oily residue and that itself goes on to attract more dirt.

A few weeks ago, I tried a new tool -- a 20-in-1 cleaning kit -- and after using it to give several systems a spring clean, I'm very impressed by it. And it's not just for desktop and laptop systems, it's also great for cleaning smartphones, tablets, and even scummy earbuds! 

View at Amazon

What's included with the kit

  • Retractable keyboard brush 
  • Earbud cleaner pen
  • Flocking sponge
  • Mini soft brush
  • Lens brush
  • Brush handle extension
  • Earphone case cleaning brush
  • Camera brush
  • Screen cleaner spray
  • Microfiber fiber disc
  • Keycap puller
  • Key switch shaft puller
  • Air blower (with nozzle extensions)
  • Dual head brush (hard and soft bristle brush
  • SIM card eject tool

I've had brushes and blowers before, but never a kit that went together as neatly as this. This is perfect for keeping in a desk drawer, throwing into a laptop bag, or storing as a backup in a portable repair kit.

The big, retractable brush is perfect for getting the dust and debris out of keyboards

The big, retractable brush is perfect for getting the dust and debris out of keyboards

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The holder keeps everything from spilling all over the place, which for someone clumsy and careless like me, is a big win. 

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The contents of the kit are also surprisingly good quality. Everything is well made and durable, and the brushes don't shed bristles as they're being used, which I really like, because having to fish out bristles that have fallen off a brush you're using to clean something is frustrating.

The kit contains a bunch of brushes

The kit contains a bunch of brushes

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The kit also contains a small bottle of lens cleaning spray, which seems to do a good job, and once the bottle is empty, it can be opened and refilled.

Lens cleaning spray

Lens cleaning spray

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And, best of all, this kit is under $12. For that price you're getting something that's definitely reusable; I've used it to clean a handful of systems, as well as a bunch of smartphones, tablets, and manky earbuds, and the kit is still going strong. 

ZDNET's buying advice

I have to admit that for a little over $10, I was more than a little skeptical about the quality of the items in this kit, but after using the 20-in-1 kit for a few weeks, I'm now convinced that this is a great buy for anyone who wants a convenient, easy-to-carry cleaning kit for anything from keyboards to smartphones. 

I now own three of them. I have one in my laptop bag, one on my desk, and another tucked away in my portable repair kit. You could probably benefit from one too.

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