Stop touching your keyboard with greasy hands.
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I’m going to be candid with you all for a second—I cannot remember the last recipe I printed at home. After I’ve fastidiously scoured the internet for inspiration and just the recipe that I’m wanting to make, you better believe that I march myself into the kitchen, laptop and all, and start to cook. Dad, if you are reading this, I am so sorry. I know that electronics are expensive and that we need to treat such items with love and respect in order to keep them in tip-top shape for as long as possible.

That said, it’s so much easier to reference an open computer screen than go through the trouble of printing it out (writing this out has made me realize how lazy I actually sound). I tell myself that I am doing the right thing because this saves paper, therefore making me a loving human who cares about the environment. Anyway, if you’re going to have your precious laptop out during your next cooking bout (just admit it, we all do it), here are a few crucial things to keep in mind so that you don’t completely destroy such a prized possession.

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Give it Some Space

Regardless of what you’re cooking, your laptop should never be encroaching on your workspace. Whether it’s raw meat, liquid, fresh herbs, flour, minced garlic, or literally anything you might be working with, you definitely do not want said items to find their way onto your keyboard. Place it on the other side of the kitchen from where you’re working, or if you have an elevated counterspace, put it there. Not to mention, if you’re chopping dangerously close to your screen, all it takes is one offbeat cutting motion to get a nice whack at your machinery, and I promise you, that is not going to be a fun discussion to have at the Apple store.

Stay Far, Far Away From the Sink

I’m no technology nerd, but I can say with confidence that water and electronics are an extremely bad combination. A person who prefers to wash their dishes with their laptop in a 3 foot radius is probably also a person who enjoys lighting enormous wads of cash on fire so they can watch it burn. Seriously, let’s use some common sense here and keep the laptop out of reach of anything wet.

Wash and Dry Your Hands

As tempting as it may be to lift your hands out of the bowl that you’ve just mixed together your raw meatball mixture in order to quickly double check the recipe—DON’T. That raw ground turkey is not going to age well on your keypad, touchpad, or any surface of your laptop. It’s helpful to zoom out of the recipe so that you don’t need to be constantly scrolling and can look at the recipe hands-free. If you absolutely need to touch your keypad, wash your hands, dry them, and do not even think about laying a fingerpad on your computer until you are positive that you are not contaminating your electronics—do you hear me?

Protect Thy Keyboard

If you just can’t help yourself from heading to Google with all of your cooking inquiries and perusing the Internet while you cook, your computer will be much better off if you lay a sheet of plastic wrap or a gallon size zip-top bag over your keyboard so that when you do start typing, you won’t get crumbs and such all over. You can even go ahead and invest in a keyboard cover if you know that you’re a messy cook.

Just Print the Dang Recipe

I am talking out of my a** right now, because this is not a thing that I do. However, if you’re a cook that relies on consistently referencing the recipe and maybe even jotting down a few notes from time to time, then it’s going to be worth your while to head to the printer and get the recipe on paper. It’s an extra step to getting dinner on the table, but your laptop will surely thank you.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane