Review: Toddy is a touchscreen's best friend

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- If you have anything with a touchscreen -- anything with a screen or lens, for that matter -- then there's something you'll want to add to your holiday wish list. A Toddy Smart Cloth.

If you've ever used a touchscreen, you know just how dirty they can get. Smudges. Fingerprints. Makeup and sweat in the case of phones. Those touchscreens can get pretty nasty in no time at all.

Sure, you can wipe said touchscreen on your pants, a common occurrence with phones (I used to do it all the time.), or grab a tissue, napkin or paper towel, but those methods aren't great, particularly in the long term. Not only do they simply smear the grime around, some fabrics can actually damage your touchscreen, especially if they're used repeatedly. And liquid cleaners? Bad idea. For many reasons.

So, what's the owner of a dirty gadget to do?

Todd Gabel (right), founder and CEO of Toddy Gear and self-proclaimed lover of gadgets, came up with the answer to that very question. The Toddy Smart Cloth is a double-side microfiber cloth with an antimicrobial coating. One side is a plush microfiber for cleaning. The other is a silk microfiber for buffing and polishing.

Toddy Gear sent me a Toddy Smart Cloth to try, and let me say, my gadgets haven't looked this good since I took them out of their boxes!

One of the great things about the Toddy Smart Cloth, and there are several, is that it's extremely easy to use and does not require any cleaning fluid that could potentially damage your devices. Just a swipe once or twice with the plush side and a buff with the silk side and your touchscreen or plain screen will be clean. Super clean. And in the case of a touchscreens, so shiny you could practically use is as a mirror.

When I used a Toddy Cloth on my personal Blackberry and the work iPad my colleagues and I share, there were no streaks or smears, and none of that filmy build-up that some cleaners can leave behind. The screens looked amazing -- like new. I took it home to use on my laptop, my camera and my TV and had flawless results each time. I even "Toddy'd" my Blackberry after using it while at the gym, when the screen was really gross. Swipe, swipe, buff and that grossness was gone.

Toddy Gear promises that its Smart Cloths will not scratch or otherwise damage your screens, lenses, glasses -- whatever you use it on. The cloth is optical grade, designed to be gentle on potentially delicate surfaces. Every screen I used it on looked perfect.

According to the Toddy Gear website, the cloths, which are hand-crafted, also carry an antimicrobial coating to help curtail the spread of bacteria and germs.

Another great thing about the Toddy Smart Cloth -- I did say there are several -- is that it's washable, which means it's reusable. Talk about cost effective. Just toss it in the washing machine and you're good to go.

“This past year we received immense positive feedback from our customers about how the Toddy Cloth really does help to color their world, while keeping their precious electronics dirt and smudge free,” Gabel said in a news release earlier this year. “We pride ourselves on being the first to offer consumers such a stylish and impeccable innovation, and want everyone to have the chance to experience the one-of-a-kind cleaning power of the Toddy.”

This next point applies to the ego. We all like to look good, right? Well, the Toddy Smart Cloth doesn't just work great, it looks great -- "a clever cloth with stunning looks," according to the company's website. They're not exaggerating.

The variety of colors and pattern is incredible. With more than 40 options, plus some special holiday designs, you're bound to find something that fits your personality. I actually had trouble narrowing it down when picking out a few for gifts. Yes, that's how much I love this innovative product. I not only bought one for myself, but I'm giving several as gifts. (Those of you who might be getting a holiday gift from me, please pretend you didn't read those last three sentences.)

Now it's time to talk about the bottom line. A 5-x-7 Toddy Smart Cloth runs $10, which is extremely reasonable in my most humble option. Remember, it's reusable and will last you quite some time, far longer than a packet of single-use disposable cloths. A Toddy three-pack will cost you $20, which is like getting one for free. A few of the designs are available in a square 9-x-9 cloth. Those are $13.

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking Santa might want to pick up a few for stocking stuffers, especially if his bag contains something with a screen or lens.

Toddy Smart Cloth is available online at and You also can find them at Target stores and

Note: While Toddy Gear did send me a sample to try, it had no influence on my review of the product. My opinions are my own.