Think about all the “public” surfaces you touch on your way to work – railings, door handles, coins and tokens, cash machines, elevator buttons and more. Then, when you get to your destination, washing your hands probably isn’t the first thing you do. Instead, you probably grab a cup of coffee and turn on your computer. If you power up before you clean up, all the germs and bacteria that commuted with you are transferred from your hands to your work station. Ugh! And then, if someone else sits down at your computer, you’ve got all the germs that tagged along with them, too.
Computer and Electronics Cleaning
Before you begin, be sure the computer is off before you clean any part of it – keyboard, monitor screen, mouse, printer or housings. Also, never spray cleaner directly onto any part of the computer. Spray it onto a cloth, and then gently wipe.
- Keyboard: Clean the keys with a cleaning wipe or cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner. Be sure the keyboard is completely dry before reconnecting it or turning on the computer. To remove the dirt, dust and other debris that gets caught between the keys, turn it upside down and shake gently to dislodge the particles. An air duster is also a great aid in removing all these bits and pieces that get lodged inside the keyboard.
- Daily Clean - Most of us use our computers every day, so we’re constantly handling that mouse, which means that its surface is a breeding ground for all sorts of germs. A good habit, particularly in cold and flu season, is to give the mouse’s surface a daily cleaning. Spray a bit of antibacterial cleaner on a soft cloth or use an antibacterial wipe and gently clean the surface of the mouse. If you turn off your home or work computer overnight, make it a habit to clean the mouse before powering up in the morning.
- Deep Clean – Debris on the underside can affect the performance. If you have an optical mouse (beam of light to track movement), dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol, user your fingertips to remove any excess moisture from the bud, and then gently clean the area where the LED and lens are located. Using dry cotton swab, gently wipe over the area to make sure it’s dry. For a ball mouse (with a roller on the bottom), you may need to disassemble and clean with a microfiber cleaning cloth, making sure to remove all dust, hair and other debris. . Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If necessary, use a few shots of compressed gas to remove stubborn lint from the inside of the mouse.
- Mouse Pad: What’s the point of cleaning the mouse if it’s still picking up debris from a dirty mouse pad? Gently clean the pad, using a cloth dampened with an antibacterial spray cleaner. Let it dry thoroughly before setting the mouse back down on the pad.
- Monitor: Use a microfiber cloth, either dry or dampened with clean water, or a product specially formulated for computer screens. If you use anything else, you run the risk of damaging the screen. Check the manufacturer recommendations. Clean the monitor several times a week, as a dirty monitor can cause eyestrain.
- Surrounding surfaces (including computer housings and desktops): Since there are probably coffee and food stains lurking amidst the dust, use and all-purpose cleaner with a disinfectant.
- Printer: Consider how often you push the button on the printer and how seldom you think about cleaning it!
- Telephone: Even if you’re the only one using it, it’s still transmission central for germs and bacteria that cause ear, nose and eye infections. Clean it daily using a hard-surface disinfectant cleaner or a wipe.