Best practice guide for cleaning office electronics

Our personal computers, in particular keyboards/mouse can quickly become a breeding ground for germs. And while many of us are returning from working from home to an office setting, it’s important to regularly disinfect your high-touch technology equipment.

If you are the only person using your equipment, it should be cleaned weekly. If you are hotdesking or sharing with others, you should give things a clean at the end of every day. Germs and grime can live on hard surfaces with cold virus droplets remaining infectious for several hours and other viruses, such as the coronavirus, surviving for several days.

Here are instructions for thoroughly cleaning and sanitising your office equipment.

Wash your hands

We should be used to this one by now, but before you do anything, wash your hands well with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. You want to start your cleaning with clean hands.

Turn your device off

Whether you’re cleaning a monitor, keyboard, laptop or phone, turn your device off before you begin cleaning. A black screen will help you to see smudges and turning off the power will reduce your chance of getting an accidental zap.

Dust and clean first, sanitise second

Remove dust and dirt from your equipment. If cleaning a monitor or phone screen, use a soft microfibre cloth like the type you use to clean eye glasses. Don’t use rags or paper towels as these may scratch your monitor which is more delicate than it looks. For removing crumbs and dirt between keys on your keyboard or landline phone dial pad use a can of compressed air, held around 10cm away. If you have earphones with built up grime, some blu-tack will help to pick up stubborn dirt on the mesh.

Go gentle on your monitor

Surface cleaners such as Windex have harsh chemicals that can wear away at the protective coating on computer monitors. To clean your computer screen, mix a water, ideally distilled, with a little vinegar (2:1 water to vinegar). Don’t spray it onto your monitor, in case it gets drips that go into your electronics, instead spray or dab it onto your soft microfibre cloth and gently wipe down your screen. Don’t press down too firmly so you avoid damaging pixels.

Sanitise

Wipe all high-touch hard surfaces with either antibacterial wipes or a soft cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Never use bleach to clean electronics as it may damage the surface. To get into small areas, use a cotton bud dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to wipe down your mouse, headphones, phone, keyboard and any other equipment you use regularly. Leave them to air dry.

Clean your surfaces

Once your devices are clean, move them all out of the way and give your desk a good clean and sanitise. Let the surface airdry before returning your devices back.

 

Everyone knows they should take better care of their electronics, especially the ones we touch every day. Getting into some good cleaning habits will help stop the spread of germs and increase the life of your devices.

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