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How to Clean and Sanitize your Computer and Mouse

11 May 2021

It's something we've all been hearing a lot about lately. The key to maintaining cleanliness and preventing the spread of various toxins is to ensure that the things with which your hands come into contact are clean and sanitized. Students come into contact with multiple surfaces in the classroom daily, and many all-purpose cleaners work well for them. The same is true for those who have returned to the offices for work.

Our devices get coated in dirt and grime from time to time, and we must disinfect them or risk exposing ourselves to dangerous germs and bacteria. Fortunately, there are several methods for cleaning them, and if you know the ones to use, you will work in peace and comfort, ensuring your machines are safe. Many people are curious about the best ways for schools and offices to clean their devices to share the knowledge with families who care for devices at home.

The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting devices such as laptops, mice, keyboards, touch screens, and remote controls according to the manufacturer's instructions. If there is no instruction, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing a 70/30 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. Dry the surface thoroughly, and think of putting a wipeable cover on all electronics.

Transform habits to best practices

There are a few things you can do daily to enjoy cleaner electronics. 

● When washing and disinfecting surfaces, use disposable latex gloves (or nitrile gloves if you are latex-sensitive). If you come into contact with some chemicals, wash your hands thoroughly.

● Do cleaning every 3-6 months or as required.

● Once a week, clean your devices. Businesses that use shared devices must clean their input devices weekly.

● Also, clean the area around your computers. Cleaning and disinfecting your desk regularly will help minimize germs and bacteria spread into your computers.

● Use gentle disinfectants and diluted alcohol to clean and disinfect your devices. When cleaning your input devices, avoid using harsh chemicals; doing so would only harm them.

● Unless otherwise noted for a particular purpose, keep liquids away from the product.

● Use microfiber cloths designed for cleaning electronics to clean your devices. These ultra-soft fabrics will not scratch your gadgets and will attract more dirt or moisture than most fabrics.

Before cleaning your computers

Besides wanting our devices safe for use, there are helpful recommendations that we can keep in mind when cleaning and sanitizing our gadgets.

● When cleaning electronics, always unplug and turn it off. Remove all external power sources, computers, and wires, and batteries from products such as wireless keyboards. Never clean a product that is either turned on or plugged in. Remove all external equipment.

● Never use liquids on the unit. To avoid injury, add the liquid to a cloth and wring out any excess. No moisture should enter any openings.

● When disinfecting, avoid using abrasive materials, sheets, paper towels, or similar items; instead, use a natural fiber or microfiber cloth to prevent scratching or streaking. Avoid over-wiping, which can also cause damage.

● When cleaning your computer, remember to disinfect any flexible cables, such as power, keyboard, and USB cables. After cleaning, surfaces must be thoroughly air-dried before turning on the unit. Until the product is turned on or plugged in, no moisture should be visible on its surfaces.

How to clean your keyboard

Germs can live on and under the keys of your keyboard for various reasons, including unwashed hands, dust, hair, crumbs, and other food particles. As a result, cleaning your keyboard regularly is one of the most practical ways to keep your office tidy. Here are some tips:

● Keep your keyboard upside down and gently shake it to release large pieces of dirt. Remove any debris or dust that has become lodged under the keys with an air spray. Air spray is available at most office supplies stores. 

● Delete any keys only if broken. If you want to be extra gentle, you can clean each key individually with a cleaner.

● Spray a microfiber cloth with 75% strong alcohol or a mild disinfectant. Gently wipe your keyboard. Never pour disinfectant or diluted alcohol directly onto it. Moisture entering the interior of an electronic device will cause it to fail. 

● To clear dust from vents, fans, and under the keys on your keyboard, use a can of compressed air. Hold the compressed air upright and blast out the dust with quick bursts of air.

How to clean your mouse

Cleaning your mouse is pretty easy to do. Keep away from using harsh chemicals as that may cause damage to their finish. Below are some easy steps:

● If you are using a wired mouse, unplug it from your computer first. On the other hand, turn off the wireless mouse using the power switch located underneath it.

● You should spray a microfiber fabric with diluted alcohol or a mild detergent. If you choose to use diluted alcohol, pick 75% alcohol by volume, or mix three cups of alcohol with one cup of water.

● Examine the sensor with a light source to see if it collected any dust or debris. If it has, gently cleans it with the edge of the microfiber fabric. If you push the fabric into the sensor, it may cause damage.

● Do not forget to wipe your mouse pad as well.

Now that you have cleaned your computer and mouse, you might as well do the same for your desk and your chair.

Cleaning your desk

● Begin by collecting any garbage and recyclables and depositing them in the appropriate bins. Examine piles of paper for something too valuable to throw away, and shred anything sensitive.

● Take everything off your desk so that you can comfortably access every inch of surface space. Place everything in a nearby pile and arrange or discard the things as you return them to the desk.

● The most frequently used office appliances and paraphernalia should be thoroughly cleaned with alcohol-based and/or antibacterial disinfectant wipes.

● Next, move on to the things on your desk that you are less likely to hit. Be sure to clean both sides of each object and let them dry for five minutes before rearranging them on the desk.

● Wipe down any surface on your desk with a dry cloth to clean any dust that has accumulated. After that, you may use disinfectant wipes to clean the entire surface, paying particular attention to the sections of the desk that you touch the most, such as the desk edges and the areas surrounding the keyboard.

Cleaning your office chair

● The best way to clean your chair depends on the fabric. Check the laundry tag—which is regularly stitched into the underside of the seat—for cleaning directions and suggestions about what items to use to remove stains.

● If you can clean your chair with water-based items, vacuum it first to remove any loose dirt and debris before combining a solution of mild dish soap and warm water. Do a spot test on an unnoticeable area of the fabric, and before proceeding, inspect for any discoloration or damage to the cloth once it's dry. 

● Use a water-free substance or advanced dry-cleaning solvent on a chair labeled dry-clean only.

After you've finished cleaning up your workspace, the fresh look can lead you to forget that your office desk is a bed of microbes, often housing disease-causing organisms. As a result, cleaning your usual devices regularly is critical, particularly now that we have the coronavirus. You can give your workspace the needed cleanliness boost by using the easy cleaning procedures described above.