How to safely clean and disinfect electronic devices
How to safely clean and disinfect your electronic devices (computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, monitors, smart-phones) without damaging them
Moisture and Electronics do not like each other and one can have a terminal effect on the other.
However, to effectively clean and disinfect surfaces, you need moisture, a disinfecting moisture, such as Alcohol or Bleach
Computers, Laptops, Keyboards, Mice, Smart-Phones, Telephones etc. when sneezed or coughed over can harbour viruses and germs for 2 to 3 days.
When devices are used by multiple people such as co-workers or family members these germs and viruses can be transmitted to others by them simply touching that device and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
It is important to regularly clean hard-surfaces, including computer and electronic devices on a daily basis as the latest research from the LiveScience website states than flu-like viruses survive on hard surfaces for 48 hrs and that the CORONAVIRUS (SARS-CoV-2) can live on surfaces for up to 3 days.
What to use to clean and disinfect Electronic devices
Here is the advice directly from the Apple website
Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces. source = https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172
Cleaning products containing Alcohol are preferred over other products because it quickly evaporates.
Too much moisture will damage equipment and too little is not effective, getting the correct amount and using the correct cleaning technique is vital.
Ideally use products containing a minimum of 70% Isopropyl alcohol such as the following:
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
Although Bleach or Chlorine based disinfectants can be used on most surfaces such as tables and door handles, only alcohol based cleaners and wipes are recommended for Electronic Equipment. There is a comprehensive guide issued by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) containing specific instructions on cleaning surfaces at home and at work. See Preventing COVID-19 Spread in communities
How to safely clean and disinfect a keyboard without damaging it
DO NOT SPRAY FLUID DIRECTLY ONTO A KEYBOARD or LAPTOP
If cleaning fluid gets under the keyboard keys, it can short-circuit the keyboard and render it unusable. Fortunately, a new wireless keyboard and mouse combo can be purchased for under $50.
However, If fluid gets under the keyboard of a laptop, it could short-circuit the whole laptop-computer which may render the laptop unusable and uneconomical to repair, so be very careful when using ANY fluid near any electronic device.
Firstly, power-off the computer or laptop.
Disconnect the keyboard from power by removing keyboard batteries (in the case of a wireless keyboard). Now, turn the keyboard over.
Or by disconnecting a wired-keyboard from the computer (USB Ports)
Trace keyboard and mouse wires back to the computer USB ports
Remove those wires, this then renders them disconnected and powerless
The keyboard now has no power and is safe to clean.
Spray a small amount of Alcohol onto a cloth
or use an Alcohol wipe
Hold keyboard upside-down and use cloth or wipe to clean keyboard
Leave keyboard for 5-10 minutes until completely dry, add back batteries (in case of wireless keyboard) or put USB cables back in same USB ports in computer and power up the computer or laptop. Now repeat the process for your mouse.
How to safely clean and disinfect a mouse without damaging it
Disconnect USB cable in case of Wired-mouse, or in case of wireless mouse, turn over and switch off
Or locate and remove batteries
Now clean using a cloth and alcohol spray or alcohol-wipes
Leave mouse for 5-10 minutes until completely dry, add back batteries (in case of wireless mouse) or put USB cables back in same USB ports in computer and power up the computer or laptop.
Bringing any fluids and electronic devices together is a risky business but easily done by being careful and using the correct techniques and cleaning materials.
However, the risk or spreading diseases, germs and viruses between you and others by NOT cleaning computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, monitors, smart-phones etc. is even riskier these days.
Need more help?
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