Coronavirus: how to clean your phone and computer properly

April 2020

If someone asked you what the dirtiest item in your everyday life is, what would you say? Your toilet seat? Your doormat? Your colleagues’ hands? Yes, these are all pretty dirty, but the worst offender is actually your computer keyboard. According to a study by the University of Arizona, your keyboard harbours 400 times more bacteria than your toilet. Your phone screen is also a dirty place, although less so than your keyboard. If you’re not careful, these bacteria can cause a whole range of infections, so, given the coronavirus pandemic, it would be a good idea to clean things up.

How do bacteria end up on your keyboard?

Most of the bacteria found by researchers tend to live on human bodies: on our skin, in our mouths and in our noses. This means it’s likely that most of the bacteria that have decided to set up camp on your keyboard have come from your hands. So, the first precaution you should take is to wash your hands for 20 seconds and encourage other people to do the same. Oh, and don’t eat at your computer.

Most of these bacteria aren’t dangerous (luckily, or we’d spend our lives in hospital). But it’s still worth taking a few simple steps to avoid them, especially if you share a computer with others, who may be ill.

How to clean your computer keyboard

  1. Turn off and unplug your computer.
  2. Turn over the keyboard to tip out the grime that builds up between the keys.
  3. Dampen a cotton bud with water or 70% rubbing alcohol, making sure it’s not too wet. Then use it to clean the areas between the keys.
  4. Dampen a lint-free cloth with your choice of cleaning product and wipe it over the rest of the keyboard (again making sure the cloth’s not too wet).

How to clean your phone

  1. Unplug any cables and turn off your phone before you clean it.
  2. Use a soft lint-free cloth (like one you would clean a pair of glasses with) and dampen it in warm soapy water. You can also use a 70% rubbing alcohol wipe to clean the screen, keyboard or any other external surface.
  3. Don’t get any liquid in the openings and obviously don’t submerge your phone in a cleaning product (we have to say this just to be sure).

By following these simple tips, you may get ill less often and improve your chances of avoiding the coronavirus. So, get cleaning!

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