The coronavirus pandemic has us thinking more about handshakes and the outer packaging of our groceries than we ever did before. To stay safe and keep from spreading the virus, people are handwashing and disinfecting surfaces like they never have.
When it comes to electronics it can be more challenging. We touch things like keyboards, mice, and mobile devices all the time. But you can’t just use soap and water to clean them unless you want to end up needing urgent computer repairs.
How do you properly clean and disinfect electronic devices?
There are certain rules of thumb when it comes to sanitizing your devices, so you don’t harm them. These include things like staying away from bleach and not dunking them into a sanitizing solution.
Due to the findings on how long the original SARS-CoV and the new SARS-CoV-2 (aka novel coronavirus) can stay on surfaces, it’s smart to begin a regime of regular disinfecting of all those electronics that you touch regularly.
How long can the coronavirus last on surfaces?
- Plastic and stainless steel: up to 72 hours (3 days)
- Glass: up to 96 hours (4 days)
Read on for our Quantum PC tips on how to properly sanitize your electronics to keep them safe to touch.
What Not to Do When Sanitizing Electronics
We’ll start with warnings about what NOT to do when it comes to trying to clean and disinfect your mobile devices, keyboard, or mouse. You definitely don’t want to have a ruined device because you tried to clean it the wrong way.
Don’t Use Water
Moisture in most electronics is a big “No Go,” because the internal parts can be ruined. Just one drop of water on certain Mac keyboards can short out the entire thing.
Stay away from water, even when you are cleaning a mobile device that’s waterproof. There are better ways to sanitize it.
Don’t Use Bleach
Just the smell of bleach makes things smell clean and disinfected, but bleach is highly corrosive. You do not want to use it on any of your electronic devices.
Don’t Use Paper Towels or Rough Cloths
You want to use gentle cleaning tools, especially when cleaning screens. This prevents scratches and stops lint or small pieces of paper towel from being left behind in crevices.
The best cleaning cloth to use is a microfiber cloth. These are specifically designed to remove lint and not to scratch sensitive surfaces.
The Proper Way to Sanitize Your Electronics
Whether you’re cleaning a keyboard, smartphone, or computer mouse, you want to take similar steps to ensure you don’t harm your device. You also want to make sure you’re using something that is actually going to kill the coronavirus should any be hanging around on the surface.
You can employ these same tips for other often-touched electronics like remote controls and gaming controllers.
Step 1: Power Down and Unplug
You want to completely power down your device. Unplug it from the power source and turn it completely off.
For a computer mouse or keyboard, disconnect them from your computer.
If you’re cleaning a tablet or smartphone, remove it from the case, and clean both separately.
Step 2: Wipe & Remove Dust
Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the device. If you’re cleaning a mouse, laptop, or keyboard, use compressed air to clean any dirt from crevices.
Wipe carefully so you don’t end up popping a key off your keyboard or damaging a laptop screen.
Step 3: Sanitize Device with at Least 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
To properly kill any viruses that might be on your device, you want to use a solution that is a minimum of 70% isopropyl alcohol. This can be applied with a clean microfiber cloth, microfiber wands for keyboards, or using alcohol disinfecting wipes.
Why is alcohol better than water? Because it evaporates quickly, which avoids any moisture being left behind. It also sanitizes when used at the right concentration.
Apple specifically says that Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are okay to be used on their products over hard, non-porous surfaces.
You want to wipe in a circular motion, which is gentler than rubbing back and forth.
Wipe the device thoroughly and allow to dry for 30 seconds before doing anything else.
Step 4: Wipe, If Needed, and Return to Service
After 30 seconds, you can wipe dry (using a different clean microfiber cloth) any remaining alcohol residue that hasn’t already dried.
Then return your devices to service, putting phones back in cases, powering back up, etc.
The most important thing is to take your time with each step and don’t rush through them. This ensures both a thorough disinfecting and that your devices come through the cleaning without any problems.
Need Computer Help While at Home? Try Remote Support
Just because you’re “sheltering in place” doesn’t mean you have to struggle on your own with a computer issue. Quantum PC provides fast and effective remote tech support. No house call needed!
Contact us today to learn more. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.