Did you know that a study from the University of Arizona found more germs per inch on a keyboard or a mouse than on a toilet seat? And not just a few more but many times more. Yuck!
Unfortunately most keyboards just don’t react well to a bath. Nor do they really react well to bleaching. And washing your hands after each and every time you touch your keyboard or mouse just isn’t practical. So what can you do? One recommendation is to wipe down your keyboard and mouse with commercial anti-bacterial computer spray or wipes. Instead of a commercial cleaner, you could even use something as simple as isopropyl alcohol or a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. (That’s a major part of what’s in a lot of the commercial cleaners anyway and it’s cheaper.)
Tips for wiping down your keyboard or mouse:
- It easier to wipe down the keyboard and mouse while the computer is turned off so you don’t have random keystrokes and mouse clicks doing strange things to your PC.
- Make sure that whatever you’re using isn’t too wet since both keyboards and mice don’t like when liquid gets down into their insides .
- If you’re using a spray, make sure to spray the cloth and not spray the keyboard or mouse directly.
- Don't use any anti-bacterial computer wipes or sprays on LCD monitors unless it specifically says it’s safe.
So how often should you wipe down your keyboard and mouse? I looked online and opinions on that differ. Most recommendations were for around once a week, though some recommended daily if there was a nasty illness going around the office. Just make sure you're not doing this so often you wipe the letters off of your keyboard.
*Personally, I inherited a canister of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes when I started at NFLS and use them regularly on my keyboard, mouse, and telephone. They are quick, easy, and not too wet. -John K