Coronavirus: Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Electronics

Now a pandemic, the coronavirus is currently spreading around the world and causing alarm across the globe.  According to the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses, are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain first identified in China. The virus is spread from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other. This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets.  When an individual sneezes or coughs, droplets of fluid from your nose and mouth are sent out.  Those droplets may carry infections, and when they enter other persons’ eyes, nose or mouth, the infection can make them sick.

Tests by the United States government and other scientists suggest that the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days in the air and on surfaces. There is no cure for the coronavirus at this time. There is no vaccine and it could take a year or more before one is ready to be deployed.

Cleaning of electronics followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of the virus, especially during its outbreak.  TeamLogic IT Plano has some helpful information and tips below to alleviate some of this anxiety.

  • What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities from an object or environment.  Cleaning does not kill germs, but my removing them, it minimizes their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting is the process of cleaning, especially with a chemical, in order to destroy bacteria on surfaces.  However, this process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing the bacteria on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

When taking into account how to clean and disinfect electronics, one should always check your manufacturer’s instructions first, as the use of some products is not advised.  If your device is damaged at some point because of veering from the manufacturer’s instructions, this could result in the nullification of any warranties you might have.

  • What electronics should be cleaned and disinfected to help keep your workplace clean and yourself healthy?

Keyboards.  Computer or laptop keyboards are some of the dirtiest pieces of equipment.  Since there are painted letters on many keyboards, one does not want them to fade.  It is wise to do a spot check first.  For removing dust and crumbs, utilize canned air.  Then lightly dab a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and clean any dirty areas.  Follow up by misting the keyboard with sanitizer aerosol and let dry completely. If unable to use the alcohol rub, then wet a microfiber cloth with warm water and a single drop of soap.  Remember do not saturate the cotton swab or the cloth for moisture may fall in between the keys.

Computer or laptop screens.  Even people who think they never touch their screen seem to end up either with smudges, smears and germs.  Avoid alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners because they may damage your screen by stripping off anti-reflective coatings. Use a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% white household vinegar.  Apply the liquid to a microfiber cloth and drip into the wipe the screen.  Do not saturate the cloth as it may drip down the edges or pool in the corners of the screen, and eventually get into the inside of the monitor.

Computer Mouse.  Since the mouse is handled as much as the keyboard, often others reaching over to grab the mouse without asking, contamination may occur. The mouse should be cleaned regularly and safely with sanitizer wipes.

Cell phones and tablets.  Rumor has it that an individual’s smartphone screen and tablet may have more bacteria than a toilet. Use a touchscreen safe antimicrobial spray onto a microfiber cloth and wipe down gently. Apple just updated its support page to indicate that you can clean the iPhone with 70% isopropyl wipes or Clorox disinfectant wipes.  Don’t forget that your tablet cover needs to be cleaned. This can easily be down with dish soap and a microfiber cloth.

USB Ports.  Dip a cotton swab or microfiber cloth into a bottle of rubbing alcohol and gently rub the USB port down.  Avoid saturating the swab or the cloth.

Phones and headsets.  Many are unaware that saliva regularly splatters off our lips as one speaks, getting spittle in the mouth piece of the headsets.  These pieces can all be cleaned with sanitizer wipes and compressed air.  When cleaning and disinfecting the phone, use the same precautions one takes with the keyboard as the numbers and lettering are painted on and may fade.  Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth and wipe down.  Spray with sanitizer aerosol and let dry completely.

While the novel coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people, touching infected surfaces can spread the virus, too.  Offices furnish hundreds of microscopic hiding places for viruses and bacteria.  As the world adjusts to the new reality of CoVid-19, as a pandemic, we at TeamLogic IT Plano hope that the tips presented here will help keep you safe and protected.

Businesses are disrupted during these uncertain times. Many businesses are taking safety precautions and providing their employees with options to work remotely. If you need help setting up Mobility options for your business please reach out to us.

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