What’s the most dirtiest thing you handle every day? You might be guessing your toilet seat or your door knob, right? Of course, you’re more likely not aware that the most germ-infested thing might be right at your finger tips — your computer. If you thought otherwise, then your computer’s keyboard hosts a colony of germs. Like seriously! The catch? How often do you clean yours?
Related media: How To Clean Your Mechanical Keyboard!
In The Hands Of The Beholder
Electronics don’t get along very well with detergents and water, and that’s why you unrated the fact that computers need some cleaning. Considering how often you used your computer devices, its pretty obvious that there are a lot of germs hiding in there somewhere. In a 2012 study from the University of Arizona, researchers found that the typical desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Like seriously, toilet seats are much more subtle than you thought.
“It’s one of the cleanest things you’ll run across in terms of micro-organisms,” says Dr. Chuck Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, in an interview with the BBC. “It’s our gold standard — there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs.”
That’s How Gross It Is
If that’s not gross enough, this might be. In a 2006 study at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital, researchers found that two drug-resistant (and deadly) bacteria: the vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, (MRSA) could survive up to 24 hours on a keyboard. Yet again another common, though quite less dangerous bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, could survive for an hour.
Obviously, the best remedy is to consistently wash your hand with soap and water before and after using your keyboard; or better yet still, clean your laptop or keyboard as often as possible, regardless. In a 2012 study of several university computers, microbiologists concluded that public keyboards and mice should be disinfected at least once a week. And in another 2006 study, researchers suggested that hospital workstations keyboards should be disinfected every single day. But if you’re the only one using your keyboard, you’re somewhat free from contracting germs, but you still need to clean up.
How Do I Clean My Keyboard?
Aforementioned, electronics don’t get along well with soap and water, so as recommended by the U.S. National Center for Health Research, here’s what you can do:
- First thing first, wash your hands before and after doing anything on your keyboard.
- Next, turn your keyboard upside down while shaking out any gross debris hiding out in those key crevices.
- Use a can of compressed air (if available) to help blow out stubborn debris stuck between the crevices.
- Use a dampen (not soaked-wet) cotton swab with water or isopropyl alcohol and dab between the crevices.
- Last but not least, use a dampen lint-free cloth and wipe down the rest of your keyboard.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Thu, May 15, 2019.