Electronic devices are at the centre of our modern lifestyle and they are also among the most touched items in any office or home. Keyboards, phones, tablets, remote controls, and computer mice, and even large items like the copy printer are touched constantly. In the time of COVID-19, you know what that means for workplace safety: All those items are going to need sanitisation on a regular basis to ensure that COVID doesn’t pass between one coworker and the next through contact with these devices.
But the real question is whether it’s safe to sanitise electronics at all. Your usual method may involve a sopping wet cloth soaked in sanitising solution, dunking items in sanitising solution, or covering surfaces with the solution. Your solution is quite likely a mixture of water and a harsh cleaning substance like bleach. None of these cleaning methods or solutions are safe for electronics. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
There are a few approved ways to clean electronics and even sanitise them without putting your devices or your staff at risk.
Isopropyl Alcohol or Glass Cleaner
The first and most important thing to know about cleaning electronics is that you need a non-water-based cleaning solution that evaporates very quickly. Your two best options are isopropyl alcohol (70-90%) and glass/multi-surface cleaner. Most wire-heads, those who build and maintain their own computers, rely on isopropyl as the safest way to clean electronics without getting them wet. However, glass cleaner is a great fallback.
If you use glass cleaner, be sure to check the bottle to confirm that it is a sanitising-strength solution. Disinfectant strength is good as well. Both iso and glass cleaner evaporate quickly off of surfaces while leaving them sanitised.
Spray the Cloth
Normally when sanitising, it’s practical to spray the surface to soaking then wipe away the excess. With electronics, this is a poor choice. The idea is to clean the surface without allowing any liquid (even fast-drying liquid) into the electronic components underneath the interface buttons and panels. The best way to do this is to spray the cloth, not the device.
Spray cleaner onto a paper towel or cleaning cloth until it is damp to the touch, but not dripping. Then wipe firmly, pressing down hard enough to clean all the buttons and the plastic surface plate between/beneath the buttons as well. Wipe down every surface, angle, and protrusion, using a combination of long swipes and circular detailed motions.
Turn the Device Off Before Cleaning
One thing about cleaning electronics is that you likely want your devices turned off and/or unplugged before you clean them Wiping down electronics thoroughly means using enough pressure to press the buttons. You can really mess up your settings, trigger processes, or type nonsense when trying to clean a device while it’s on and functioning.
So unplug keyboards, switch off phones, and pop the batteries out of remote controls before wiping them down.
Clean the Cables and Chargers
Don’t neglect the cables. Cables can pick up COVID-19 particles just like any other surface in the office, and we touch cables and chargers more than we realise. This is also best done with a damp sanitising cloth. For each device with a wired connection like wired mice and keyboards, unplug the device and wrap your cloth around the cable at one end. Then slowly pull the cable through until you sanitise the other end. Do this twice at different grip-rotations for each cable.
Devices with detachable chargers, like phones, should have their chargers and charging cables sanitised daily. Wipe down the USB end or power box along with the entire length of cable using a sanitiser-dampened cloth. Don’t skip the prongs or USB tip. Allow to dry completely before plugging back in.
Keeping the electronic devices in your workplace or home office clean can be a challenge if you don’t know the tricks. But really, all you need is isopropyl alcohol or glass cleaner, a spray bottle, and a cloth. With care, you can easily keep your entire office sanitised and safe without damaging the electronics you clean. Contact us for more sanitising insights or professional cleaning services!