Your PC, Mac or laptop should not just be cleaned, they should be disinfected. Access to computer devices by multiple users when they were sick, recovering from illness or have just acquired a communicable disease is trouble for all users during and after those instances.
Access to your computer by an infected person means your computer has become some kind of carrier for viruses and bacteria.
Will a keyboard disinfectant spray do the trick? If you think that only your keyboard should be disinfected because that is the only area accessed by the hands, think again. Think of how germs can travel from the keyboard to other parts of the computer faster than you type on the keys.
Be aware that the keyboard is not the only contact area. The monitor, wireless mouse and other input gadgets such as USB, track pads, headphones, microphones and speaker jacks should be disinfected as well since who’s to say that they are less germ-ridden than your keyboard?
Damp Does Not Translate to Wet
But hold your horses if you’re thinking “disinfect” refers to using bleach or general disinfectant sprays. There are some basic rules of cleaning the monitors of computers and laptops and they don’t include doing so with isopropyl alcohol, any other type of alcohol, chlorine- or ammonia-based cleaner specifically made for windows and glass, especially on LCD panels.
After turning off your PC or laptop, unplug it, remove the batteries in the case of laptops, and disconnect all external devices attached to it. Then carefully clear dust from the keyboard’s surface and monitor manually. Remember not to apply too much pressure on the keys when dusting off.
Proceed with cleaner and soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Damp is when you wring the cloth and no liquid comes out. Even just a small amount of liquid can seep into the nooks and crannies of the keyboard and cause the internal wiring to short-circuit.
“Contamination of Keyboards is Prevalent”
If you preferred disinfectant comes in spray form, remember that you should never spray directly on the laptop, Mac or PC since some liquid could readily drip inside the case or keyboard and trigger electric shock.
The same goes for the mouse. Use the keyboard disinfectant spray to spray the liquid on a soft, clean, lint-free cloth. Make sure that the liquid is sufficient enough to dampen the cloth. Use this to disinfect the keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc. Carefully dry the cleaned areas with another clean, lint-free soft cloth.
William A. Rutala, PhD. from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) Health Care System conducted a test in April 2006 that showed “microbial contamination of keyboards is prevalent and that keyboards may be successfully decontaminated with disinfectants.”
Rutala and his colleagues also wrote that a kind of routine disinfection procedure should be administered on computer keyboards which are in patient-care locations. Furthermore, Rutala advised on keyboard disinfection daily, an exercise, he said, that would be unnecessary if our hands were clean all the time.
Disinfecting the tiny crevices between the keys with a cotton swab is not advisable as the swab might have the tendency to shed. And don’t use the keyboard disinfectant spray on the swab either; use it on a soft cloth instead and carefully press on each key to clean it.