Tips for Cleaning
Computers and Electronics
Computers and Electronics in the Workplace
Not only does regular cleaning of your computer and electronics keep things in working order, but it can also reduce the number of germs that spread throughout the workplace via physical contact.
How Germs Are Passed Through the Workplace
Does everyone at your work sneeze into their elbow and away from other people? Chances are, you have seen at least one-person sneeze or cough directly into his or her hands and then proceed to type away on their laptop or open the door to the break room. Every time someone touches their face or picks their nose or sneezes near someone, germs are allowed to travel throughout the workplace. With the increased use of technology and electronics at most workplaces, electronics can be shared resources, passed among coworkers, which spread germs even quicker and farther than before. Now you don't just need human contact to get sick. Keyboards are electronics that are frequently touched by many people per day can be fraught with germs and bacteria.
The frequency of your electronic cleaning routines should depend on a number of factors, but as for germs, it should namely rely on how many people use or share these devices.
How to Clean Computers and Electronics Properly
There are a few things you should be conscious of when cleaning computers or electronics. Static electricity is probably the top thing to worry about when cleaning your electronics. To avoid damage to the computer (and yourself), unplug all cables of all electronics before cleaning and wait for them to dry completely before plugging them back in. The last thing you want to do is try to clean your computer and accidentally fry it from static electricity. You can avoid the embarrassment of damaging company property and voiding any warranties using these helpful cleaning
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How to Clean Your Computer
- Before cleaning computers, remember to first power them off to shut them down
- Wipe down the outside of the computer with a cloth. You can slightly dampen the cloth with water, but avoid using any strong cleaning products. If you have a computer case, make sure to wipe that down too, focusing on the ventilation slots to help encourage airflow and prevent your computer from overheating.
- Use Q-tips to collect dust and crumbs from crevices that are hard to reach.
- Only use microfiber cloths dampened with water to clean LCD and LED screens. Your generic paper towel, napkin, and even tissue is too rough and abrasive for computer screens and could scratch it.
- Clear vents of dust.
How to Clean Your Phone
- Turn off your phone before cleaning.
- Wipe down the entire phone using a water-dampened cloth.
- If necessary, use a bit of rubbing alcohol to dampen the cloth for the wipe down
Cleaning Office Electronics
Headphones / Earphones / Headsets:
These need to be cleaned regularly, especially if they are used by multiple people. Sharing headphones is a hotspot for germs to spread and even a way to spread head lice. Usually, a slightly damp cloth with warm water can be used to wipe these down. If the headphones have cushioned protectors, consider replacing these periodically. Earphones should only be cleaned using a microfiber cloth. If the earbuds contain waxy buildup, use some adhesive tape or putty, put pressure on to the area that contains wax and remove to see if the wax sticks to the adhesive.
Unplug or disconnect the computer keyboards before cleaning so you don't type any unintentional messages or commands. Besides a dampened cloth wipe down, a compressed air duster is a good cleaning technique that will use pressurized air to help get rid of any crumbs, dust or other debris that may have fallen between the keys. Many compressed air dusters come in cans that can be bought in bulk to save money. Use caution and be aware that the pressurized air could cause particles and debris to fly out and into your eyes. If you'd like to remove each key to clean beneath it, consider looking up your keyboard's brand and model-specific protocol for the removal and replacement of keys. Taking them off can be easy, but making sure to take them off carefully so you can put them back on is the harder part.
You should periodically be cleaning the underside of your mouse to avoid having any debris buildup near the sensor that prevents the mouse (and your cursor) to move in smooth movements. Computer mice also need a damp cloth wipe down to avoid germs from spreading. If you work on a laptop, remember to wipe down your trackpad.
A damp cloth wipe down on areas where there are buttons that are frequently pressed should be considered. Remember to not spray anything directly onto the printer.
This area is probably used frequently and a prime place for dirty fingerprints, smears, and germs. A wipe down is also good for this area. Make sure that you use a cloth that is suitable for cleaning electronics such as monitors to ensure that you don't scratch your scanner.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Computers or Cleaning Electronics
- This may be a given to some of you, but we recommend to never squirt, spray, or pour any liquid directly onto the computer. The excess liquid could damage your electronics by causing a short circuit from the electricity conducted from the liquid.
- Avoid potent cleaning materials. Water should be sufficient in most cases. Some people in the workplace may be allergic to certain components of a disinfectant or cleaning solvent.
- Using a vacuum that is powered by electricity produces a large amount of static electricity that can damage your computer.
Last Minute Tips
- When in doubt whether to use a microfiber cloth or just a normal cotton one, use the microfiber cloth. It's best not to risk a scratch on your screen and go with the safer option.
- Clean shared electronics more frequently
All in all, the workplace is a fast and great place for germs to travel. Cleaning computers and electronics by periodically wiping them down creates a safe workplace by preventing the spreading of germs and dust accumulation.