These days, most of us are washing our hands obsessively and doing our best to stay safe. However, many are neglecting to clean their electronics, which are some of the dirtiest and most contaminated objects in our homes.
We touch our phones, computers, and other electronics hundreds of times per day, and we often don’t think twice about grabbing our phones after interacting with other potentially contaminated objects. What makes this so dangerous is that certain bacteria, like the coronavirus, may live on a surface for 72 hours or more.
Despite the dangers of contamination and bacteria’s longevity, 49% of Americans don’t disinfect their electronics daily, even after the COVID-19 outbreak. Many don’t even clean their devices annually.
While cleaning electronics is not the first thing we think of during a pandemic, it’s important to ensure that your phone does not transmit any bacteria to you or others. Here’s how to effectively clean each electronic device in your household.
How to Clean Your Phone
Phones are the easiest way for bacteria to spread as we pick up our devices thousands of times per day. You should disinfect your handheld device at least once per day.
Start by taking the case off and using a dry towel to wipe the case and the phone. Then use a sanitizing wipe or a microfiber towel to wipe off all surfaces, and combine one part alcohol and one part water to create an effective spray to clean the device. Make sure to avoid bleaches and abrasive materials so as not to accidentally damage the device, and use cotton swabs to get into the nooks and crannies.
Cleaning Your Keyboard
The average keyboard houses up to 3,543 colony forming units (CFU) per square inch, double the dirtiness of a public toilet seat. Keyboards are the most bacteria-ridden electronic item by far, so disinfecting yours is crucial to maintaining device cleanliness.
Consider using a small handheld vacuum to suck up larger particles and dirt, then clean the keys and surrounding areas with a disinfecting wipe or simple alcohol-based cleaning solution. The same rules apply as with cleansing a phone since you don’t want anything harmful going inside the keyboard.
Gaming Controllers and Cleanliness
Gaming devices are surprisingly the least bacteria-infested electronics, with only 8.12 CFU per square inch. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to be cleaned. Use a dry cloth to remove any visible particles, then disinfect with a damp cloth sprayed with an alcohol and water solution and use cotton swabs for buttons and edges.
How to Disinfect Your Desktop Monitor
To clean your monitor screen, use a damp microfiber cloth and an alcohol-based solution. Make sure to clean the back of the monitor a well as the screen. Don’t forget to clean the keyboard and trackpad or mouse that you’re using following similar procedures and guidelines as above.
Headphones and Earphones & Dirt
Since many of us use our earphones or headphones all the time, these small devices can also house considerable bacteria and overall dirt from being in our ears. To clean headphones, using a damp cloth with just water will be a great way to get rid of dust and grime. For earphones and other in-ear devices, use only dry materials such as small cloths or cotton swabs since water can damage the insides.
Our electronics are some of our most important and most-used belongings. Making sure to clean them properly and often enough is just as important as washing our hands, social distancing, and the many other precautions we’re currently taking. Use this visual from Panda Security to learn more about possible contamination on your device and how you should be cleaning it.