Best Practice – Sanitising Electronic Devices

Computer keyboards and smartphone/tablet touchscreens are among the dirtiest surfaces we come into contact with on a day-to-day basis. We’re well aware of this as we carry out a PC or Mac repair in Auckland or even an iPhone screen replacement. This represents a health risk, not just to us but to everyone who uses the devices.

A university study carried out in 2008 found that some keyboards were actually dirtier than a toilet seat. A more recent study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Queen Mary University of London found that 92% of phones harboured bacteria, even though  95% of users said they regularly washed their hands thoroughly. One in six handsets were contaminated with Escherichia coli bacteria – this is the type of bacteria that leads to severe food poisoning.

Considering we carry out a wide range of repair and maintenance services on electronic devices, you won’t be surprised to read that we have put steps in place to sanitise each device as it is received, during service as it is being repaired by a technician, and before it is returned to the customer. Now that we are living through this COVID-19 era, we thought we’d share a few more tips to help you follow sanitary best practice with electronic devices, just like we do.

  • Before cleaning your electronic product, shut it down and disconnect it from the power adapter to avoid the risk of electric shock.
  • Carefully sanitise the keyboard, screen, touchpad, and mouse on a regular basis. Once a week is OK but once a day is better if you can find the time.
  • 70% Isopropyl alcohol solution (IPA) is recommended by most manufacturers as a suitable sanitiser.  You can source it from hardware/stationery stores and pharmacies.  Spray the IPA on to a microfibre cloth (e.g. Service Plus cloth) and then gently wipe the product, taking care to cover all surfaces.  Do not spray directly onto the device and avoid getting liquid into any of the openings.
  • Chlorox (or equivalent) wipes can also be used but NEVER use Chlorox liquid directly.
  • Never share Airpods or headphones as the risk of infection is very high, and these devices are difficult to keep in a perfect sanitary condition.
  • Avoid eating at your computer. Small particles of food and liquid can become lodged in the keyboard which will promote bacterial growth.
  • Avoid using the device in unsanitary areas.
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds using warm water and soap.  Dry thoroughly afterwards; do this before and after you use any electronic device.
  • Sanitise your device before and after sharing it with another person.
  • Do not use abrasive, caustic, acidic cleaners.
  • Never spray cleaner directly onto the device even if it is approved for the purpose. Spray it onto a cloth and then start cleaning.
  • Don’t clean the device with warm soapy suds or immerse it in any liquid.

COVID-19 has taught us a very important lesson about the safety of personal hygiene and we’d like to see that extend into the area of electronic devices. Keeping things clean is a big part of how we work and we’d like to see sanitary best practice followed in the nation’s homes and offices as well.