January 16, 2021

Germs on Keyboards, Computer Mice, and Other Workplace Electronics

Employees are putting themselves at risk of illness by not frequently sanitising their household and workplace electronics, new research has revealed.

Media packaging provider Neo-Online investigated why we should be cleaning our electronics, how often we should be doing so, and the process we should be using to sanitise them. To gather expert insight, Neo-Online collaborated with Lisa Evans, spokesperson from MyJobQuote, Henry Paterson, Senior Operations Executive at Housekeep, and Lynsey Crombie, Queen of Clean:

  • Earphones should be cleaned once a week, or before each use if you take them out of the house. Cleaning with a cotton wool bud and disinfectant spray will keep any germs and bacteria away. Make sure to avoid spraying directly into the electrics and remove the earphones from any power source before cleaning
  • Headsets should be cleaned every two weeks, or before each use if you wear them 5 days a week for work purposes.  Using a disinfectant wipe when the headsets are not plugged in. Make sure to dry them efficiently before using.
  • Chargers should be cleaned every week. Wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe will prevent the build-up of germs around the household. It’s important to clean chargers when they’re not plugged in as you don’t want to get a nasty electric shock
  • •Mobile phones should be cleaned regularly – wipe down your phone screen and around your case at least once a day. You’ll want to remove your phone case and wipe the back of the phone every few days, as well as thoroughly cleaning the case. You probably won’t need to clean the ports out daily, but should do this once a week or so.

o When cleaning your phone screen, use a lint-free, soft cloth, and an alcohol wipe. Unplug all power sources and avoid getting moisture in any openings
o To clean your phone case, a disinfectant wipe will be fine. Remove the phone from the case before disinfecting and ensure the case is dry before putting the phone back in
o To clean your charging ports, use a toothpick, or a compressed air can. Don’t blow down them, as your breath holds a lot of moisture which could cause damage to your phone

• Computer mouse should be cleaned monthly at minimum if infrequently used, but before and after each use if excessive daily use

o Cleaning your mouse with an alcohol wipe will stop an accumulation of bacteria and germs. Wipe the underside of your mouse from dirt and debris, otherwise it can prevent your mouse from working efficiently too

  • Computer keyboard should be cleaned monthly at minimum if infrequently used, but before and after each use if excessive daily use.  You can do this by using a disinfectant wipe and sweep it over the keyboard gently. Make sure the keyboard isn’t plugged into a power source before doing this. You can then use a cotton bud to go in-between the keys and clear any debris

Thomas Jones, spokesperson from Neo-Online, commented:

“With ‘high-touch’ and ‘high traffic’ surfaces, which includes household electronics, cleaning if more important than ever. TV remotes and mobile phones are especially infamous to harbour germs, dirt and bacteria – mobile phones can become dirtier than your toilet seat!

“Many studies have shown that a variety of household items can carry viruses (including coronavirus, as well as cold and flu viruses), fungi, bacteria, mould and other microbial life forms – some living on these surfaces for as long as 72 hours! Once household electronics have become contaminated, the germs can linger for days, so it’s possible to fall ill or contract a nasty infection via contact with contaminated surfaces.

“It’s imperative these household electronic items are cleaned regularly, as well as practising good hygiene and social distancing – practice thorough hand-washing, and more regular cleaning of these items if they are taken out of the home or shared with others”.

For more information on the research, visit: https://www.neo-online.co.uk/articles/how-often-to-clean-your-entertainment-equipment/