Of all the habits that you might be thinking of changing this January, cleaning your keyboard more regularly is probably not one. But it should be! It might not be as exciting as Dry January or signing up for a marathon, but it could change your life! So we want to share tips on how to clean your keyboard, how often it should be done and why it pays for an office to get IT kit routinely cleaned.
Why Clean IT Kit?
There’s one big reason – bacteria! Your keyboard and mouse are the top breeding grounds for bacteria on your desk. This kit is in constant contact with hands – both yours and those of other office staff. More and more people eat or snack at their desks and the detritus gets lodged in tiny crevices on a keyboard and mouse. So, you’ll probably agree – it gets pretty dirty. So to help prevent the spread of office illness, IT kit should be regularly cleaned.
But how regular is regular? Some advice from medical professionals suggests that a keyboard should be disinfected every day. This is probably unrealistic, so more often guidelines advise to wipe down your keyboard weekly. To be brutally honest, we’re not convinced that many organisations or individuals employ this habit, either. A basic wipe down is easy to include in your professional cleaning contract if employees are unlikely to stick to this commitment!
What constitutes a basic clean, then? And when does a ‘wipe down’ become a full clean? The key with any IT cleaning is to ensure that the equipment is turned off and unplugged prior to the clean. This means that the process is safe and won’t result in any accidental actions being implemented on the computer!
Your keyboard will be full of bits of dirt and crumbs which have fallen in between the keys. There are a few ways in which you can expel this debris. One is to turn your keyboard upside down and shake out the debris. Alternatively, you can use a pressurised air canister to blow the debris out. Or use a vacuum attachment to suck out the bits of dirt.
Clean on and around the keys with a swab dipped in either rubbing alcohol or anti-bacterial solution. Wring the cloth so that it is not dripping wet on the keyboard as you wipe. The solution should sterilise the surfaces but not soak them.
Allow the keyboard to fully dry before use. When undertaken at the end of a working day, the keyboard will be ready to be used at the start of the next working day.
As a more intermittent process, a deep clean of your keyboard can extend the life of the equipment and also deal with more hidden bacteria. Again, turn off and unplug before undertaking any IT cleaning process!
If possible, remove the keys with a blunt knife or flat-headed screwdriver. A good tip here is to take a photo of your keyboard before you do this so you replace the keys correctly! Clean the keys with dish soap in a colander or sieve. You can also remove the faceplate to either wipe with disinfectant or soapy water.
Once the keys and faceplate are removed, you can wipe down the interior of the keyboard with a swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or anti-bac solution. Do not soak the keyboard.
Allow the pieces of the keyboard to fully dry before reassembling. This can take a couple of days, so a good idea is to leave it over a weekend. You can then replace the faceplate and click back the keys ready for use.
Of course, there are occasions which require immediate action! Coffee spills being the most frequent. If you’ve spilled on a keyboard, immediately unplug the equipment and tip upside down to remove any excess liquid. Continue shaking until drops stop falling.
Use a lint free or microfibre cloth to wipe the keyboard dry. It’s important to hold the keyboard upside down during this process. Absorb as much liquid as possible before you turn the keyboard over.
Allow the keyboard to air dry for at least 24 hours. Again, make sure the keyboard remains upside down to further drain any moisture. Place a towel underneath it to soak up any liquid.
If your keyboard has survived the spill, you should undertake a disinfectant clean to remove stickiness.
Don’t Forget the Mouse!
A mouse gets just as grubby as a keyboard so is worth cleaning at the same time. You can clean a desk mouse in much the same way as your keyboard. For some types of mouse you can easily remove the top in order to clean underneath. Wipe with a swab dipped in anti-bag or rubbing alcohol. Use a cocktail stick to get into any tiny crevices.
Professional IT Cleaning
From daily cleaning to deep cleaning, there are many benefits that a professional cleaning contractor can offer. Hygienic IT equipment is vital in maintaining the health of your team. In turn, this prevents lost hours of productivity. And the well maintained IT equipment will work for longer, saving you costs in the long term.
There are lots of regular tasks which should be turned into habits in order to manage the hygiene of your office keyboards. In addition, your professional cleaning contract can undertake occasional deep cleans to make your office a shining example! Contact us to find out more.