Keep Your Keyboard Clean – Computer Tip of the Day
Think back to the last time you cleaned your computer keyboard. Keep thinking. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned yours, you would not be the only one. Although many people spend more time at their keyboards than they do in their bathrooms, they give much less thought to routine keyboard cleanings than routine toilet scrubs.
According to experts, however, you should be cleaning those keys at least twice a month.
Why You Should Clean Your Keyboard
A study conducted at the University of North Carolina’s intensive care unit found that 80% of the keyboards there were contaminated with diphtheroids. Worse still, all their keyboards tested positive for coagulase-negative staphylococci.
The good news is that there’s a simple solution to such crises:
“Our data suggest that microbial contamination of keyboards is prevalent and that keyboards may be successfully decontaminated with disinfectants,” the researchers said in their report.
Depending on the location of your computer and the environment in which you operate daily, your particular keyboard may be susceptible to different bacteria than that found in an hospital’s intensive care unit. One thing we do know, however, is that whatever bacteria is there will not stop spreading on its own.
How to Clean Your Keyboard
First, if the keyboard isn’t wireless, disconnect it from the computer. Using a soft cloth (microfiber is best), give the entire keyboard an initial wipe down. Next, use small cotton swabs to clean between individual keys. Last, polish everything off with a few blasts from a can of compressed air. If you’re concerned with harmful bacteria, avoid harsh cleaners, which can strip the keyboard of its protective coating. Instead, use sterile water and (if you must) the mildest of cleansers, perhaps even diluted.
Once you’ve cleaned your keyboard, make a note of the date and schedule another cleaning two weeks down the line. Consider setting a reminder in your digital calendar so that you will not forget.
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