Research suggests that your office keyboard can be up to 5x dirtier than your toilet seat! After swabbing 33 keyboards for food poisoning bacteria, scientists found traces of e. coli, coliforms, staphylococcus aureus, and enterobacteria on the office keyboards of a local business. Not only that, but one of the keyboards from the study had over 150 times the acceptable safe limit of bacteria! With office keyboards harboring enough bacteria to get employees sick, here’s our quick, 5-step guide to cleaning your keyboard.
1) Shut Down the Computer and Unplug the Keyboard
If you’re thinking about taking a quick break from your emails to clean your keyboard and get right back at it again, think again. Not only will it be impossible to properly clean the keyboard without pressing a bunch keys, you also might not have enough space to clean right at your desk. To make things easier on yourself (and your equipment), make sure your computer’s powered down and keyboard’s unplugged before you start cleaning.
2) Remove Loose Crumbs and Debris
Before you start disinfecting any of the germs, make sure you’ve removed as much of the loose crumbs as possible. Once you’ve shutdown your computer and unplugged your keyboard, simply turn the keyboard upside down and start shaking! You can even use a can of compressed air to help blow the crumbs out if you’d like.
3a) Clean the Keys (Quick Version)
If you’re pressed for time, or just not interested in doing a full cleaning, this is the method for you. After getting all the loose debris out that you could, grab a disinfecting wipe and wipe down all of the keys on your keyboard – especially heavily used areas (i.e., spacebar and return key). To ensure you’ve gotten as many germs as possible, be sure to wipe the surface of the key, but don’t forget to try and reach the sides as well.
3b) Remove and Clean the Keys (Long Version)
Though a quick wipe-down is usually all it takes, for the more toxic looking keyboards, we recommend doing a full keyboard cleaning. Once you’ve gotten rid of the crumbs and debris, grab a blunt tool like a butter knife or flathead screwdriver. Since most keyboard letter keys are designed to allow you to remove them, use your tool to gently pry off all the keys. If you’re unsure about how to remove them, or whether or not your keys are removable, consult your device’s user manual. Once you’ve removed all the keys, grab a small dish and wash them off using soap and water or rubbing alcohol. When you’re done, simply lay them out on a towel to dry.
4) Clean the Trenches
Now that all of your keys are removed, you should have access to the area underneath them. Using the same can of compressed air as before, make sure you blow away any more dust and debris that was stuck under your keys. From there, grab a disinfecting wipe and gently clean the inner surfaces.
5) Reconstructing the Keyboard
Once the keys have completely dried off, it’s time to put them back on. To get each key back in place, all you have to do is snap them back on using a little bit of pressure. If you don’t know where each key belongs, you can use a keyboard map, but layouts may vary depending on the brand and age.
With the pandemic still underway, germs and bacteria are everywhere! Rather than risking your health and time away from work, take a few minutes to clean and disinfect your keyboard. If you want some help getting everything in your office cleaned, contact us today!