It’s hard to believe, but the dirtiest place in your life is right in front of you, staring you in the face – it’s the keyboard on your desktop. Studies reveal (1) that there are more populations of bacteria on computer keyboards than on toilet seats – there can be up to 400 times more germs on average. It sounds gross, yes? But you can clean your keyboard and mouse, so there’s no reason to breed all those germs and no excuses for living with them. I mean, we type, then eat a sandwich or a piece of fruit, transferring the germs to the food, so cleaning both the mouse and keyboard can only be good for your health. Keep the bacterial population down by cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard on a regular basis – especially if you share the keyboard and mouse with other people. Here’s how you do it:

Some Tips on Cleaning Your Keyboard

Start by unplugging your keyboard from the computer, or if it’s wireless, switch if off. If yours is a laptop, switch it off and remove the power cord. If the battery is easy to remove, you can take that out as well, just to be on the safe side. Turn the laptop or keyboard over and shake it to loosen any dirt and debris. Now you need to go after the grime between and under the keys. There are several ways to attack it. One way is to buy some cleaning slime, which is cheap and much less messy than making your own (2) and there’s less of a risk of damaging your electronics if you make a mistake with your homemade slime. Cleaning slime can get all the crap under the keyboard’s keys but use with care.


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Other Methods for Cleaning The Keyboard

If slime isn’t your style, you can use compressed air to blow around the keyboard to dislodge dust, crumbs, and other gunk from between the keys. After you’ve cleaned as much as you can from beneath the keys, use some disinfectant wipes to clean the keys and the palm rest, but do it lightly. Don’t use wipes that contain bleach. These can damage the keyboard’s finish.  Also, make sure your wipes aren’t too moist so a good idea is to squeeze out excess moisture before you wipe the keyboard with them.


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Don’t Forget to Clean the Mouse and the Touchpad

Now you’ve cleaned your keyboard and it’s looking fresh and clean as well as germ-free, it’s time to take a look at your mouse, which is no doubt crawling with germs even though you can’t see them when you cleaned the keyboard. If you haven’t unplugged it from your desktop computer when you cleaned the keyboard, do it now. If your mouse is a wireless one, switch it off and take out the battery. Turn the mouse upside down and tap the scroll button to loosen any particles of dust and roll the wheel to help remove anything stuck. Then, as with the keyboard, take one of your disinfectant wipes and make sure it isn’t too wet (squeeze it out if so) and just wipe the mouse all over. Take care that you don’t allow any moisture to get into any parts that have openings. To clean the touchpad on your laptop, just swipe it over with the disinfectant wipe after you’ve turned off the machine.  


At Catalyst Computers, we understand that when things go wrong your system has to be up and running again as soon as possible to save you time and money so that’s our priority

– Catalyst Computers can respond and rectify your technical issues swiftly to minimise any inconvenience and frustration


Warning: Do NOT Do This:

We can’t imagine anyone would actually do this, but just in case you the thought has crossed your mind, do NOT toss the keyboard or mouse in the dishwasher, or in the sink to clean them. Submerging a keyboard or a mouse, no matter how germy they are, in water either in the dishwasher or in soapy water in the kitchen sink will kill them. The water will short-circuit the wiring.  Another thing to avoid is taking the keyboard apart to clean it.

Most manufacturers warn users not to disassemble their keyboards and that includes not taking the keys out. You’ll probably void the warranty if you do so.  

If you have computer problems, call Catalyst Computers. We offer a wide range of solutions tailored for all your information technology needs. We always get the job done right first time, every time and we pride ourselves on our fast, friendly and efficient service. Our skilled and highly trained technicians will ensure that we have your computers up and running in no time. Call us for a rapid onsite response on 02 8294 6423, email us at info@catalystcomputers.com.au or call into our offices at Level 1, 290 Botany Rd, Alexandria.


References:

  1. http://www.center4research.org/bacteria-computer-keyboards-toilet-seats/
  2. https://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-make-cleaning-slime-for-electronics/