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Disinfecting Your Technology Devices

Disinfecting Your Technology Devices

Over the past week, we’ve had a few clients call to ask about the best ways to sanitize and disinfect technology devices such as smart phones and keyboards.  Since we’re in the technology business and not the healthcare business, we decided to do a little research and post some helpful links for those who are curious.

Smart Phones

One of the most ubiquitous items would be your smartphone. According to Deloitte, consumers touch their smart phones more than 50 times a day (that’s all??).  Manufacturers differ on their suggestions, so we’ve provided cleaning instructions from Apple and from Samsung. Apple suggests a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting wipe, but reminds users to avoid getting moisture in any openings, and not to submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents!  More details from Apple can be found here, and you’ll note that different models of the iPhone have different suggestions/guidelines.

If you have a Samsung phone, you’ll be interested to know that the company may now be offering a complimentary “phone sanitizing” service, as a way to help avoid Coronavirus.  According to this article, the service is available in 19 markets, including the United States, and uses UV-C light to kill germs and bacteria.

As is usually the case, different ‘experts’ have different opinions, and that holds true with phone sanitization.  The folks at AndroidCentral swear that Clorox wipes are bad for you iPhone, even though Apple says they’re perfectly fine.  They do suggest Zeiss wipes which don’t have harsh chemicals, and also suggest UV phone baths.

Keyboards, Mice, and Laptops

Unlike your phone, which is only subject to germs from your hands and surfaces, your keyboard is probably a great collector of bread crumbs, pretzel bits, and whatever other snacks you enjoy at your desk. Hopefully your mouse isn’t crusted in those same crumbs, but we’ve seen some pretty amazing things at peoples’ desks over the past 25 years.

A recent article from WindowsCentral again mentions isopropyl alcohol is a good suggestion, while acknowledging that many people remain divided on the topic. Try it if you want, but if you’re unsure, don’t (words from the article, and words to live by). Microfiber cloths are mentioned again as a great way to do this, but you still need some sort of solution to disinfect, as well as clean.  Again, Apple says they’re good with 70% isopropyl alcohol, so we’re going to go with them as our benchmark. Don’t forget the can of compressed air to get out all those ‘chunks’, which surely sounds like a bigger issue.

The Real Experts

While probably not technology experts, we’ll give a little credit to the CDC in terms of knowing how to clean solid surfaces (like phones, keyboards, and mice). Although not referencing technology devices specifically, the CDC also recommends 70% isopropyl alcohol or diluted bleach solutions.

And the Winner Is…

In our very unscientific poll of experts and otherwise, it would seem that 70% isopropyl alcohol in combination with a wipe and/or microfiber cloth is your best solution for cleaning technology devices, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Regardless of how you clean your device, just make sure not to submerge it in any liquid, and make sure you get rid of those awful chunks!

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