3 Things You Need To Properly Disinfect Your Electronics

disinfect electronics

You want to stay healthy during cold and flu season. If you're a caregiver, you have the added concern of your loved one catching something. One way to help guard against a cold or influenza is to disinfect your computer keyboard and other electronics. You need three simple things. Here's what the experts have to say.

Wipeable Covers

The CDC recommends wipeable covers for your electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls. Using a cover lowers cross-contamination. A cover makes it easier to clean and disinfect. It protects it from pathogens and debris.

For added protection, get antimicrobial covers. Medical professionals use them. They're resistant to bacterial growth and colonization. Another plus is that they're cheaper than buying an antimicrobial device.

Disinfectant Spray or Wipes

CDC guidelines say to remove any visible contaminants and then wipe down your device with a disinfectant. Use the disinfectant the manufacturer recommends and follow their instructions. If the manufacturer doesn't recommend a product, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Don't let liquids pool on the surface and dry the device.

Here's something else of interest about disinfectants and electronic devices. In 2014, the Healthcare Infection Society published a study. The aim of the study was "to identify the most effective method of decontaminating the Apple iPad, without causing damage, and establish the duration of any residual effect." They compared six products:

  • Sani-Cloth CHG 2% (chlorhexidine 2%/alcohol 70%)
  • Clorox
  • Tristel
  • Trigene
  • Soap and water
  • Plain cloth recommended by Apple

The study didn't report that any of the products damaged the iPad. But the clear winner was the Sani-Cloth CHG 2% wipes. These wipes had a "substantial residual antimicrobial effect." Sani-Cloth was effective against MRSA (meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus) for over six hours. The research reports states that Sani-Cloth caused no damage to the iPad.

Disposable or Reusable Gloves

Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your electronics. You can buy cleaning gloves with antimicrobial properties. Here are the CDC guidelines for using gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your devices:

  • Discard disposable gloves after cleaning.
  • Dedicate reusable gloves for one purpose. Don't use them for anything else.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfecting disposable gloves.
  • Wash your hands after you remove the gloves.