While you may be tackling the dirty dungeon in your basement, or that hoarding mess in your garage over the next couple of weeks, it’s also a good time to think about spring cleaning your gadgetry.
They look shiny, new and clean, but let’s just have a peek at what’s happening on your flatscreens, keyboards, and computer towers.
Researchers in Britain, took 390 samples from cellphones and hands and then analyzed the samples in the lab to record the type and number of germs. While 95% of people claimed to wash their hands, 92% of phones and 82% of hands still had bacteria.
16% of hands and 16% of phones carried E. coli bacteria. Those with bacteria on their hands were 3x as likely to have bacteria on their phones. And if there is bacteria on your phone, it’s going to be there for a while.
Fecal bacteria can survive on hands and surfaces for hours, especially in warmer temperatures away from sunlight; it is easily transferred by touch to door handles, food and cellphones, the researchers said. And guess what heats up the more you use it? Yes, so your smartphone is a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of gross creepy crawlies.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR TOUCH SCREENS
A simple solution of half isopropyl alcohol (or vinegar) and half distilled water (not tapwater, that is filled with minerals). You can buy fancy cleaners and such, but really this is all you need. The alcohol helps to evaporate the solution and kill what’s on the screen. Just spray it into a static free, lint free micro fibre cloth and give it a quick rub.
One microbiologist described keyboards as being the perfect representation of what’s in your nose and your gut. People pick their noses, they eat at their desks. Fingers go to keyboard after going to nose and mouth and all the bits and pieces slide into the nooks and crannies of the keys.
One common bug that researchers have turned up is staphylococcus aureus, a classic causer of food poisoning, signs of which include nausea and diarrhea. Accordingly, stomach sicknesses caught from computer equipment have been dubbed “qwerty tummy” after the “Q-W-E-R-T-Y” keys on a keyboard.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR KEYBOARD
Flip it upside down and give it a few good whacks to get the big pieces out. You could use your vacuum to dig in and flush out the dirt, but if your keyboard is old it might suck up a loose key. A can of compressed air does the trick here flushing out all the garbage. You’ll want to do this on a surface where you can vacuum it up after, or perhaps outside.
Take the same isopropyl alcohol based cleanser you used on your touch screen and wipe it across the keys when you’re done
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR COMPUTER TOWER
One of the most disgusting places in your work station is your desktop tower. It is a magnet for dust with the fans and electric currents running through the box. All sorts of hair, dust, and things can get trapped in there. This will be the biggest clean job on your list.
Take off the screws off one side of your computer tower so you have access to the guts. Grab the can of compressed air and blow it on the power supply, fan, and anywhere else you can see dustballs forming.
Dustballs can build up static and short out your computer, or clog your fan causing things to heat up. If you have your tower on the floor, it will be dirtier so you might also think about trying to get it up and away from the tumbleweed dust – especially if you have hardwood.
Check your manual before you put any liquid near the surface of your telvision. Many manufacturers recommend only a dry cloth to wipe the prints off the screen – that’s it.
If you are allowed to use something more than just a dry cloth, still proceed with caution.
Do NOT use your household glass cleaners. Ammonia and other chemicals used in these products can strip anti-glare coatings from the screen or leave behind other serious signs of damage. Do NOT use paper towels as the wood fibers in the paper could scratch the screen.
Just plain water, or a water solution made with a few drops of isopropyl alcohol is all you need. Do NOT spray directly on the screen, you can just spray the microfiber cloth and then wipe the monitor or panel display.