How to clean and disinfect your keyboard and mouse

Which is cleaner, your keyboard or your toilet seat? Let's hope your keyboard, but just in case, we'll show you how to safely clean and disinfect your keyboard and mouse.

Studies have shown that computer keyboards can have more bacteria than toilet seats. Given that little tidbit of information, you might want to consider cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard more often, especially if you share your keyboard and mouse with others. Here's how:

Cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard

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Cleaning
Step 1: Unplug your keyboard from your computer and remove any batteries.

Step 2: Flip it upside down and give it a good couple of shakes.

Step 3: Blow some compressed air to remove crumbs, dust, and other fun stuff from between the keys.

Step 4: If you happen to have a mini vacuum that's designed to clean keyboards, feel free to use it, but refrain from using a full-size vacuum; you might find your keys in the vacuum's dust bin.

Step 5: Wipe the keyboard keys and palm rest with a lightly dampened lint-free cloth, like a microfiber cloth.

Step 6: Using a dry microfiber cloth, remove any remaining moisture from your keyboard.

Disinfecting
Step 1: Unplug your keyboard from your computer and remove any batteries.

Step 2: Wipe your keyboard with disinfectant wipes. Make sure that the wipes aren't overly damp and that you squeeze out any excess liquid before wiping the keyboard.

Step 3: Then immediately wipe your keyboard down with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Using a dry microfiber cloth, remove any remaining moisture from your keyboard.


Cleaning and disinfecting your mouse

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Cleaning
Step 1: Unplug your mouse from your computer and remove any batteries.

Step 2: Use a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to wipe away grime or dirt. Be careful not to get moisture into any openings.

Step 3: Using a dry microfiber cloth, remove any remaining moisture from your mouse.

Step 4: If there are loose particles stuck underneath the scroll wheel, turn the mouse upside down and roll the scroll wheel to help dislodge anything that may be stuck inside.

Disinfecting
Step 1: Unplug your mouse from your computer and remove any batteries.

Step 2: Wipe your mouse with disinfectant wipes. Make sure that the wipes aren't overly damp and that you squeeze out any excess liquid before wiping the mouse. Take care to avoid getting moisture into any openings.

Step 3: Then immediately wipe your mouse down with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Using a dry microfiber cloth, remove any remaining moisture from your mouse.


The directions above apply to laptop keyboards and touch pads as well. Just remember to turn your laptop off, unplug the power cord, and remove the battery. You'll also want to be careful not to allow any excess moisture to enter any openings and never spray anything directly onto your keyboard, mouse, or laptop.

Oh, and just in case you're thinking about tossing your keyboard in the dishwasher, we don't recommend it. Putting it in the dishwasher or submerging it in water will likely short-circuit the wiring. We also don't recommend that you disassemble your keyboard to clean it. Most manufacturers discourage users from disassembling keyboards, including removing keys. Doing so will probably void your warranty.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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