How Dirty is your Computer, Exactly?

by Dan

Do you make a point of cleaning your computer keyboard and screen regularly? Do you wash your hands before and after using your computer? Would you hesitate to touch your face after touching your computer keyboard? The answers to these questions are very important because, you see, your computer keyboard and mouse are some of the dirtiest places in your office or home.

Since we tend to use them so often, they tend to pick up all the germs and bacteria that stick to our hands throughout the day. The keyboard and mouse are also places that collect dirt and oil from all users. If you share a computer at work or at home or happen to use a computer in a public place, like a library, you are being exposed to dirt, oil and bacteria left by other users.

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How Did your Computer Get this Way?

Since we’re all spending so much time online, we’re constantly leaving or splashing stuff on or around the keyboard. If you or someone who is sharing your computer is prone to eating or drinking while they work or play online, it just makes the problem of getting the keyboard dirty even worse.

Ditto if you happen to have pets. Their hair or dander will inevitably find its way to your keyboard as if the keys are a magnet. Household dust and dirt also accumulates there.

Over time, you’ll have a buildup of all kinds of gunk and debris that works its way into the spaces between or under your keys. It could lead to sticky keys or keys that simply don’t work anymore because the electronics can no longer read the keystroke – and all because of a buildup of dirt and stuff. Yech!

How to Deal with a Dirty Keyboard

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The first thing you’ll want to do to deal with your dirty keyboard is to turn it upside down about once a month and shake it gently. This will help to dislodge any crumbs and other assorted particles that may be hiding under your keys. You may be surprised to find at the collection you have accumulated, especially if it has been some time since you have shaken it out.

There will still be some stubborn crumbs trapped under the keys and you will need to use an aerosol spray duster, commonly called “canned air,” to remove them. Prop the keyboard up sideways on a surface before using the canned air so that the debris can fall out. Use a series of short bursts of the canned air for best results.

Specialized keyboard cleaning supplies are the next solution if you still have debris you need to remove. Read the instructions carefully and use as directed to avoid getting too much solution in your keyboard.

In between your monthly cleanings, wipe off the keyboard weekly with an anti-bacterial wipe. (Be sure to unplug it first.) It will remove any grimy material and help to keep germs at bay.

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