Germ-Free Electronics for Better Public Health

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The myriad of things one can do to stay healthy involves everything from washing your hands regularly to eating well and getting plenty of sleep.

But what about your telephone at the office … the one that everyone uses to order lunch? Telephone receivers can harbor more germs than a toilet seat. And what about your computer keyboard, which may be holding germs, dust, and other undesirables? And your daughter’s cell phone, the one she shares with her friends when you’re not around? From remotes and game controllers, to MP3 players and cell phones, you can do a lot more than wash your hands when it comes to staying clean to stay healthy.

Quick tips for avoiding the spread of germs through consumer electronics:

  • Identify the products you come into contact with frequently and make sure they receive regular cleaning as advised by their product manual. These include items like cell phones, game controllers, house phones, remote controls, keyboards, computer mice, and GPS units.
  • Do not let others use your cell phone or headset
  • If you take your laptop to work or school, be sure to clean the outside of it regularly. Also, remember to clean the cord after unplugging it.
  • Keep gadgets like MP3 players, cell phones, and Bluetooth headsets in a case whenever possible
  • Remember to wash your hands after using “public” office or school electronics and computers

General Consumer Electronics Disinfecting Guide
The following guide is designed to help prevent the spread of germs and disease as it relates to consumer electronics. It is also designed to inform consumer electronics users with practical, general tips for keeping their gadgets clean. Please note that we recommend following the manufacturer’s cleaning suggestions with each product you clean. You don’t want to void the manufacturer’s warranty, or do something to damage the product. Click here to find your product’s manual. We have links to more than a 100,000 of them. Note, if you have an iPhone, iPod, or touch screen device, do not use any cleaner with alcohol. Refer to your user’s manual for cleaning.

What to do
Before you start make sure you have a clean, flat, well-lit surface to work on. Use the cleaning kit and instructions recommended by the product’s manufacturer. In the manufacturer recommended cleaning kit, you should have an alcohol based cleaning product (alcohol kills germs), a clean dry cloth, a clean moist cloth (with the alcohol cleaning solution) and a few soft Q-tips or cotton swabs. You may also want to use a can of compressed air for blowing away dust particles.

1. Turn the product off. Unplug any cords or attachments from the device.

2. For keyboards and products that collect visible dust and dander under their keys, gently spray with a can of compressed air.

3. With a dry, clean cloth, gently rub any makeup, sweat, or oil that has accumulated on the part of outside of the device

4. Dampen a soft, clean cloth with the alcohol based cleaning solution. Alcohol kills germs and helps to disinfect your consumer electronics device. The cloth should be just moist enough to pick up small dust and dander, not dripping. Gently rub the surface of the device with a clean part of the cloth. Be careful not to let any water into your device’s jacks, charging ports, or crevice between the buttons.

5. With a Q-tip or cotton swab, gently remove any visible particles that may have accumulated between the buttons, or any other crevices in the device.

With the dry cloth, gently blot any excess moisture off the device. Let the device air dry on a clean dry cloth for a few minutes.

What not to do
Keep chemicals away from your TV and screen surfaces. The ammonia in Windex can damage coatings. Liquids sprayed on the screen can seep in between the bezel and panel and cause all kinds of problems. It’s best to use a damp cloth preferably not wood-based paper products like newspaper or paper towels which can create tiny scratches.

 By Andrew Eisner of Retrevo

Please Note: Retrevo is not responsible for any damage that may occur to consumer electronics. Please follow manufacturer’s guide when cleaning any consumer electronic gadget.



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