Best practices for cleaning electronics

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It is important to frequently clean and disinfect all computers, computer accessories, touchscreen devices, printers, and electronics in shared locations. As a best practice, clean equipment after each use. To ensure equipment is sanitized as often as possible, create cleaning schedules and follow appropriate procedures based on the information below.

These cleaning guidelines use information from the following sources:

Cleaning guidelines

All shared equipment should be cleaned frequently. This includes equipment in labs and shared work spaces, and classroom equipment used by instructors. If an area has not been cleaned regularly before, it's a good idea to do a "deep clean" before making the space and its equipment available for general use.

UITS recommends the following:

  • Always unplug equipment before cleaning.
  • Always wear disposable gloves and a protective mask when cleaning.
  • Choose the right cleaning products and follow instructions on the labels. Not all cleaning products are safe to use with electronics.
  • Never spray cleaning products directly on equipment.
  • Clean all touch surfaces, including keyboards, mice, screens, touch pads, monitors, and any connected equipment.
  • Clean tables and counters where equipment is placed.
  • To be effective, disinfecting products used to kill germs should be left on surfaces 3-4 minutes before being wiped off. For best results, let surfaces air dry after cleaning whenever possible. Most product labels will list contact time required for killing germs.
  • Computers brought in for service should be cleaned before they are worked on, and cleaned again before being returned to the individual.

When you are done cleaning, mark equipment with appropriate signage.

Signage guidelines

After cleaning a computer in a public space, place a sign on the computer (for example, an index card or post-it note) to show that it was cleaned. Use the following guidelines:

  • Place the sign directly on a machine or keyboard so that it must be moved before the equipment can be used.
  • Place signs in the same place on all computers. A moved sign indicates that the equipment has been used and requires cleaning.
  • Signs should include information about cleaning processes.
  • Signs should include a warning that if the sign has been moved, the equipment has been used and should be cleaned before being used again.
  • Post signs in your work or lab areas about cleaning processes, and where to find cleaning products if someone wants to clean a computer before using it.

Recommended cleaning supplies

Use the following cleaning supplies:

  • Protective mask: If purchasing masks for staff, avoid buying N95; these should be saved for medical professionals.
  • Disposable gloves: Use latex-free gloves to avoid problems for staff with latex allergies.
  • Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Products for cleaning equipment and surfaces:
    • Lysol wipes
    • Clorox wipes
    • 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or liquid; if using liquid, mix two parts alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle
    • Avoid cleaning products containing acid, alkali, bleach, or ammonia, as these can damage your equipment.
    • Glass-cleaning products such as Windex are good for cleaning smudges, but won't kill germs.
  • Lint-free microfiber cleaning cloths: Be sure to wash them frequently.
  • Keyboard skins: May help with cleaning time

Additional considerations

  • Sterilize equipment and surfaces with portable UV wands, which emit ultraviolet C (UVC) light that kills or inactivates germs. These tools are relatively new; studies have shown that they have germicidal abilities, but it's not clear whether these devices prevent infections. They also don't kill germs in nooks and crannies, such as keyboards.
  • Arrange equipment in computer labs to establish social distancing and meet spacing needs.
  • Review how many computer labs you have and their usage. For labs with low usage, consider discounting those locations to reduce the number of areas to clean. Communicate with your users so they know what is available and where to help set necessary expectations.

This is document bgdv in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-20 16:36:49.