laptop and iphone

How to Clean Your Tech Safely During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Keeping surfaces clean and disinfected is one of many ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We're not just talking about door handles, but rather something you probably can't put down for more than 10 minutes.

Your smartphone and tech count as surfaces, meaning you need to regularly disinfect them for your safety. Cleaning your devices might be a bit daunting for some, but as long as you're careful there's a low risk of damaging your device.

How long can coronavirus live on surfaces?

There's mixed information from a variety of news outlets on how long the coronavirus can live on surfaces. Some say 2-3 days, whilst others say are simply up to 24 hours. Regardless, anything can happen in that amount of time, especially using your devices on and off multiple times in a day!

You should keep your hands and your devices clean nonetheless. Here's how you can safely clean your phone and other tech to ensure it's safe to use:

Unplug and remove casing

Whether it's a phone, iPad or MacBook – it's important to remove all the casing to ensure you can clean your device without any barriers over it. Make sure your device is unplugged for your safety and ease of cleaning.

Clean your device with a microfibre cloth

Most manufacturers warn customers how using abrasive wipes, soaps and gels can cause damage to the device's protective coating. 

Make sure you do not apply soap or gel directly on to the device. Instead, you should:

  1. Dampen a microfibre cloth with water and your regular household soap
  2. Rub the surfaces of your device with the damp cloth, making sure to avoid any jacks or other components where water can enter the device.
    1. Waterproof devices undoubtedly lose their protection overtime, so don't go overboard with the water!
  3. Dry off your phone with a clean and dry microfibre cloth once done.

Regular soap and water has been proven to effectively reduce the amount of microbes on your device. But keep in mind that as soon as you use your device again you'll be increasing the number of germs on it.

Make sure you wash your hands horoughly and regularly as you can to reduce the number of germs that end up on you and your device.

Other ways to clean your device

If you'd rather not use a microfiber cloth with regular soap and water, you can use disinfectant wipes which are readily available in stores or online. Most computer or hardware shops supply 70% alcohol wipes (also known as Isopropyl Alcohol or IPA) which are cheap and less hassle to use. Wipe away and toss the wipes in the bin.

Phones can also be cleaned with an UV device or a "mobile steriliser". Whilst these might sound cool and convenient to have, you should note that it can discolour your phone overtime.

Keep your workspace clean

You're likely to use most of your devices at a work desk. You don't know who's touched certain surfaces and if you've made contact with them either and brought them over to your desk. 

That's why it's incredibly important to disinfect your desk and tech before, during and after your working day to ensure everything is kept as clean as possible. This includes your mouse, keyboard, screen and the surrounding desk.

Finally, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough with a tissue and discard it once used to prevent any germs from making contact on yours or others equipment.