How often should you clean keyboard?

Computer keyboard is even dirtier than toilet seat. Specifically, a keyboard usually contains 400 times the number of bacteria that the toilet seat does.

Toilet seat usually has only seven bacteria per square centimeter, which can be said to be extremely clean when compared to a computer, especially a computer used by many different people. 

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A Chicago hospital found that their computer keyboard contains antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) for up to 24 hours. Another hospital in the Netherlands studied 100 of their keyboards and found 95 positive for Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and many other microorganisms, making them the dirtiest surfaces in the emergency department. 

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We use computers with high frequency, which is why stains often get into the gap between the keys. We also often hurry to type something fast after going out, eating at the computer table, and typing the keyboard while holding on to the sticky things. At the office, we use the computer while talking, sneezing and coughing up the keyboard all day long. 

When to clean the keyboard? 

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Most microbiologists agree that people should clean their computer table and keyboard at least once or every week. Doctors and nurses at the National Center for Health Research (NCHR) recommend that keyboards at hospitals need to be disinfected more frequently, at least once a day. NCHR also advises us to wash our hands before and after using any shared computer, especially during the flu season. 

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If you only use your computer (and do not touch many people in a day), most bacteria on the keyboard come from your hand and fingers, so it will not matter. However, washing your hands often before and after eating also helps your computer table clean longer than usual. 

How to wipe the keyboard? 

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Cleaning and disinfecting the keyboard is a simple and effective process. First, shut down the computer and unplug the power cord before starting the disinfection. Then remove any plaque on the keyboard with a pneumatic spray before cleaning them. 

Melissa Maker recommends using a liquid that is mixed between water and alcohol (equal proportions), and wiped with a microfiber cloth. You can also use cotton swabs embedded in the liquid mixture to clean the slots of the keys. 

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By the way, why do not you clean your phone? Smartphones are susceptible to E. coli and streptococcus because we hold them all day and carry them everywhere. Microbiologist and pathologist at the University of New York, Philip Tierno recommends cleaning the phone at the end of the day to ensure that all bacteria are removed. 

By: Roxana Edwards

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