With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, sanitation has become even more important. We often clean our kitchens, bathrooms, dining spaces, and floors, but we rarely clean our technology. Because of this, there are phone screens that can have up to 10 times as many bacteria as a toilet seat, and keyboards can have as high as 20,000 times as many germs as a toilet seat as well. While these are likely only your germs, it highlights how little we clean our workspace. Given the recent pandemic, it is now more important than ever to clean our workspace to keep ourselves, our coworkers, and our loved ones safe.
Where to Begin
First, we should define a couple of things. Sanitizing refers to disinfecting, whereas cleaning and decluttering refer to organizing items. Both are different, and both are important.
One thing that prevents many of us from sanitizing our workspace is the sheer amount of clutter on it. We may have loose papers, receipts, empty snacks, mugs, books, or more lying around on our desk, so the act of sanitization may feel daunting if there are few clear surfaces. To begin sanitizing, start with decluttering. Try to keep your desk organized so that sanitizing it is quick and simple.
2. Sanitizing Your Keyboard/Laptop/Mouse
Your instinct may be to grab your spray cleaner and use it on your keyboard but do not do that. You can use disinfectant on your keyboard, but it should be wipes rather than spray because spraying any liquid at your keyboard (or almost any electronic device) can damage it. If you’re unable to find alcohol wipes because stores are out of stock, there are alternatives. If you have spray cleaner (such as Windex or similar brands), you can spray a little bit onto a paper towel and carefully wipe your keyboard. Whichever method you use, make sure to wipe gently – too much pressure could cause excess liquid to leak into your system. Whether it’s a keyboard, laptop, or mouse, gently wiping your device down will keep it sanitized.
One last note: when cleaning a screen, be sure to take extra caution. Avoid using any liquid, and preferably use a microfiber cloth. If any extra effort is necessary, only use a cloth slightly damped in warm water, possibly with a little soap.
3. Sanitizing Your Desk
Unless your desk is full of devices or things that could be damaged, this is where you switch to spray. Using surface cleaners like Windex, spray your surfaces with it, then spread it and rub it in with a towel or paper towel. Be gentle enough to damage your desk, but use enough pressure to remove any grime and fully apply the cleaner.
It is now more important than ever to keep a clean workspace. It is a fairly simple process, but be sure to take care not to damage your devices. Declutter your space, then sanitize your devices and desk. We’re going through a hard, historic time, and this is one small step we can all take to ensure safety for ourselves and others.
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