Since cleaning and disinfecting have become a priority for most of us in the pandemic era, safety-minded tech users occasionally ask us “how do I make sure my hardware is safely disinfected?” Basically, they want to know how to clean it quickly and reliably without causing unseen damage. Good question. We’ve compiled some of the best tips from our Help Desk team to help both you and your equipment stay safe and clean.
First, how not to clean hardware:
- Don’t use bleach or any cleaner that isn’t expressly marked as tech hardware cleaner
- Don’t use aerosol sprays (even if they do say they’re for hardware)
- Don’t apply cleaning solutions directly onto any electronic device
- Don’t let any moisture or liquid pool anywhere
- Don’t use any sort of abrasive materials (yes, even if you have hardened melted cheese on your keyboard)
- Don’t try to remove keys or keyboard housing since they typically aren’t meant to be removed and you could wind up doing permanent damage
Now, tips on how to organize your workstation:
- Keep all liquids and food away from your electronic equipment (hard to do for us tech workers, but try to be mindful)
- Keep hand cleaner nearby and make a habit of using it every time you return to your machine
- Keep a can of forced air handy and follow the instructions when using it
Finally, tech equipment cleaning in four easy steps:
- Power down the equipment and unplug it
- Not only will this safeguard you from getting electrocuted, but it will also protect the machine in case liquid seeps into a spot it shouldn’t be. If you find this happens, direct a small fan on low at the machine and give it time to dry before powering back up.
- Wash your hands
- While your machine is powering down, make sure you aren’t adding to the problems that you’re trying to fix
- Select the right cleaning solvent
- As mentioned before, select a cleaner that is made for electronic equipment, not Clorox or other general use products.
- Make sure it’s delivered correctly
- If you’re using a liquid cleaner, always apply it to a microfiber cloth before letting it touch your machine. This acts as a buffer for any extra liquid and ensures you have the least abrasive surface touching your equipment.
- If you’re using cleaning wipes, make sure they are fast-drying and don’t drip. If there is enough liquid on the wipe to make it feel soggy, allow it to dry out slightly before using it.
- If you’re using canned air to get into between the small spaces, make sure you read and follow the directions on the can. Without getting into thermodynamics, forced air begins in liquid form and is converted to gas when you activate it, so always make sure you use the can upright so it can convert. The gas will also freeze and even freeze the area you’re applying it to if applied for any duration. That’s why it’s important to use small, short bursts so you avoid creating frost.
That’s it! Now you can power your machine back up and use it with your clean hands.
For machines that are on, but don’t get regular use
It’s still important to dust so build-up doesn’t become a bigger problem in fans and other important areas. In most cases, a quick swipe with a dry microfiber will do, but for health’s sake, it’s still a good idea to clean it with proper materials every month or so.
For machines that get daily use by one owner (you)
Especially for those used during everyday activities like drinking coffee and having snacks, it’s important to repeat this process every few weeks. Even the most vigilant user can accidentally transfer sticky residue from a thumb onto a key or crumbs from a shirt sleeve to vent guard. Creating a habit of cleaning will help catch these little accidents.
For machines that are used by more than one person
Keep those electronic equipment wipes handy and be sure to do a quick wipe before each use. Of course, make sure they aren’t overly damp.
Cleaning is in your control
Technology is comprised of so many elements that we don’t have control over that it’s important we take control of the things we do. Cleaning is a simple and quick process that helps ensure your hardware has the longest shelf-life possible and it helps you avoid unnecessary downtime. If you’re interested in finding out more about how HDCav can set your users up with not only the most modern tools and software, but also cutting-edge hardware, just contact us. A quick phone call can talk you through every opportunity that we can bring your company.