Between my job as a consultant here and on my travels using other peoples computers, I have developed only one irrevocable, unavoidable, instinctual pet peeve. No, it’s not 42 tool bars in a browser, non-activated copies of Windows, or even vicious malware. I can deal with those. What bothers me the most is a dirty computer. A grimy, sticky, slightly yellowed keyboard with a splattered screen.
Please understand that just like door knobs, steering wheels and phones, your keyboards will be handled more then anything else in your entire day. If more then one person uses that same computer, then there is two people who have effectively swapped any grime, dirt, sickness or whatever else you call it. Normally, I’d be fine with this cesspool of microorganisms, but I’ve seen from experience how much more myself and others get sick when in huge, dense populations for a long time. So, it’s better safe then sorry to clean your computer, and rest assured that there’s one less thing that won’t get you sick.
1.) Cleaning your Keyboard and Mouse
Cleaning a keyboard is easy. I try to do my personal ones about once every few weeks, but for shared keyboard I’d say go for once a week or even once a day. The best method I’ve found is using certified keyboard wipes, which will not harm any electronic compliments in the keyboard. Trust me, do not just use any wet disinfecting wipe, I’ve lost a favorite wireless keyboard this way, and I’d hate to imagine what it would do to a laptop.You can just take a cloth, and wipe gently across the keyboard with it. If there are any problem spots, just add a little elbow grease.
You can do the same thing with a computer mouse and tracpad, just be sure to use only the recommended wipes.
2.) Clean your Screen
Screens are tricky. Matte screens, as much I would like to clean them, are almost impossible to get clean, as there will always be streaks left over. You can try using “dry wipes”, but results may vary. My advice: don’t get your screens dirty.
Touch screens and the screens on most Macbooks- ie “Glass” Screen- are different. For there, you can use approved isopropyl alcohol wipes, which come in convenient little packages that you buy in a box of 20 something. You simply open the package, unfold the wipe, and wipe. You should be done when the wipe is dry. You can also use any other approved isopropyl screen cleaner. To get rid of streaks, use a microfiber cloth afterwords.
Protip: While powered off, put your laptop on it’s top while cleaning, so the screen on the desk, and the body of laptop is against your body. This will eliminate stress on the hinges of the screen.
Again, do not use any non certified wipes, as they may cause damage.