Coronavirus outbreak: How to keep your gadgets clean and sanitised

Delhi Mar 17, 2020, 03.14 PM(IST) Written By: Ankit Tuteja

File Phone Photograph:( Getty )

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Research shows that both smartphones and keyboards are way dirtier than toilet seats.

Coronavirus has spread across the globe like wildfire and dozens of new cases are being recorded every day.

Also Read: Confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 125 in India

By now, everyone knows that the virus enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, which is why frequent and thorough handwashing is recommended as the best protection against infection.

Also read: 64-year-old dies in Mumbai, third death due to coronavirus in India

If you do not have access to soap and running water, then hand sanitisers are the next best option. The centers for disease control and prevention, a leading national public health institute of the United States, is also recommending that you clean and disinfect 'frequently touched surfaces' daily - this would include electronic devices that you use every day - such as your phone and computer/laptop keyboard.

Experts don’t yet know how long the virus that causes Covid-19 can survive on surfaces, but most other viruses are able to live on metal, glass, or plastic surfaces for up to nine days, and therefore, it's best to sanitise these gadgets.

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Research shows that both smartphones and keyboards are way dirtier than toilet seats. And here is how you can follow these basic instructions for disinfecting your gear without damaging it:

How to sanitise your phone/tablet:

1. Clean your phone or tablet at least once a day. While there is no need to go overboard, do try and wipe them down once in 24 hours. 

2. Unplug your device and then use anti-bacterial wipes to clean it.

3. You can also use a soft cloth with a product that has 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol, but make sure the cloth is lint-free, otherwise, it will leave fluff behind.

4. Avoid any material that could be abrasive, like rough towels or paper towels, as these may damage the sensitive screen.

5. Never spray any cleaner or disinfectant directly onto the phone. Instead, spray it on the cloth and then use the cloth on the device.

6. Remember to keep liquids away from the product. Make sure that no liquid gets inside your phone through any openings, this can ruin your phone and most insurance does not cover liquid damage.

7. Also note that it’s not just the screen, other parts of the phone such as the power button, and the home button, can be as dirty as a toilet seat, so clean them too.

8. If your phone comes with waterproofing and has IP68 rating, you can keep it in a bowl of water for a brief period and later, dab it using a cloth. But check the specifications very carefully before you attempt this.

9. Don't use compressed air to clean it, the powered jet of air might interfere with the engineering of your phone. 

10. Don’t forget your phone case - clean it and let it dry before slipping your phone back inside. 

Well, that’s about sanitising the smartphone, now let's look at how we can keep our keyboards clean:

1.  Start with holding the keyboard upside down and then shake it - this will help clear off crumbs and other debri stuck inside.

2. You can also use a keyboard cleaning gel which soaks all the dirt, dust and germs

3. A can of compressed air can also come in handy while cleaning your keyboard. It’s pretty useful to clean things where space is tight.

4. You can also use a microfibre cloth and dip it in the isopropyl alcohol. Use it gently to wipe the keys.

Unless your phone and keyboard are exposed to a potentially-infected person, you don’t need to worry about cleaning them multiple times a day - just do this once a day to keep them germ-free.

Apart from following these cleaning measures, don't pass your phone around, and use devices like headphones and Bluetooth to keep your phone away from your face. These basic protective measures can help us safeguard our health.