Like washing hands, electronic devices need sanitizing too

Phones, laptops and tablets are all items that we touch many times throughout the day. Just as it is important to wash our hands regularly, it also is important to sanitize these devices regularly. Especially if these devices are shared with other family members or used by friends, it is important that they stay clean. Luckily, disinfecting devices is pretty easy and only requires supplies that you probably already have.

Cell phones and tablets

For all devices, it is important that they are turned off and unplugged before starting the sanitizing process. If you have a case for your device, you can remove it from your device and wash it with soap and warm water. Use a cloth to gently rub the case with soap and water, making sure to wash the sides as well. Then, rinse the case and allow it to dry completely before putting it back on the device.

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust on your device. Next, slightly dampen a cloth with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or use a disinfectant wipe to gently rub the surface of the device. 

Seth Headley, an information technology consultant in Melbourne, said that using isopropyl alcohol is OK as long as the cloth is just slightly damp.

"You want to just dab a little bit on a cloth," he said. "You don’t want drips going down the screen."

Make sure to avoid touching any openings, such as a charging port or headphone jack, with your wipe or cloth. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry your device and you’re ready to go.

Laptops and computers

Start by turning off the machine and unplugging it from any outlets. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt, dust or smears. Next, rub the surface of the laptop or computer with a disinfectant wipe or a damp cloth with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Wipe especially gently on the screen. Wipe the device with a dry microfiber cloth or allow the device a few minutes for the disinfectant to dry.

To clean the keyboard, use a dry Q-tip or cotton swab to clean any dirt or crumbs from the crevices. Next, wet a Q-tip with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and rub it between the keys. Lightly wipe each key with the Q-tip, being sure not to rub off the lettering on the keyboard. 

Again, Headly emphasized that the cloth should not be too wet when disinfecting the keyboard.

"You don’t want anything dripping in there," he said. "The thing I would stress is slightly damp."

To finish, dry the keyboard with a microfiber cloth. Now, the computer has been thoroughly disinfected and is ready for use.