Computer labs carry more viruses to worry about than just the ones that infect computers. With dozens of students constantly putting their hands on the keyboard, mouse, desk top, or anything else in their work area, it's essential to keep the spread of germs to a minimum. According to a study led by Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, the average computer desk has more than 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat.
Keeping your computer lab clean will take some time out of your day, but following a consistent routine will help make your cleaning more efficient and less time consuming.
Kill the power. Shut off all the computers, and turn off any power strips that are still on to avoid the risk of electrical shock or damaging any components.
Wipe the keyboards. According to Dr. Gerba of the University of Arizona, there is about 95,600 bacteria per square inch on the average computer keyboard. Since there are likely dozens of different people touching the keyboards in your computer lab, wipe them down thoroughly and often with antimicrobial wipes. Use keyboard duster to remove crumbs and other particles from in between the keys.
Clean each mouse. A computer mouse has an average of 10,600 bacteria per square inch, according to Dr. Gerba. Use the antimicrobial wipes to gently cleanse the computer mouse, but avoid getting it too wet.
Clean the tops of the computer desks. As mentioned earlier, the desk tops are one of the biggest culprits for bacteria. Use antimicrobial wipes to clean them at least once a day.
Wipe the buttons. There are several buttons on a computer tower as well as the monitor that are always being touched by new fingers. Clean them gently with antimicrobial wipes.
Dust the monitors. Use dryer sheets to remove any dust from the monitors.
Sweep the floors. The floor is likely to be riddled with crumbs and other bits of trash. Sweep the floor with a broom if you have a tile or hardwood floor. Use a sweeper or vacuum for carpeted floors.
Wipe down the chairs. About once a week, clean the chairs with some antimicrobial wipes, as these are another commonly overlooked home to bacteria.
Ideally, clean your computer lab after every class.
You can use the same antimicrobial wipes for several keyboards and mouses, for as long as they still retain moisture.
You can use the same dryer sheet for multiple applications as well to cut back on costs and waste.
Ask students to shut off their computers before they leave to save you time.
Avoid cleaning computer monitors with anything containing liquid. A dryer sheet is a cheap and effective way of getting the job done.
Avoid cleaning any components when they are still powered.
Keep your keyboard duster locked away in a safe place to prevent students from finding it and abusing it. Keyboard duster is a common source of inhalant abuse.
- computers image by Olga Chernetskaya from Fotolia.com