Cleaning and disinfecting devices is important for ensuring they're safe for students and staff to continue using. Below you'll find instructions on cleaning various electronic devices that are commonly touched.
For all of these, unless specified, a microfiber cloth is recommended, and it should be lightly damp with cleaner. An alcohol based cleaner is recommended, but must be used with care on screens (50% or less solution)
Note: These are electronic devices, and introducing water to them can and will cause damage when done without care. If you're spraying or otherwise applying liquid, do not apply directly to the device. Instead apply to a cloth to wipe the device down with. Pre-soaked wipes can be useful for this, just be careful about the amount of liquid pooling on the device while cleaning.
Several online references can be found here:
Laptops / Chromebooks
- Ensure the device is turned off, and remove the battery.
- Some devices, especially newer devices and Chromebooks, have internal batteries, so don't worry about this step if you don't see a battery to remove.
- For some Chromebooks, the power button is on the keyboard, so don't be surprised if it turns on while you're cleaning
- Take your cloth, which is damp with cleaner, and wipe down the lid, sides, and bottom of the device.
- Open the device and wipe down the keyboard and touchpad with your cloth.
- For the keyboard, ensure you're getting between all the keys.
- For the screen area, instead of the cleaner, use a different cloth that is only damp with water.
- Chemicals found in cleaners can cause damage to the screen, using water here is safer for the device.
- Abrasive cloth can also damage the screen.
- Once the device is wiped down, leave it open for a time in order to dry. Close the device after the keyboard area appears dry.
- Shut down the computer and unplug it from power.
- Wipe down the computer with a microfiber cloth, damp with cleaner.
- Watch around plugs and vents Focus around buttons and other areas where it looks like it would be touched often.
- Allow the desktop to dry completely before plugging back in.
- Turn off the monitor and unplug it from the power
- Instead of cleaner, use a damp microfiber cloth with water
- Wipe down the screen carefully. Do not use too much force.
- Focus cleaning the buttons.
Keyboards and Mice
This pertains to peripheral mice and keyboards, not devices built into a laptop. For these, refer to the section above.
- Unplug the mouse and keyboard from the computer.
- Take a cloth, damp with cleaner, and thoroughly wipe down the mouse and keyboard.
- Make sure to get between all the keys of the keyboard
- For the mouse, make sure you spin the middle wheel to clean the entire surface.
- Leave these to dry before plugging back into the computer.
- Unplug the headphones from the computer.
- Take a cloth and wipe down the entirety of the headphones, focusing near the earpieces and the plug.
- Allow the headphones to dry completely before plugging back into the computer
- Unplug the microphone from the computer
- Clean the microphone with a damp cloth, focusing around the receiver end and the plug.
- Allow the microphone to dry completely before plugging back into the receiver.
- Unplug the phone from the wall
- Wipe down the handset in its entirety
- Wipe down the keypad, ensuring you get between all the buttons.
- After letting the phone dry, plug it back into the wall.
- If the phone doesn't light up after being plugged in, remove it from the port you plugged it into and try another one.
For Apple devices, Apple has a guide located here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172, but include these general items:
Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements. To get started, here are some tips that apply to all products:
- Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
- Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
- Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
- Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
- Don't get moisture into any openings.
- Don't use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
- Don't spray cleaners directly onto the item.
Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don't use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don't submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don't use on fabric or leather surfaces.
iPads and iPods can follow this as well, as it is based off of the guides linked to above.
- Remove the device from its case, if it is in one
- Clean the case separately
- Turn off the device by holding down the power button until it prompts to shut off. Follow the prompt
- With a microfiber cloth, lightly damp with water, wipe down the screen of the device
- Move to the back and sides of the device, wiping it down with the same cloth. Be careful of any holes in it, to avoid allowing water into it.
Other notes and suggestions
One districts cleaning station: We are setting up a study table (with sides back and a top shelf, microfiber cloths that get changed by custodians daily, one wet, one dry rag, the pump dispensers that nail salons use so kids can't squirt each other, and a media monitor that runs a looping video on how to clean your cell phone and chromebook. The solution we are using will consist of 50% isopropyl alcohol (diluted with distilled water) and dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (409), we got the recipe from firefly. https://fireflycomputers.com/2020/03/how-to-sanitize-a-chromebook/
Other schools recommendations:
You can use mild bleach wipes on keyboard and all the other non-screen parts. For the screens, we recommend nothing but a slightly damp cotton cloth.
Standard bleach wipes are fine....for just wiping down the device keyboards and giving it a quick once-over...however.....DO NOT USE THEM ON THE SCREENS. Bleach wipes and other chemical cleaners can damage the screens.
(make sure to let the keyboards dry etc...before you close the lids...)
Screens should ONLY be cleaned with a tiny bit of warm water on a cotton cloth, or with cleaning wipes / solutions specifically made for LCD / TV / Computer screens (and even then....test the cleaning wipes on one unit before doing a large batch....)
Anything that is abrasive (or has chemicals in it) should NEVER be used on the screens, they fog and streak VERY easily
I'd recommend an alcohol disinfectant wipe for keyboards and mice so as to not ruin the equipment.
We use a concentration of 50% Isopropyl Alcohol(99%) and 50% Distilled Water.