View Full Version : How Do You Clean/Disinfect Your Laptop?

5-13-11, 12:56am
Hi All,

I pulled out my old laptop yesterday to move some files from it to my new laptop and was horrified to realize it was FILTHY. I'm going to keep the old one for houseguests and other occasional uses, but it really needs to be cleaned, and I'm not sure how to do it. It doesn't seem like I should use something like Clorox Wipes on the keyboard since that seems equivalent to spilling water on it.

I did an online search for laptop cleaning products, and I see there are a lot on the market, but I'm curious to know which ones work and which don't. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Also, now that I have a new baby, I've become an absolute germ freak. Every once in a while, somebody asks to use my computer for something or other, and I hate to say no, but I also want to clean my keyboard afterwards so I don't pick up whatever germs are going around. Does anybody have a good method for disinfecting a laptop after "guest use?"

Many thanks in advance for your help,

5-13-11, 4:30am
Hi Elizabeth - I use a dry soft toothbrush first, then use a barely damp microfiber cloth to wipe it off. I am not into disinfecting, especially around babies, as their immune system needs exposure to microbes to mature. Of course, keeping them away from folks with flu, etc., is good, but everyday germs won't hurt them - clorox on the other hand is toxic.

5-13-11, 11:04am
I always used a barely damp cloth and cleaned away, no special cleaners needed, just a small touch of water. I also turn the keyboard over and hit it from behind to shake out the loose dirt. As for disinfecting, no need unless you've had some type of horrible skin infection or coughed/sneezed directly on it (unlikely for most people). If you did, then you can use something like a dab of bleach on a barely moist towel - be sure to wear gloves if you do, though, and wipe the computer off afterwards with plain water.

Float On
5-13-11, 11:47am
I am not into disinfecting, especially around babies, as their immune system needs exposure to microbes to mature. Of course, keeping them away from folks with flu, etc., is good, but everyday germs won't hurt them - clorox on the other hand is toxic.

I have to agree. I look back and compare my kids health to the health of friend's children where the moms constantly followed the kids around with a can of lysol or wipes or were always soaking the toys in a bucket of clorox. My kids on the other hand, each ate a bit of dirt I'm sure in the amount of time we spent outside laying around in the grass. I never did more than clean toys or walls or door knobs with more than a bit of dishsoap. I did not have a pediatrician that we ran to at the slightest fever. Neither boy has had more than the common cold. My friends, packing the lysol can, were at the pediatrician for one reason or another with illnesses every month it seemed like.

And about the laptop I'd do as others have said and use a damp cloth. I am bad in that I will use canned air to knock the dust out of my keyboard - I keep a can around to clean the lent out of my sewing machine. I'm sure that is bad, bad, bad for the environment but I'd rather use that than clorox which gives me painful boiling blisters if I come in contact with it.

5-13-11, 1:59pm
I use Clorox wipes (and canned air for the keyboard when I can talk the IT staff out of it) to clean up my desk area at work, including the computer. My desk is some distance from a sink and it's just easier to use a single cleaning item.

Generally just a damp cloth and turning the computer/keyboard upside down at home.

5-15-11, 9:58pm
I get these wipe things from work that I wipe off my blood pressure cuff and stethescope each time I use them. They are like Clorox wipes but industrial grade...you know, to kill every known pathogen with one easy swipe. I use them to wipe off my cell phone and work computer from time to time. I guess I could use them on the home laptop too.

He, he....maybe I could use them to wash the dishes while my kitchen is being remodeled. [kidding]

5-16-11, 5:30pm
Thanks, All.

Well, when I think of the number of family members (including me!) who have slobbered over the baby in her first two months of life, I feel confident she has been exposed to enough germs that her immune system has already gotten well tested. Nevertheless, we have teenagers in this house who get colds and don't wash their hands (despite our pleas that they do so), and we all share at least one of the computers, so it's hard to resist the urge to disinfect.

But it's good to be reminded not to go overboard with the Clorox.

3-6-12, 9:59am
I just use plain old disinfectant cleaner (Pine-Sol). Before I get started on floors or other household cleaning, I give the keyboards a quick, once going over with a well-wrung cloth. I'm all for allowing baby to get his or her share of mild exposure to germs and things, but keyboards can warehouse some potentially serious and harmful bacteria.

3-6-12, 1:02pm
Agreed that babies need to be exposed to germs in order to develop healthy immune systems. I rooted around in dirt and river and ocean water like a little otter as a kid. I highly recommend it.

I would never use any disinfectant with questionable ingredients; I might use an alcohol wipe.

3-6-12, 8:48pm
I use rubbing alcohol for cleaning my home and work keyboards. I'm not a germaphobe, but I don't like things to be dirty and icky.

3-10-12, 12:54pm
My keyboards and mouse get filthy quickly. Big globs of dirt are on several of the keys, especially home row. There must be something in the oils my fingers secret or something, because my clarinets always had the same problem when i was in school. I've given up trying to keep my keyboards clean because it would be at least a weekly effort. I imagine that it would be pretty gross to anyone else using my computer though.

My iphone (and ipod before it) though, I clean the screen with rubbing alcohol at least once a week. I can't stand looking at the fingerprints on it. And I've also read that it's one of the germiest thiings that many people touch regularly.

3-10-12, 1:07pm
I spent 30 minutes a couple of days ago cleaning my keyboard, because I was in a hotel, and the sun came in the window, and I, too, was grossed out by all the dust, etc. So I happened to have a wet-nap in my pocketbook, a freebee from traveling--and I happened to have a big toothpick (another freebee from the the olives I had on the plane), and I just wrapped the wet-nap around the toothpick and started scraping the crud off and between the keys. It worked great.

On a side note, I am also of the opinion that we are, on the whole, too clean. I noticed that there is a real germ paranoia out in the world--when I was with my clients, I noticed that they often took out a sanitizer from their pocketbooks and wiped down their hands. I also noticed that between my interviews, the facility assistant came in with Clorox wipes and wiped down the table. That never used to happen.

I'm sorry, but I think that's excessive. I am NOT a germphobe--I'm clean, but I'm not a germ freak. And I never get sick (knock on wood). Can't remember the last time I caught a cold. My kids were not raised in an antiseptic bubble, and they are also extremely healthy (knock on wood).

OTOH, I had a friend whose father was a toxicologist, and the way he talked, it was clear that the family had become hypersensitive to germs as a result. Ironically, he had all kinds of allergic reactions, especially during pollen season.

I read a really interesting article once where they used East Berlin and West Berlin as controlled environments for a study on sickness. They found that those who were raised on farms were the least vulnerable to infection, asthma and allergy. Not because of the fresh air, either. They found that those who were raised with pigs roaming the house tended to be the healthiest. I'm not kidding.