Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Computer Mouse And Keyboard

Computers have become the center of our lives. We're active on them all day long for everything from work to shopping to watching movies. We use our computer keyboards and mouse after touching many different things and surfaces — and we don't think twice about it. Well, it looks like you might want to think again. Most people don't wash or sanitize their hands before using their computers, so whatever dirt or germs they are carrying are transferred to their keyboard and mouse. 

Your computer is one of the dirtiest things you touch all day. A 2009 University of Arizona study revealed that keyboards hold 400 times as much bacteria as a toilet seat. You may want to ask yourself next time you sit down at your computer, when was the last time you cleaned your keyboard and mouse? It's recommended to do it as often as possible. Here's how and why.

Your computer is dirtier than you think

It makes sense that dirt builds up on your computer over time. Imagine the dust, food particles, and bacteria that you expose to your keyboard and mouse every time you sit down at your computer. According to the American Journal of Infection Control, a Chicago hospital discovered that its computer keyboards contained drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus (the group of germs that cause staph infections) for up to 24 hours. 

Like the University of Arizona study, an Australian study discovered that the typical desk contains 400 times the amount of bacteria than that of a toilet seat. Should you honestly be that surprised, considering how often you touch your computer? Especially if those computers are shared by multiple people. You probably clean your toilet more than your keyboard and mouse. Now that you know all this info, you're probably asking yourself how often should you clean your computer and what is the best way to do so.

When you should clean your keyboard and mouse

You should be cleaning your mouse and keyboard at least once a week. However, realistically, the more you use your computer, the more you should clean it. Also, if you're someone who lets others use your computer often, you'll especially want to clean it after each use. Other things to consider when it comes to cleaning your computer: Clean it more often when you're sick, if something spilled on it, or if you've typed with sticky hands. You should also wash your hands before and after using your computer.

According to Driver Support, you'll need a microfiber cloth, cotton swabs, compressed air, and isopropyl alcohol. When cleaning your keyboard and mouse, it's important to make sure that your computer is completely turned off and disconnected. Turn the keyboard upside down and shake out any crumbs or debris that may have fallen into it. Use the compressed air can to blow any dust or debris from in between the keys. Give the keyboard a good shake again. For stubborn dirt, use the cotton swabs with a small amount of the isopropyl alcohol. Wipe down your mouse and computer screen with the microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol wipes are a good alternative as well. Doing this weekly will help keep your computer (and you) germ free.