The do’s and don’ts of disinfecting your keyboard

My husband came down with a cold this weekend-one that involves a runny nose and a hacking cough, unfortunately-and I fear our apartment is turning into a germ fest. This morning as I listened to him cough and simultaneously bang away at the very computer I'm typing at now, I realized I really ought to disinfect the keyboard to try and stave off getting sick myself.

While cleaning your keyboard is one thing, there are slightly different tactics for sanitizing it. I ended up on Apple's website just now, where they outlined some simple but helpful pointers on the subject of the latter (PC users fear not: the advice isn't specific to Macs). You're going to want some Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes handy. Besides those, here's a re-cap of things to know before you dig in:


Power off your computer. If you've got a wireless keyboard or mouse, remove the batteries.

If the wipe feels heavily saturated with liquid, wring it out so it's not excessively damp.

Use a wipe to disinfect the area. Then follow up with a slightly damp, soft, lint-free cloth, and lastly, dry the surface with another soft, lint-free cloth.


Do not use wipes that contain bleach or any kind of disinfectant spray.

Do not let the liquid from the wipe sit on the area you're cleaning for an extended period of time.

Do not use a rough cloth to dry your computer.

Do not get too aggressive when scrubbing your keyboard-you don't want to damage the keys.

Related: How to clean your keyboard