It’s hard to turn off our screens when we want to stay on top of news about coronavirus—schools are dismissing early or closing to prepare for long-term remote instruction and hand sanitizer is scarce (here’s how to make your own). But the screens we’re using to stay updated need to be disinfected daily, whether or not your family has been infected. And just wiping them off with a cloth or your sleeve won’t work.
COVID-19, which spreads from person-to-person in close contact (about six feet), transfers through respiratory droplets, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current research suggests the coronavirus can remain on surfaces for hours to days, and a great practice to prevent infection (other than washing your hands and limiting your person-to-person contact) is by disinfecting surfaces.
We touch our devices every hour of the day, from our iPhones to our kids’ tablets, and it’s important to know how to properly sanitize them and minimize the risk of infection.
When cleaning Apple products, the company recommends using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. According to their instructions, you can gently wipe the nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, like the display, keyboard and other exterior surfaces, but do not use bleach. Try to avoid getting moisture in any openings and don’t submerge your products in any liquids. The same goes for Apple computers: Use a damp, soft, lint-free cloth on the exterior and avoid getting moisture in openings. Do not spray anything onto the computer and don’t use solvents, abrasives or cleaners with hydrogen peroxide.
AT&T also recommends using an alcohol-based (70 percent isopropyl) disinfectant on products and warns against putting devices on public surfaces. If you have a Bluetooth device or hands-free headset, you can minimize your device’s exposure to your face. Do not use any abrasive products on your screens, like aerosol sprays or bleaches.
When it comes to laptops, tablets and keyboards, the CDC recommends following the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfectant products. If the manufacturer hasn’t provided any guidelines, use alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70 percent alcohol. They also suggest using wipeable covers for electronics.
If you’re not sure which products to use to clean your household devices, check out the EPA’s list of antimicrobial products. And be sure to clean other high-touch surfaces in your house, like tables, door knobs, remotes, door handles and faucets.
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