How to safely clean your desktop computer, keyboard and mouse

19th May, 2020

By Brad Shannon


Cleaning your Desktop Computer

To disinfect your desktop, use an alcohol-based cleaning spray that contains at least 60% ethanol and 70% isopropyl

  • Shutdown the computer and make sure it is off
  • Spray the front, top and sides lightly and allow to air dry
  • Use a disinfectant wet wipe or paper towel to wipe off any excess residue
  • You can turn computer back on once dry

Cleaning your desktop computer keyboard and mouse

Note: These instructions are for cleaning a keyboard and mouse connected to a desktop computer.  For instructions on cleaning a laptop keyboard and trackpad, please refer to section below titled ‘cleaning a laptop keyboard & trackpad’

  • Unplug your keyboard and mouse, if they are wireless, remove the dongle from the computer
  • If you have a can of compressed air to blow the dust out of your keyboard and bottom of your mouse start with this
  • Use a damp cloth initially to wipe down the keyboard and mouse, then
  • Spray the entire keyboard and mouse with alcohol-based spray or use alcohol-based wipes
  • Wipe between the keys with a paper towel or disinfectant wipe
  • Allow the keyboard and mouse to dry before reconnecting to the computer

Cleaning a laptop keyboard & trackpad

Laptop keyboards and trackpads require a more sensitive approach than desktop models because the computer’s primary components are housed beneath them.

  • Before you begin, completely power down and unplug your laptop
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean any obvious grime or stuck-on dirt from the keys and trackpad
  • Using alcohol spray or wipes, thoroughly disinfect the surface of the keyboard and trackpad. Don’t saturate them too much
  • Use paper towel or a disinfectant wipe on the keys to unsettle or remove any stubborn grime
  • If your laptop keyboard has separate buttons for right and left click, use a toothpick to clean any grooves or gaps between the chassis and touch surface
  • Most trackpads are recessed, which means there’s a lip around the edge that can trap all sorts of grime. Use a toothpick to remove any dirt lodged in there, and then disinfect the area with alcohol
  • Allow the laptop keyboard and trackpad to dry before powering the laptop back on again

After disinfecting and cleaning your devices, always remember to wash your hands thoroughly.