Disinfecting Computer Devices

Computer devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers should be disinfected in a way that safely ensures germs are killed and the device gets sanitized.  The recommendations below can be followed to safely disinfect computer devices and peripherals.

Disconnect power and external devices

  • Ensure the device is completely powered off and not in sleep mode.
  • Unplug and disconnect the power cable completely.
  • Disconnect any external devices such as USB drives, SD cards, etc.
  • If the device has a battery that can be easily removed, remove it.

Use a lint-free cloth

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth like microfiber to ensure the device isn't scratched and fabric residue isn't left behind.
  • Cleaning wipes can be used, however do not use wipes that are overly wet.

Use an alchol solution

  • Do not use straight water; alcohol evaporates quickly which reduces the risk of liquid getting inside the device.
  • An isopropyl alcohol solution that consists of 30% water and 70% alcohol is recommended.

Apply cleaning solution to the cloth

  • Never apply cleaning solution directly to the device but rather to the cloth.
  • Only dampen the cloth with the cleaning solution; do not get the cloth or the device too wet.
  • Do not allow cleaning solution to drip down the device.
  • Use the dampened cloth to carefully clean all external device surfaces including the screen if it has one.
  • Consider also cleaning the device's protective case if it has one as well as any other device peripherals.

Allow device to dry

  • Use a dry, lint-free cloth to wipe away any remnants of the cleaning solution.
  • Let the device dry out completely before powering back on and reconnecting cables and other devices.
  • If necessary, clean the screen with a glass cleaner.
If you require assistance or have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Cleaning vs Disinfecting

Did you know disinfecting and cleaning are two different things?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning refers to the "removal" of germs, dirt, and impurities while disinfecting refers to using chemicals to "kill" germs.