With a hybrid education model still in full swing for many schools, students and teachers are likely to use the same devices at school and at home. Traveling between spaces will require regular cleaning and disinfecting of those devices to prevent cross contamination.
Schools will need to do that with care to avoid damage to equipment like laptops, tablets and other portable devices used in the classroom. Here are some tips to help you properly clean and disinfect school issued devices. These practices can be used at home when you have more than one child using a device for school too.
Know The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that cleaning and disinfecting can “reduce the risk of spreading infection by reducing and killing germs on surfaces people frequently touch.” Before you make a plan for your school, know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
As the CDC’s coronavirus website states:
“Cleaning physically removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.”
Read Device Manufacturer’s Device Care Guidelines
It is best to refer to the manufacturers guide for recommendations on how to clean and care for your devices. Each devices has different parts that require special cleaning solutions, etc.. For example HP has very good instructions on how to clean HP equipment.
Unplug and Power Down FIRST!
Always turn your device off before cleaning and disinfecting. This will avoid any damages or other mishaps with liquids in cleaning. Check to make sure the device is unplugged to prevent shock if you use to much liquid. The goal here is to prevent electrocution.
Don’t SPRAY Liquids Directly On Your Device
It’s never a good idea to spray cleaners or disinfectants directly onto electronic devices. Excess fluids can leak into the keyboard, charging ports, etc, and cause electrocution. Instead spray all liquids onto a microfiber cloth so it is damp with the cleaning or disinfecting solution.
Refrain From Using Abrasive Cloths
To prevent scratches and screen damage use a natural fiber or microfiber cloth instead of paper towels. Paper towels, tissues and rags can have residue and other materials on them that will scratch and damage your electronics screen.
Get A Routine
Administrators should work with teachers and students to establish a regular cleaning regiement for disinfecting devices to stop the spread of germs in your classroom. For more information regarding cleaning in classrooms, see the CDC (Center’s For Disease Control) website.