Study finds keyboard is dirtier than a toilet: Here's how to clean it properly

Your toilet seat is definitely not the dirtiest thing in your household, but you'd be surprised (or rather disgusted) to find out that it's actually your keyboard...Here's how you should be keeping it clean.

Your keyboard is dirtier than a toilet, here's how to clean it properly
© Cytonn Photography/UNSPLASH
Your keyboard is dirtier than a toilet, here's how to clean it properly

When it comes to keeping our personal spaces clean, we tend to focus on the toilet, kitchen and bathroom. But there are many things and places we are not thinking of cleaning, that actually accumulate a lot of dirt and bacteria.

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You should pay particular attention to cleaning your keyboard regularly, especially if you have pets or share it with other people.

Keyboards have 400 times more bacteria

Keyboards are significant sources of contamination as they collect numerous microorganisms such as disease-causing bacteria, according to WebMD. There are some interesting studies that have been done on this with one suggesting shared keyboards tend to have more bacteria than personal use ones.

Relatedly, a study by researchers at the University of Arizona found that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. That same study, cited in an article in the National Center for Health Research (NCHR) established that women’s desks tended to harbour more bacteria than men’s. Most of the bacteria the researchers found are the types that normally live on people – on the skin, in the mouth and nose.

Although many of these bacteria won’t hurt you unless your immune system is weak because of another illness, it could still cause an infection if you have a cut on your fingers (even a tiny one you can’t see).
Getty/ Melinda Podor

How to clean your keyboard without removing the keys

It is advisable to wash your hands before and after using your keyboard to keep it clean. However, you should occasionally give it a thorough cleaning to rid it of bacteria which could be harmful to you. Here’s the NCHR’s guide to cleaning your keyboard:

  1. Shut down and unplug your computer.
  2. Turn the keyboard upside down to empty debris from between the keys. If you are using a can of compressed air, you should use it at this point to blow debris out from in-between the keys.
  3. Dampen a cotton swab (such as a Q-tip) with water or isopropyl alcohol. Make sure it is damp, not wet. Use it to clean in-between the keys.
  4. Dampen a lint-free cloth with your chosen cleaner. Again, make sure it is damp, not wet. Wipe down the rest of the keyboard with the cloth.

Read more:

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Bacterial vaginosis: All you need to know about this ‘silent’ infection

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Sources used:

WebMD: How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

NCHR: Are There More Bacteria on Computer Keyboards Than Toilet Seats?

This is how often you should be cleaning your toilet, and it's more than you think This is how often you should be cleaning your toilet, and it's more than you think