COVID-19: How to Clean Computers and Electronics for All Users

By Yale Environmental Health and Safety, as published on June 9, 2020

The following information provides guidance on how to clean high-touch electronics. Examples include computers, computer accessories, touchscreen devices, printers and copiers (hereinafter referred to as “electronics”). All electronics in shared and public locations should be frequently cleaned and disinfected. When cleaning electronics it is important to follow the manufacturer recommendations for specific cleaning requirements. The guidance below was adapted from the CDC: Cleaning & Disinfecting Schools, Apple “How to Clean your Apple Products”, and Microsoft “Clean and Care for your Surface”.

General cleaning tips
  • Use a lint-free cloth, such as a screen wipe or a cloth made from microfiber.
  • Avoid excessive wiping and submerging item in cleanser to avoid damage.
  • Unplug all external power sources and cables.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays, bleach or abrasive cleaners.
  • Ensure moisture does not get into any openings to avoid damage.
  • Never spray cleaner directly on an item.
Approved COVID-19 disinfectants safe for computers, accessories and electronics
  • Using a Clorox disinfectant wipe or a wipe containing 70% alcohol, gently and carefully wipe the hard, nonporous surface of the item. This includes the display, touchscreen keyboard, mouse and the exterior surface of the item. If you have concerns about the cleaning product being used, please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations and warning label.
  • When using a disinfectant wipe, it is important to follow the contact time found on the label. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the recommended contact time.
  • Do not use fabric or leather surfaces on items, as this can scratch or damage to the items.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect computers and electronics.