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Tips for the Sanitisation of Devices in Schools

06.07.20 by velsen in Blog, Industry News

Most of us understand the power of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs. Because people frequently touch their eyes, nose and mouth without realising it, keeping your hands clean can keep you healthy. But not everyone thinks about how touching cell phones and other electronic devices contaminates our hands before we reach up to scratch our noses.

Typical mobile phone users touch their phone 2,617 times every day. And that’s just the average! 10% of phone users touch their phones twice as much.1 In its guidelines on reducing the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advises that frequently used objects should be routinely cleaned and disinfected. We think everyone would agree that thousands of times per day is frequent. 

Through routine sanitisation practices, the potential threat posed by contaminated devices can be significantly reduced. Read on to learn about the differences between cleaning and sanitising along with effective sanitisation methods. Hopefully, with these helpful tips, the sanitisation of devices in schools will become as widespread as soaping up your hands while singing Happy Birthday.

What’s the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitising?
  • Cleaning means to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution.
  • Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs.2
  • Sanitising is the reduction of bacteria to a safe level, as set by public health standards to decrease the risk of infection.3
Why is the sanitisation of devices important?

Did you know a cell phone has 18x more bacteria than a public toilet? Streptococcus, MRSA and E. coli have all been found lurking on devices. Nonporous surfaces like smartphone screens can also make it a perfect environment for the coronavirus. Studies show that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours up to several days.4 School toilets are cleaned frequently, so should school devices. With proper sanitisation methods, you’re lowering germs on a surface, which can reduce the risk of spreading germs.

What are the best methods for sanitisation?

As our friends at Firefly Computers say, “You can’t just drench a computer in Lysol®.” Care has to be taken to avoid getting moisture on charging ports or other openings and damaging screen, keys, and internal components. There’s also more to keeping your school devices clean than just wiping them down with a microfiber cloth. Here are three of the best methods for sanitisation.

1. Isopropyl Alcohol Wipes

Apple® recommends the following sanitisation method. “Using a 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.” Google confirms that it’s okay to use isopropyl alcohol wipes on their devices as well.5 Regardless of the type of device, always power it down first.

2. Rapid UV-V Technology with UVone

If you’re looking for a sanitisation method with 99.9999% bacteria reduction,* UVone helps mitigate the spread of viral bacteria anywhere devices are being used or shared.

To be effective, traditional wipes can take upwards of three minutes to disinfect. Teachers and IT staff already short on time, can’t spare several minutes sanitising each device. UVone UV-C disinfection for mobile devices works in just 30 seconds. Also, UV-C light disinfects in a consistent manner, making it more reliable and efficient than wipes—plus, it does not degrade the integrity of devices over time.

With touchless sensors, students and staff never physically touch the station, reducing cross-contamination. UVone seamlessly integrates into any school environment, such as inside classrooms, in communal public areas, or any other location that is most convenient and visible.

Steps to Clean Sanitise Classroom Laptops

Firefly Computers’ repair experts recommend first powering off the device and removing accessories or plug-ins. Then clean the screen with an LCD-safe solution applied to a microfiber cloth. Use 70% isopropyl alcohol applied to a soft cotton rag to wipe down the keyboard and external chassis. Lastly, wait for the alcohol solution to evaporate before turning the laptop back on. Check out this helpful article for step-by-step instructions.

Take care of yourself. Keep washing those hands and sanitising those devices, and let us know if we can help keep the germs at bay in your school or classroom.



*Kill rate claims are based on preliminary data only conducted by third-party lab. Preliminary test data is available upon request.

1. Here’s how many times we touch our phones every day – Business Insider
2. What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? – Safe Work Australia
3. What you need to know about cleaning and coronavirus –
4. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces – Journal of Hospital Infection
5. How to Sanitise Your Smartphone – Consumer Reports

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