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You probably don’t clean your mouse and keyboard very often, but you should. It’s especially important if you share a computer with others. Right now, it could also prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Cleaning your computer peripherals takes virtually no time at all, and it can prevent you and others from getting sick. You can even use the same cleaning tools you use to disinfect your smartphone.

What You’ll Need

Cleaning and disinfecting aren’t the same thing. To lightly clean a peripheral, you might only need some canned air and a damp cloth. Disinfecting, though, is a far more thorough process. You need a disinfectant to kill any microbes that might make you sick.

To disinfect your desktop, you need an alcohol-based disinfectant that contains at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. You can buy aerosols, pump sprays, or wipes that will do the job, just make sure they contain the necessary amount of ethanol or isopropanol.