I have been working in an office for the better part of ten years now; and one thing that I know for sure is that if my keyboard could talk, the stories it would tell will scare even the most die-hard Stephen King fan. I am not a very social person you see, and the one thing I really like to do is to get lunch and eat it right here, on my desk. Now that may be convenient for me, but as you may have already guessed, most of the food falls directly on my keyboard, behind the desk and on my chair. I must have eaten at least 90% of my meals this way, imagine all the food residue lying everywhere. If you are like me, then you know exactly what I am talking about. Just turn your own keyboard upside down and start shaking it like a toaster. Right off the bat, you will see remnants of your last 5 meals, plus some older ones. I know that this concept might not be appealing to you, but trust me when I say that if you make a much deeper analysis using some modern forensic equipment, you can even trace the first meal you ever had in front of that computer. But here is where the fun part begins. If you zoom even further, using a microscope for example, the horrors you are going to see will make you want to burn your keyboard and the rest of your office equipment.
Why is the Keyboard Dirty
For one, you keyboard doesn’t have any protective coating. Like a typewriter, it is just a set of buttons hooked to a printer (graphic interface). The crevices between the keys are more than enough to permit whatever you are eating to fall inside your keyboard. This is not a matter of being ‘hygienic’ or anything like that, because even if you are very, very careful not to drop anything between the keys, you keyboard would still be dirty. I don’t know how this happens, but your keyboard is basically one big magnet for everything nasty and unpleasant.
One more thing people neglect is their own greasy hands. I know how this sounds, but hear me out. Our hands and fingers secrete oils, and guess where those oils end up on? The keys of our keyboards, of course. If you look very carefully, you can actually make out which button your are using the most, just by the amount of greasy fingerprints on each one. Finger grease is the perfect medium on which bacteria thrive and reproduce.
Cleaning the keyboard
Now that we have established that your keyboard is very, very dirty, it is time to talk about some cleaning issues (yes, you will have to clean it now that you know how dirty it is). If it was up to me I would just buy a new keyboard every three months or so, but because most people can’t do that, let us talk about actually cleaning our keyboard. The procedure itself is simplicity itself (in theory). You remove all the keys, you shake well, then put the keys back in their original order. I have done this several times now, (half the time ending in complete and total disaster).
Rose Finchley works as a manager of http://www.cleancarpetlondon.com/. She loves to write and give advices about cleaning.