Good hygiene is an everyday ritual. Anyone serious about staying healthy and safe understands the need to keep their immediate environment clean. However, cleanliness becomes even more imperative during certain times of the year.

person washing hands

The flu and cold seasons come with an increased risk of getting sick or infected by an unclean environment or work area. Perhaps, this is why more health experts have encouraged people to clean and disinfect their work area the right way to stay healthy during these times.

Having established the importance of a clean work area, let us discuss how to keep things clean and infected?

What constitutes a work area?

The concept of the work area is not universal. However, a regular work area comprises a computer system (desktop or laptop), a reading table, a couple of gadgets, and a notepad or stack of papers. While there may be other items, the ones mentioned here are more common.

Interestingly, all of these items, as well as the entire work area, breed microbes. Although many people are aware of this, only a few know how to clean the whole area, including the gadgets correctly.

How do you clean and disinfect your work area?

Flu and colds, including the head cold, the chest cold, and the seasonal flu, are caused by viruses. Having direct contact with infected surfaces is one possible method of transmission. The other is via the virus-infected airborne droplets from an infected individual. Either way, you need to keep your immediate environment free of these droplets.

Viruses can survive on particular surfaces for up to 24 hours or more. These surfaces include the interiors of your computers and gadgets, your work table, and all other places you touch frequently. Hence, it is vital that you keep these high-touch surfaces clean and disinfected at all times.

Let's take a look at how each of these surfaces can be disinfected and cleaned to reduce your chances of catching these flu-causing viruses.

Cleaning and disinfecting your work table

You must always clean before disinfecting. Cleaning involves removing contaminants, dust, or debris lurking around your work table.

  • Get soapy water and a hand towel.
  • Dip the hand towel in the soapy water and use it to wipe the surfaces.
  • Apply a suitable disinfectant or wipe with disinfecting wipes and leave to dry.

You may use disinfectants such as sprays from manufacturers like Purell, Clorox, and Lysol, as well as Isopropyl alcohol, or Hydrogen Peroxide. You may also use disinfecting wipes from the same manufacturers. You should do this every day to ensure a clean and virus-free work table.

Cleaning and disinfecting your gadgets

We cannot overemphasize the importance of our devices. They are the backbone of any work-from-home or remote work arrangement. Unfortunately, these essential tech pieces can also harbor potentially harmful viruses, bacteria, and germs. Precisely why we must keep them clean and disinfected at all times.

How do you clean and disinfect your computers?

Let's start with the keyboard.

  • Switch off the computer or laptop and disconnect all cables and accessories. Disconnect the power pack and the charging cord. If your battery is removable, remove it too.
  • Turn the laptop or the office keyboard such that the keyboard faces downward and pat the back gently. Doing so ensures that all the dust falls off.
  • Get a suitable disinfectant wipe to clean the critical surfaces.

How about the screen?

  • Whatever you do, do not wipe your screen with a disinfecting wipe. It will most likely damage the screen.
  • Instead, use a 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, applied with a damp, soft towel.

The mouse or laptop touchpad?

  • Unplug the mouse from the computer and remove the batteries.
  • Spin the scroll wheel or pat the mouse while facing upside down to get the dirt particles out.
  • Clean the top of the mouse with a mildly damp disinfectant wipe. You can do the same for your laptop touchpad.
  • Leave the mouse or touchpad to dry sufficiently.

Other parts?

  • You can clean the other parts of your computer or laptop using Isopropyl Alcohol-based disinfectants, provided they are plastic. Do not use disinfecting wipes for non-plastic parts.
  • Clean the internal components by using compressed air and blowing dust out. You can achieve the same thing using a cleaning brush to vacuum out dirt and dust.

How do you clean and disinfect your smartphones?

Your phones and tablets also harbor these harmful viruses. So, how do you get rid of them? Find out below.

  • Start by switching off your device and detaching cases or any accessories.
  • Get a microfiber cloth or something with similar softness.
  • You can use the microfiber cloth on its own or dampen it with a mixture of soap and warm water.
  • Ensure that the cloth is mildly damp - you do not want water harming your device.
  • Use the cloth to wipe the vital areas.
  • Focus on the germ-magnet areas, including the screen and buttons.
  • Ensure that no liquid gets into the ports or buttons.
  • Wipe the device dry with a clean, dry cloth. Disinfecting every 24 hours can keep your device sanitized all day.


You cannot ensure complete disinfection without sanitizing your hands. Hence, you should wash your hands frequently, especially after you touch a shared surface, sneeze, or blow your nose. In the absence of soap and water, hand sanitizers work just fine.

Stay clean, stay healthy.