Keep Your Desk Clean for the Sake of Your Health

23 October 2012

Warning: this article contains shocking information! Did you know that the average computer mouse is three times dirtier than the average toilet seat and twice as dirty as the average toilet handle?

Channel 4's recent programme on OCD showed comedian Jon Richardson struggling to run his hands around a toilet seat and then wipe them on his body, which I think most people would also have trouble with.  Yet most of us think nothing of getting hold of the mouse on our desks, using it all morning while intermittently touching our faces or grabbing a biscuit without a second thought.

desk cleaning

These statistics come from research conducted by cleaning firm Initial, who tested more than 158 different office items, and are even more worrying given that more and more office workers are choosing to eat their lunch at their desks, although this is part of the reason why workstations have become so filthy. The crumbs, combined with grease, the warm atmosphere and regular germs mean that computer keyboards and mice are a hotbed of bacteria, including staphylococcus, the germ that causes MRSA, and streptococcus, which leads to throat infections.


The reason this filth prevails is that computer equipment is  not cleaned as often as the rest of the office. Hired cleaners tend to avoid the computer area, and generally do not like to disturb papers and other items left out on an office desk, which is a very good reason for keeping your workstation clutter-free.


However, with the right cleaning products keeping your workstation clean takes minimal effort. A clean desk and computer equipment also means that both you and it will work better, plus the office will look, feel and smell much nicer.


So what cleaning materials do you need to keep things spick and span? The good news is that even if your desk is currently really filthy, you won't need lots of strong commercial cleaning products to get rid of all those bacteria. Some disinfectant wipes or our Spray and Wipe bactericidal fragranced cleaner is perfect for cleaning your whole desk, including the keyboard, mouse and phone, which can also get dirty quite quickly. If you look between the keys of your keyboard and can see lots of crumbs and bits lurking there, you might also want to use some compressed air to get them out, although tipping your keyboard upside down every once in a while leaves quite a pile on your desk too!


To help keep things clear, you should also try and avoid making a mess in the first place. Keep a hand sanitiser on your desk to stop spreading the germs, particularly before you eat.  We recommend the Purell Pal santiser, which is excellent quality and also looks great too.  Also try and avoid eating at your desk.  While it might be tempting to make use of the free and uncontrolled internet during your lunch hour, it will also do you good to get up and move around, as well as removing yourself from your working environment, even if it's only to go to the staff room.

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