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What Is the Best Way To Disinfect Your Laptop?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the use-a-nice-strong-antivirus dept.

Medicine 545

akutz writes "I've had the flu since Tuesday afternoon. My wife picked me up from work with a temperature of 103.6 and it finally broke at 98.7 around 3am this morning. Yay. The problem is that I used my laptop during my periods of feverish deliriousness, contaminating my shiny 15" MacBook Pro with the icky influenza virus. I am asking my fellow Slashdotters if they have ever sought out a good way of disinfecting their lucky laptops after an illness. Do you use soap? A light acid bath? Just get the family dog to lick it until it looks clean?"

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545 comments

Bring it to the airport (5, Funny)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052823)

Then you won't have to worry about it.

Re:Bring it to the airport (3, Insightful)

Linuss (1305295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052891)

i'd totally mod you +5 funny if i could, thanks for making the office a little more fun for 30 seconds.

Re:Bring it to the airport (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053299)

I'd be wary. In the current terror craze, you might get arrested for trying to wipe out the airport personnel with biological weapons.

UV light (5, Informative)

chocho99 (552877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052849)

Keyboard + Mouse + Sunlight. 30 minutes later it's clean.

Germs on plastic? (3, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052855)

I could be wrong, but I doubt that germs live very long on plastic.

Re:Germs on plastic? (4, Funny)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052873)

Yes, you could be wrong.

Re:Germs on plastic? (5, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053045)

Even if they live a while, Timothy has already had this strain and is likely immune, no?

Re:Germs on plastic? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053151)

Maybe, but his immune system could always be crap. It probably isn't as bad as mine though; I've caught the chicken pox seven times. My doctor didn't believe I'd caught them multiple times until he'd diagnosed it three different times (the first four times I was in another state).

Re:Germs on plastic? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053291)

Just be happy you never got shingles. Now that is painful. My dad had it when he was younger too. Apparently he had his arm broken around the same time. Shingles is much worse.

When you feel sick, you're already non-contagious (4, Insightful)

spineboy (22918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053191)

You are typically contagious before you feel sick. The feeling sick part usually happens AFTER your body has begun to mount an immune response, the sick feeling being all the cytokines and such, being released and their effect on the body.

Besides that - you've alreay "caught" it, and are no longer susceptible to that strain. Your other members of the household might still catch it though. And, yes, generally the bugs/viruses don't stay "live" that long outside the body. Most are dead within 72 hours or so.

Re:When you feel sick, you're already non-contagio (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053233)

Influenza is contagious for about a week AFTER you stop having symptoms. Apparently children shed the virus earlier and for longer -- up to two weeks.

If he's the only one using his laptop, though, I don't think he'll need to worry.

Re:Germs on plastic? (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053311)

Viruses don't "live", as such. Some of them can persist for a very long time, and the influenza virus is one of them. The opening of some old graves from the Great Flu on Spitzbergen a couple of years ago was considered risky, because the virus would likely have survived.

However, you also become immune to a strain of the influenza virus once you've had it. So there will normally be no dangers in using a computer that has traces of influenza virus from when you yourself were ill.

That said, it's not really certain that the OP really had influenza. People tend to throw the word influenza around a lot, for all kinds of infections with flu-like symptoms, whether it's really the flu or not. If a bacterial infection, chances are greater that the bacteria will die, but there's also a greater risk of re-catching the same disease. If a virus, but not an influenza, the longevity of the virus might be way different.

Set it out in the Sun (5, Informative)

fishyfool (854019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052871)

Set it out in the sunshine for about ten minutes. Sunlight is a great disinfectant

Re:Set it out in the Sun (5, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053093)

I'd think twice about doing this. You will end up killing 99% of the bugs, but the 1% that survive will be sunlight resistant! You'll kill us all!

Re:Set it out in the Sun (1)

hkz (1266066) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053297)

I wonder about that a lot. Can anyone comment on the truthfulness of the parent post? I'd be inclined to give him the logical benefit of the doubt.

Re:Set it out in the Sun (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053329)

You'll kill us all!

If I was from Control, you'd already be dead.

Re:Set it out in the Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053351)

Us humans ARE one of those 1% bugs you insensitive clod.

Re:Set it out in the Sun (5, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053317)

This is Slashdot. I think you need to go into more explanation about this whole sunlight thing.

a gentle cleaning (4, Informative)

verin (74429) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052879)

Use the gentlest cleanser you can (the cleaner they sell for lcd televisions works pretty well), a microfiber cloth (not wet, just damp), and go over it once, let it dry, go over it again, let it dry, then a little bit of sunshine really does help kill germs.

alcohol or chlorine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24052881)

soap doesnt do, use alcohol to wipe it clean. if you dont drink, use your wife's toner. or diluted chlorine.

possible secondary infection (5, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052883)

Sounds like you might have been exposed to hypochondria as well. You should go to a specialist and have that checked out right away.

Re:possible secondary infection (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053063)

In addition, if at all possible, DO NOT LICK YOUR KEYBOARD.
  When you've used the keyboard, DO NOT LICK YOUR HANDS. Do not jam your fingers into your eyes or up your nose. Maybe wash your hands with soap and water.
  There's very little to worry about unless you give in to the urge to lick your keyboard.

Re:possible secondary infection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053301)

I'd rather like to know why the hell he was at work. He's exposed all his coworkers.

Solution to most problems...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24052901)

Ball-peen hammer. This solves most problems in my life.

Use a condom? (5, Funny)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052905)

Use a condom?

I kid, I kid.
Bye bye karma ;)

Re:Use a condom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053335)

Actually, keyboard skins (aka "keyboard condoms") do make laptops easier to clean -- you just pull away the keyboard skin when it's time for cleaning and clean that separately, and the keys underneath stay clean.

(Of course, this doesn't help the OP since his keyboard has already been germed up.)

They're not for everybody, though -- different feel, and some people report mild loss of keyboard sensitivity.

Cleaning keyboards/laptops (1, Interesting)

thewiz (24994) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052907)

I've cleaned many keyboards by placing them in the dishwasher and running them through a couple of cycles.
Kills anything on them; try it but remember to let it dry out for a couple of days before using it.

Use rubbing alcohol (4, Informative)

Armon (932023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052911)

Get some cotton balls wet with rubbing alcohol, something with a high concentration (e.g. > 70%). Rub it all over your laptop. Wait about 2 minutes and all of it will evaporate, and your laptop will be clean. I use this on my keyboard/mice/macbook all the time.

Do you really need to disinfect it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24052931)

I'm not a medical expert (I hated freshman biology) so this may sound dumb but... you've caught this strain of flu - won't your immune system know how to combat it? Aren't you immune to it now? So why do you need to disinfect your laptop now?

Re:Do you really need to disinfect it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053137)

If you read the summary, you'll see that our recuperating submitter has a wife. Presumably the wife is not sick with the flu and the submitter is probably trying to take steps to quarantine himself within reasonable means. Therefore, disinfecting the laptop and other affected areas may be in order--and the laptop is a tricky proposition since you can't just drop expensive electronics into a bucket of disinfectant and expect them to work afterwards.

I'm assuming the submitter isn't the "get back in the kitchen and make me some _x_" kind of guy.

Trust your immune system (5, Insightful)

isomeme (177414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052941)

If you've already had a given strain of the flu, you generally won't catch it again; your immune system is primed against that virus. So the laptop is little danger to you. Your immediate family probably got exposed through a thousand other shared items, so the laptop isn't making things noticeably worse for them, either. In short, I wouldn't worry about it.

Re:Trust your immune system (3, Insightful)

coldandcalculating (1311907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053131)

It's true. Flu strains sweep through as much of the human population as they can and then are forced to change by swapping out components with other strains in vivo.

Most influenza strains are classified by their own particular version of hemagluttanin and neuraminidase proteins in the fashion of H#N#, where # is the variant of each protein. Hence the naming of the H5N1 bird flu. Every year, a few lucky flu strains will simultaneously infect a host and, in cells, swap the genes necessary for encoding H and N. If one or more of the new combinations is able to stand up to the immune systems of hosts who have already developed an immunity to the flu in previous years, it will again start its march through the population (which will hopefully develop a new immunity after exposure) and the cycle will continue.

The only reason you should worry about disinfecting your laptop is if you plan on taking it to the jungles of the amazon where the people perhaps are more susceptible to old world flus. In that case, my two cents goes to spraying lightly with pure alcohol and letting it sit in the sun for a few minutes.

Re:Trust your immune system (3, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053189)

But, for a short time, that infected laptop gives 'p2p sharing' a whole new meaning.

Re:Trust your immune system (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053217)

True, you don't have to worry about your family, but don't waste a golden opportunity - lend it to your least favorite co-worker!!

Re:Trust your immune system (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053303)

If you've already had a given strain of the flu, you generally won't catch it again; your immune system is primed against that virus. So the laptop is little danger to you. Your immediate family probably got exposed through a thousand other shared items, so the laptop isn't making things noticeably worse for them, either. In short, I wouldn't worry about it.

What do you share with your spouse?

Toilet - disinfect
dishes / silverware - disinfect (presuming you use a dishwasher or bleach)
Clothing / linen - disinfect (Presuming DRYER)
Pens pens pencils - disposable
Light switches - disinfect
TV, Radio - disinfect

Most everything can be washed and disinfected with ease. Laptops and keyboards are more problematic. Even if you are a neat freak you're going to get dead skin cells trapped in the keyboard.

Light bleach solution tends to discolor plastic. I'd go for alcohol, it costs a little more for the 99% isopropyl alcohol but that stuff drys more quickly, which is rather important. I'm sure there is a better laptop screen solution. That in conjunction with a good blow job and heavy vacuuming

Most everything that is shared

Easy. (4, Funny)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052943)

Just wait a day or two. The germs will die, you shouldn't get sick again since you just got done fighting it, and if your wife's going to get sick, I don't think the MacBook is going to be the reason why.

Aren't you immune now? (3, Informative)

JustCallMeRich (1185429) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052959)

Now that you have survived, and, correct me if I am wrong - but aren't you immune now to that virus?

That said, I'd say damp (as in no drips possible) cloth made damp by some soapy water to wipe it down ought to do the trick. The mantra in my EMT class (and a number of test questions) was "The best way to avoid spreading disease is to wash your hands often".

The Flu??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24052967)

Most people get AIDS from using Macs.

Your body already knows that strain... (4, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052993)

I'm no biologist but, casting my mind back to riveting documentaries on the BBC...

Your body comes in contact with a new strain of a virus that it has no defense against. The virus moves in. The virus multiplies. Your body figures out how to fight it. Much of your feeling like crap is the process of your body fighting it.

If you get re-exposed in any kind of a short time frame, your body already knows how to produce the antibodies and doesn't get reinfected.

The reason you'll pick up multiple colds during a winter is because you're getting hit by multiple strains.

If re-exposure to the exact same strain was an issue, you'd have to burn your house down every time you got sick. Instead, the things you've come in to contact with are no risk to you, just to others who may not have immunity to that strain yet.

That being the case... Get over yourself, stop being a germophobe, use your laptop just fine.

If other people are using your laptop, they may have something to worry about. You're totally fine.

As for you using other people's stuff and being a raging germophobe, you can use sterilizing hand lotions after every usage... and you too can become one of the idiotic generation that try so hard to avoid any exposure that all they really achieve is having no built up immunity when things do get through.

Man up, get over your phobia, accept that getting sick is a normal part of building a tougher immune system, and get on with living.

Re:Your body already knows that strain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053109)

I hope that he's bright enough to realise that, and that it's his wife he's worried about.

The trouble is, she probably just thinks of it as a bout of "man flu" (or worse, "Apple-user flu") and doesn't worry about it.

Re:Your body already knows that strain... (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053171)

(or worse, "Apple-user flu")

Apple-user viruses don't exist. Something to do with them not having enough friends for a critical mass of viruses to form. ;)

But they do generally have awesome haircuts [penny-arcade.com].

Re:Your body already knows that strain... (1)

Drasil (580067) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053159)

Agreed, while hygiene can be desirable for avoiding nasty bugs, a sterile environment is also bad and has been linked to the rise of conditions like asthma in recent years. Me, I'm a complete slob with terrible personal hygiene and I almost never catch colds or the like. I also won't take antibiotics unless I really need them.

Now we know that (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24052999)

Felix Unger posts on slashdot.

Re:Now we know that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053263)

Wikipedia says that Felix (well, Tony Randall) died of pneumonia after a coronary bypass surgery. So I guess not.

Germophobia (1)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053001)

Seems a little extreme to need to "Ask Slashdot" about germs on your keyboard.

If there are germs on your keyboard, they are YOUR germs - your body will be ok with them.

A light wipe with a soft cloth slightly dampened with a mild disinfectant should be more than enough.

But seriously - do you worry about touching doorknobs? Telephones? ATM terminals, or the money that comes out of them?

We should all be concerned with germs to a certain extent but maybe you have another issue if this is really bothering you.

If it's hot and dry where you live... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053019)

...throw it outside for a few hours.

I live in AZ and just recently got sick too. Viruses and bacteria love moist, warm places. Dry hot ones will kill them good.

Re:If it's hot and dry where you live... (2, Informative)

enosys (705759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053077)

Actually, recent studies have found that higher humidity speeds up decay of influenza virus particles. Here's one article at the CDC [cdc.gov]. Quote: In all these studies, the decay of virus infectivity increased rapidly at relative humidity >40%. The increased survival of influenza virus in aerosols at low relative humidity has been suggested as a factor that accounts for the seasonality of influenza

Why? (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053027)

If you're the only one using it, why disinfect it? You did say you're over the cold, right? It isn't going absorb EM fields from the laptop and mutate there by making it immune to your immune system. Maybe less disinfectants would actually be a good idea in your case. Aside from what you get from your mother, your body needs to learn itself.

Standard disinfection applies (2, Insightful)

kd4zqe (587495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053035)

Just about anything plastic-safe could be used such as a Lysol cleaner or diluted Dial liquid soap, but keep in mind that if you're the only one using it, you can't get sick from the same Influenza virus twice. Even if you get the Flu twice in a season, it's 2 strains that infected you. I'd only be concerned about the actual contact surfaces (KB, touchpad, mouse), and if you've got too much of the OCD, I'd suggest looking into something like the Virtually Indestructible Keyboard with integrated Mousing Stick [grandtec.com]. It is completely submersible in disinfecting solution up to the point that the cord joins the keyboard. Then I'd wrap the laptop in saran wrap except for the cooling vents. A little overboard, but probably effective.

lysol disinfectant wipes (2, Informative)

mambosauce (1236224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053049)

i use lysol wipes to clean my keyboard because unlike the spray i can make sure its not dripping inside on the motherboard. either way make sure its dry before you turn it back on just in case although i've never had a problem.

parked car (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053051)

The flu needs moisture to survive and transmits largely through fine mist droplets. Place the laptop in your car, and park in the sun, but make sure the computer itself is in the shade, and leave it for at least a few hours. Problem solved.

What an iPussy (1)

jps25 (1286898) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053053)

Back when I was young we ate the dirt and were thankful for it.
You young whippersnappers these days...how's one supposed to win a war with you?

About 2 days (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053055)

If you can wait about 2 days you are pretty safe.

Clorox (Sodium Hypochlorite) is a pretty good general disinfectant. About 3/4 cup in a gallon of water makes a good antiviral wash solution.

Isopropanol works fairly well too.

Water. (4, Informative)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053067)

First, turn off the laptop. The aluminum casing of the MacBook Pro can withstand wiping with Lysol, the active ingredient of which is benzalkonium chloride in a low concentration. Do not saturate the surface, but do leave it damp for a few minutes--then go back and wipe down with water. For the screen, simply wipe with distilled water. Use the black cleaning cloth that came with your computer--it is included in the same package as the installation disks.

Under no circumstances should you use anything other than water to clean the display.

If you are *really* paranoid, leave the computer out in bright sun for 30 minutes. While this is not really an "official" way of disinfecting things, the UVB rays could have enough energy to disrupt the activity of bacteria and viruses. If you were really serious about this approach, you'd get a dedicated UVC disinfection unit which would irradiate your laptop. But I don't know what that might do to the hardware. *shrug*

The point is, if you've been coughing as a result of your illness, you've already spread live viral particles all over the place. It's not all that useful to think about sterilization when your living environment is teeming with all kind of infectious organisms--not just viruses, but bacteria and fungi.

Re:Water. (1)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053111)

Oh--I forgot to clarify/mention... You could buy those fancy screen cleaning solutions, but you're just wasting money. Good clean water is all you need. And just because your fever has broken, you are still infectious for as much as 7-10 days afterward.

Re:Water. (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053133)

Under no circumstances should you use anything other than water to clean the display.

Orly? I use nail polish remover all the time, with great results.

Isopropanol, and a little time (2, Informative)

dlakelan (43245) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053097)

Let's assume you share this laptop with coworkers or some friends are coming over, or there's some other reason why people who might not have been exposed while you were sick will be exposed to virus particles protected by little blobs of snot on your laptop.

Take a cotton ball, soak it in isopropyl rubbing alcohol 70% concentration (commonly available at drugstore), squeeze some of the alcohol out so you aren't just dribbling it all over, and then rub down the keyboard, mousepad, screen, case etc with the cotton ball.

let it dry for a minute or two. Repeat.
Wipe off the excess with a dry cotton ball.

You're good to go. Do the same to your phone and any other gadget you might share with a friend or coworker.

It also does a good job of getting grime off your keyboard.

Re:Isopropanol, and a little time (2, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053315)

Isopropanol would also be my choice of cleaning agent.

Not only is it a disinfectant but it's regularly used as a cleaing agent for electronics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isopropyl_alcohol [wikipedia.org]

The isopropanol I have at home isn't labeled as rubbing alcohol but as electronic cleaing spray because it disolves oily substances but doesn't readily interact easily with electronic equipment.

How the pros do it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053115)

In the lab, some of our products (largely consumable plastics) are sterilized with ethylene gas.

You would have to bag it up, gas it, and let it sit for a few hours.

And as other people have said, it isn't necessary.

People are meant to get sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053125)

I remember a kid in high school who freaked out if we had to go to the school toilets (#1 not even #2).

Or if there was a small hair in his sandwich (that his mum made)

Rest assured, he was also the one who got sick the most. Anyone had a cough, guaranteed he's come in a week later almost dying from it.

Moral of the story: Your body is designed to fight this stuff off, the more you make yourself a clean freak the harder it's going to be to fight off when a real Flu strain comes to town.

Not a problem, but 70% alcohol if you must. (2, Informative)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053129)

The majority of illnesses you are going to catch in everyday life (e.g. influenza, the cold, etc.) are viral. Viruses (with very few exceptions) cannot survive outside of the human body (or some other organism they can infect) for any extended period of time. Unless if you plan on sneezing on your laptop and then having someone immediately lick it, you're probably not going to infect anyone via the computer. Airborne transmission is far more likely. If you really want to disinfect it, though, I'd recommend 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) on a paper towel. It kills just about everything and generally cleans well. You can also use a 50-50 mixture of alcohol and water. I usually use ethanol to clean my Thinkpad keyboard and screen.

And for the record, IAAB (...biologist).

Re:Not a problem, but 70% alcohol if you must. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053213)

He said that the computer was a MacBook, maybe he have intentions of licking the computer very soon.

Macbooks come with built in autoclaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053143)

You don't have to worry about disinfecting macbooks. Just turn it on and leave it running for an hour and any microorganisms on the surface will be baked.

Time, and other methods... (2, Informative)

mkettler (6309) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053147)

Assuming it's really influenza, and not some other virus, time will kill it. Influenza can't survive for extended periods of time on dry surfaces. Most influenza viruses only last a several hours on a hard dry surface. Under the right conditions they may last up to 72 hours, but they'll still die off over time.

http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/73/6/1687.pdf [asm.org]

Of course, 3 days is a long time to not have a laptop, but you can safely handle it. You won't get re-infected now that your body is surging with antibodies targeting that specific strain. Just wash your hands afterward so you don't spread it to the non-immune.

If that's not good enough, you could try wiping the case with a cloth *very* lightly dampened with some kind of benzalkonium chloride based disinfectant (i.e.: well squeezed out lysol wipes or something similar). I don't know if that will damage the plastics or not (ie: the screen), it shouldn't but I've never tried it, so be careful here. And of course you have to be careful not to get any liquid into any of the vents.

duh (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053153)

Just sell it on eBay. Problem solved.

Are you kidding me? (4, Insightful)

waa (159514) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053155)

No offence to people who are actually retarded, but;

Are you retarded?

and as a follow up question to slashdot editors:

Are YOU retarded?

Worst. "Ask Slashdot." EVAR...

Sheesh...

Re:Are you kidding me? (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053353)

Maybe his wife has HIV or full blown AIDs? Not that it's any of our business. But if that's case, you would want to do all you can to prevent them from getting sick.

Don't disinfect it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053201)

Give it to some Native Americans so you can take their land when they die!

too bad its a Mac, but do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053203)

use Norton

Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053219)

...tell me what your solution is, I got this icky white stuff on my keyboard!

Learn about the infector (1)

Wapiti-eater (759089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053243)

Influenza virus remains viable on inorganic surfaces for how long?

Just leave it alone for that long

Or, better yet, don't worry about it at all. Why be hassled to disinfect a device of something your body is now immune to?

Methinks the OP is simply too well conditioned by Madison Avenue to consume the 'dis-infectant' mythos. Maybe just an indicator of lack of attentiveness in Micro-101 class at the community college, eh?.

The old-fashioned way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053283)

Well, anything on the laptop now, you've already been exposed to, so your immune system should do the rest. As for anyone else in the proximity of your filthy machine...well, that's their problem.

But if you insist on being a wuss, try 70% alcohol wipes or a Clorox wipe, etc. Wouldn't use any free-flowing liquids.

Sterilize, sterilize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24053287)

You'll have to sterilize them and you kitchen oven can substitute for an autoclave. Preheat it to 450 degrees. Place your keyboard and mouse in separate 8" cake pans and place them on a rack situated in midway between the top and bottom. After 15 minutes, take them out and let them cool. No more bugs!

The best way to disinfect your laptop is... (1)

Einstein_101 (966708) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053295)

Install Linux. I don't know about the influenza virus, but it sure as hell stopped the Code Red Virus [newsfactor.com]

(It was a joke people, lighten up)

In all seriousness, I usually just lightly mist Lysol on a soft t-shirt, and wipe my keyboard down with it. I'm not exactly sure how smart that is, but it has yet to damage anything.

Ripley said it best... (1)

Mish (50810) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053313)

Take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Isopropanol (IPA) (1)

feranick (858651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053331)

It's safe for the laptop (doesn't etch plastics and glass), and it's commonly use as a disinfectant in hospitals. It's a nice cleaning agent too against grease. Finally it makes the surface you are cleaning hydrophilic, so it repels water. You can buy it in any pharmacy-drug store. Of course don't spray it directly on the PC, but on a cotton cloth. I do this for every PC with dirty keyboards I am forced to work on.

Why do you care? (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053337)

The reason your fever broke is that your immune system figured out what the invader was and now has the ability to recognize those viruses and kill them quickly. You're not going to get reinfected, so unless someone else uses your laptop regularly, it's not going to matter.

Lighter fluid. (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053339)

lighter fluid works fine to clean anything where you don't want a residue. It's been used for years to remove marks from artwork and i've found that there isn't anything on the apple laptops which are affected by it. (e.g stupid paper stickers)

It's hopeless, get over it. (4, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053343)

Please take a look [infectionc...ltoday.com]

The primary issue is that of the severity of the virus or bacteria, not keeping it clean. At best, you can disinfect the surfaces, not the interior. And although it sounds gross, you probably sneezed on, or near, the unit. Perhaps there was some moisture on your fingers when you touched the drive bay, or maybe you got your sickly hands on a CD before you inserted it, spraying fine droplets of moisture through out the unit.

As long as it is something normalish like the Flu, Cold, Chicken Pox, etc . . . just give it time. Most of that stuff dies in 24-36 hours without a host.

If its something horrifying, like Ebola? Stick your electronic item in the oven, put it on "Self-Clean", and get a new one. Discard the ash in a biohazard box ;-)

You'll never, ever, ever, ever succeed at "disinfecting" consumer electronics, because they are never sealed well enough. About the best you can do is those Virtually Indestructible Keyboard&Mice. Anything else just isn't cleanable, and you should do your best to maintain good hygiene (wipe the keyboard and unit every now and then with a good alcohol wipe (or spray alcohol on a paper towel)), and get over the "scariness" of illness.

Furthermore, if its your family your worried about, you've already given them ample opportunity to get infected, if you shared utensils, a bed, skin contact (Hugs and Kisses, anyone?) or even an indoor environment.

Disease isn't that scary unless you or someone you know immune system's compromised, and in that case you should turn to a health care professional to figure out how to make your environment safe. Otherwise, get over it ;-)

Immerse it in Liquid Nitrogen (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24053357)

Want to talk about scrubbing bubbles? ;-)

You'll probably have to replace the display since the thermal shock will probably crack it, but when you get the new display from the factory it's likely to be sterile.

-jcr

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