Special Report

Coronavirus Cleaning Tips for Your Phone, Tablet and Other Devices

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11. Nebulizers

Nebulizers are machines that spray medicine as a fine mist via a mouthpiece or mask, and are often used to treat asthma and other lung diseases. As nebulizers generate particles that can carry bacteria and viruses deep into one’s lungs, some medical agencies, such as Canada’s Alberta Health Services, have recommended their use be avoided during the pandemic. They can be cleaned by rinsing the cup with warm water and allowing it to air dry after each use and washing with warm, soapy water at the end of each day. They should be disinfected at least once per week.

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12. Watches

The coronavirus can linger on the glass surface of watches. To eradicate the virus, use products such as Clorox wipes, alcohol-based sanitizers, or soap to disinfect the surface. Clorox wipes can be used to sterilize Apple Watches, though the company cautions customers not to use the agent on fabric or leather bands and not to use bleach. Infectious disease researchers recommend cleaning wearables such as Fitbit devices frequently.

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13. Headphones

Headphones can collect debris and oil from one’s skin, and generally pick up germs throughout the day. Due to their electronic nature, cleaning them can be tricky. One can use a towel with warm water mixed with a drop or two of a mild detergent. A small amount of alcohol may also be used, though depending on the type of headphones being cleaned, alcohol can have damaging effects. If it is used, it should be dried off carefully when done.

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14. E-readers

The supply chain for e-reader companies — including Amazon and Sony — was thrown into disarray in January as the virulence of the coronavirus became known. Researchers have discovered that the virus can live for up to three days on plastic and steel, which are commonly used in electronic devices like e-readers. E-readers should be cleaned with products such as Clorox wipes, alcohol-based sanitizers, or soap and hot water to expunge the virus.

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15. Printers

Printers have become ubiquitous in American homes along with laptops and personal computers and as such can also host the coronavirus. Owners of printers are advised to turn them off before cleaning. They should wear protective disposable rubber or nitrile gloves during cleaning. Areas of the printer that can come in contact with humans — control or cover panels, for example — need to be cleaned with a solution of 70%-plus isopropyl alcohol, although 99.9% isopropyl alcohol is recommended. Don’t spray the solution directly on the device — put it on a lint-free rag or cloth. Use a glass cleaner for the copying surface. Before powering up, make sure all surfaces are dry.