Over the years, we’ve learned that office cleaning is all about the details – the little things that make our customers smile. Details are what it’s all about for us, because a lot of the time, that’s where our attention is focused; on our computer screens, office phones, on whiteboards… all the office equipment we use day in, day out.
Learning how to clean office equipment is an essential skill for everyone, though – not just for us cleaners! So, we’re compiling all of our office equipment cleaning knowledge into one, big, ultimate guide.
From screens and keyboards, to phones and fridges – it’s all here. So, get your marigolds on; we’re going in…
Included in this guide
- How to clean a computer mouse
- How to clean a computer keyboard
- How to clean a computer screen
- How to clean a laptop
- How to clean office phones
- How to clean your office desk
- How to clean office chairs
- How to clean whiteboards
- How to clean the office photocopier
Things you’ll need
- A flathead screwdriver
- Microfibre cloths
- Lint-free cleaning cloths
- Distilled vinegar
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Distilled water
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antibacterial surface spray
- Compressed air
- Cotton buds
How to clean a computer mouse
Always in the hand but seldom cleaned, cleaning your computer mouse isn’t just hygienic – it can help make it work better and last longer. Skin oils, dust and grime can make their way into the buttons over time, and stop them functioning. A blocked sensor and uneven feet, loaded with dirt, can make your mouse stop working, too.
Here’s how to do it.
- If your mouse has a wire, unplug it – and if it’s wireless, switch it off.
- Next, turn the mouse upside down. Using a cotton bud and a little rubbing alcohol, gently clean out the grime from the feet and crags. If the cotton bud isn’t working, you might need a toothpick to ease the grime out.
- Gently clean the optical sensor – the bit that looks like a tiny camera lens – with a fresh cotton bud and a little alcohol. Give the underside a final wipe-down with a damp cloth.
- Turn the mouse over, and use a fresh toothpick to gently remove dirt and dust from between the buttons, gaps, joints and crags.
- Finish off the top with a slightly damp cloth, pre-sprayed with anti-bac.
Read more: How to clean a computer mouse
How to clean a computer keyboard
If you’ve ever eaten at your desk, then we can guarantee that food’s still lurking in the gaps of your keyboard! Not only is it gross, but it can impede the function of the keys over time.
This is how to clean a computer keyboard thoroughly:
- If your keyboard has a wire, unplug it – and if it’s wireless, switch it off.
- With a flathead screwdriver or another suitable tool, pop off the key buttons. Be careful – this only works for mechanical keyboard systems, not rubberised keys or flat designs!
- Wash the keys off with warm soapy water, then rinse and thoroughly dry them.
- While the keys are drying, use a can of compressed air to blow out all the crumbs and hairs out of the base of the keyboard.
- Replace the keys, and enjoy squeaky-clean typing!
Read more: How to clean a computer keyboard
How to clean a computer screen
Every sneeze. Every grain of dust. Every fingerprint from that one colleague who just insists on touching your screen when they come to your desk… Cleaning your computer screen makes it much nicer to look at – which is handy, as you’ll likely be staring at it all day. So, here’s how to clean a computer screen in the best possible way.
- Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water, shaking well to combine.
- Switch off and unplug all cables from the back of the monitor.
- Next, squirt the vinegar water mix onto one half of a fine, microfibre cloth and apply to the screen – moving in small circles to remove any traces of grime.
- With the dry side of the cloth, lightly buff the screen in small circles until dry and streak-free.
Read more: How to clean a computer screen
How to clean a laptop
To give your work laptop a thorough clean, power it down and then combine elements from the first three cleaning how-to’s:
- Use cotton buds, alcohol and toothpicks to clean out the crags around the trackpad and mouse buttons.
- Use compressed air to clean out the keyboard – and make sure the keys can be removed before you try popping them off! Read more about how to clean a laptop keyboard.
- Compressed air can also get the dust out of cooling vents, speakers, charging sockets and USB ports – so give them a good blow!
- Clean the screen with the same 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water used for other computer screens, applied to a microfibre cloth.
How to clean office phones
Office phones are bacterial hotspots, and are by germ count the dirtiest place in the office! Make sure your office phones are cleaned all over, by using the same techniques you’d clean a mouse and keyboard with:
- Unplug the phone, so you don’t accidentally make a call while you’re cleaning it.
- Start with the details: use a toothpick and cotton buds to pick out makeup, oil and dirt from the gaps in the plastic. Carefully clean the holes for the ear and mouthpieces with a cotton bud and a dab of rubbing alcohol, if needed.
- Next, wipe off the handset with an anti-bac sprayed cloth, and set aside.
- Get the muck out from the hook and buttons, with cotton buds, rubbing alcohol and toothpicks.
- If the phone has a display screen, a little vinegar and a microfibre cloth will clean it up streak-free!
How to clean your office desk
Now that you’ve cleaned all the stuff on top of it, you can give your desk a proper clean – and it’s dead easy. Just clear it completely (or move big stuff like screens over for a bit), and dust it off with a cloth, keeping it dry at first. Then, spray it with a little anti-bac, and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Done!
How to clean office chairs
There are many types of office chairs: plastic, faux leather, real leather, fabric, mesh… So, knowing how to clean office chairs can seem pretty fiddly. And sometimes, it can be.
If your office chairs are plastic, cleaning them is simple; wipe them down all over with antibacterial spray and a cleaning cloth. If there are chrome metal bits, a tiny squirt of WD-40 on a rag will shine the metal up brilliantly.
Read more: How to clean office chairs
Mesh office chairs can be vacuumed and wiped down, and leather is tougher than most materials – happy to be cleaned gently with a cloth.
The real tricky part is knowing how to clean fabric office chairs. Here’s what you need to know:
How to clean fabric office chairs
- Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to suck up dirt and dust from the chair fabric and cushioning.
- Check the fabric labels on your fabric office chair, for the following symbols:
- W – this means water-based cleaning products can be used.
- S – use a solvent product, like a dry-cleaning solvent. Water-based products must not be used.
- WS or SW – this means that dry-cleaning or water-based products can be used.
- X – the fabric can only be cleaned by a specialist professional.
- C – this denotes Crypton fabrics, which can be cleaned with mild enzyme detergents.
- Use the corresponding cleaning product to the fabric label symbols, and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. If it checks out, then apply the cleaning product all over, according to the product instructions.
How to clean whiteboards
Over time, whiteboards can accumulate caked-on dry wipe fluid. Getting the clean, sharp, high-contrast of your office whiteboards back will brighten up any meeting space. Here’s how to clean whiteboards back to new:
- Use a board wiper to get as much marker off as possible.
- Use a little rubbing alcohol or WD-40 applied to a cleaning cloth, and buff it into the board with a circular motion. Depending on how dirty the board is, you may need to make a few passes.
- Permanent ink? No problem – just avoid abrasives. Alcohol works well to lift permanent markers, as does nail polish remover. To find out more, read our full guide on how to clean whiteboards.
How to clean the office photocopier
Your office photocopiers and printers are some of the busiest shared tools in the building, with multiple users and important use cases. Cleaning them regularly is important, as so many people come into contact with them throughout the day. Plus, an occasional deep clean will help it last longer and look nicer to boot.
Here’s how to clean the office photocopier:
- If possible, power down the copier and unplug it.
- Remove paper trays and any fresh copies.
- Start cleaning the details – clear the button gaps with cotton buds and rubbing alcohol, or a toothpick. Dry dust everything away.
- Check for any dust or greasy deposits on paper feeds – wipe it off with a cloth, or use alcohol to lift the grease.
- Using your trusty vinegar solution, it’s time to clean the scanning surface – it’s glass, so be careful! Take a microfibre cloth, pre-sprayed with your vinegar/water mix, and gently buff in circles.
- Use a dry microfibre cloth to do a dry buff, for a streak-free shine, and let the scanning surface dry off.
- Finally, close the lid and give the whole machine a once-over with antibacterial spray on a cleaning cloth – paying special attention to the buttons.
The Abbey Cleaning Service – your professional office cleaners
The Abbey Cleaning Service is a professional team of office cleaners in Cardiff, with specialist cleaning knowledge and experience. Call 029 2067 9323 today to get an office cleaning schedule that works for you.
[Image credit for the laptop screen cleaning photo: link (all others are okay to use without attribution)]