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Lifting the lid on all those dirty qwertys

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by pete, May 3, 2008.

  1. LONDON: Another peril can be added to the hazards of the innocent-looking computer keyboard. Not content with encouraging repetitive strain injury, the key pads sometimes harbour more filth than the average lavatory seat and house millions of bacteria which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, a study has shown.

    A microbiologist carrying out research published yesterday for the Which? Computing magazine examined samples from 33 keyboards and found a variety of bugs including E coli and S aureus, which can cause skin infections and make people ill.

    The scientist swabbed a lavatory seat and a toilet door handle in a typical London office for comparison. One of the keyboards tested had to be removed from the office because it was five times dirtier than the lavatory seat and home to 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria.

    "[It] was increasing the risk of its user becoming ill," said a microbiologist, James Francis. "I haven't seen a reading like that in a very long time - it was off the scale."

    Two more of the keyboards had "warning levels" of bacteria, while a further two showed high levels of coliform bacteria, which are associated with fecal matter.

    The research showed that the chief culprit for contamination was people eating at their desks and dropping crumbs which lodge between keys and encourage the growth of millions of bacteria.

    Other causes included poor personal hygiene, particularly people failing to wash their hands after using the lavatory. Dust, which traps moisture, also provides ideal conditions for the growth of bacteria.

    Sarah Kidner, the editor of Which? Computing, said: "Most people don't give much thought to the grime that builds up on their PC, but if you don't clean your computer, you might as well eat your lunch off the toilet."

    The survey, involving more than 4,000 people, found 22 per cent cleaned their keyboard and 27 per cent their monitor on a monthly basis. Just over one in

    10 said they never cleaned the keyboard; 20 per cent said they never cleaned their mouse.

    Guardian News & Media

  2. Do yuou kjnow how harde it iks to trpe wif loubber glooves :p
  3. ewwwww

    Thankfully most modern keyboards separate the electronics from the physical stuff; I regularly pull mine apart and hose out the keypad to get rid of the Christmas cake crumbs, cashews, etc etc that lurk with evil intent below the space bar..
  4. VCM, you need to get better rubber gloves then! Maybe the super tight latex ones :p

    Being a former microbiologist I know all about the places to find bugs.
    Some of the bacteria found on keyboards is the same that is found naturally on your skin, and surprisingly in your nose. :?

    When was the last time you put a pen in your mouth? Do you know exactly where that pen has been? :shock:

    Another place you should consider is the bottom of bags, both hand bags and backpacks. They get put on the ground everywhere then on a table. As they are fabric in most cases they get all the good stuff attached to them.
  5. TMI!!! I think I'll find that Boy in the Bubble and steal the bubble :LOL:.
  6. :shock:
    You see its good to have these bugs around. Don't get me started on the disinfectant generation. :?
  7. Probably when I was at school! Yuk!
  8. Paul, how does one pull apart one of those wireless keyboard jobbies and not cock it up... with a view to returning back to it's original non clunky non stuck key status.?

    Cheers mate.
  9. Ah, well, you see Sir Wallace, I don't have a wireless one, just an older-style cabled one, and the electronics are all below the keyboard section, which can be detached and cleaned separately. I've never pulled a wireless keyboard apart; the only one I had never worked reliably and I went back to a standard PS/2 style.
  10. Money is also notoriously dirty. I cringe every time I see someone stick a note in their mouth to hold it while they dig around in their wallet or purse for some change. Think of how many other people may have done exactly the same thing.
  11. Better to just flush with coffee Paul :wink:
  12. yeah, well, with bordering on insane hygiene systems in place these days, it is no wonder that these bugs are able to bring us down.
    there was a time when men were men, and a bit of dirt never hurt anyone!
  13. Oh yeah? What about this? (about 4 years of daily use).


    An hour of pine-o-clean later and its like new again - inside and out. ANYONE who hasn't cleaned the keyboard in a while I suggest you pop the keys off (leave bigger keys like spacebar on as they are harder to put back on) and clean and disinfect - its nasssty :LOL:
  14. I once re-arranged the keys on the trainee's keyboard to be alphabetical order.

    after some wierd facial expressions and inability to type anything properly (cos he couldn't touch type) he caught on and reordered the keys as per another keyboard.

    No i didn't clean it for him while I was there :p

    I planned to do it again and also swap the odd key on nearby keyboards as a double whammy later but I found another job before completing my diabolical plan.
  15. lol i havent cleaned my keyboard since i bought it, over 2 years ago.
    and i use it daily, lots.
    and i eat over it, and drink.
    i know theres half a fridge of food stuck between the keys :p

    but seriously, i couldnt care less. im with Joel on this one :)

    hahah i jsut pulled up a key. omg its feral underneath :grin:
    meh, out of sight, out of mind :LOL:
  16. for me, if it was really an issue, i'd just buy a new keyboard when the old one became too dirty :LOL:
    far easier than cleaning!