Whether you’re worried about COVID-19, the flu, or other contagious illness, cleaning your office’s high-touch surfaces is imperative to maintaining employee health. The most used devices in the office also need special care when cleaning: the office printer, copier, and MFP are sensitive machines touched all day by many people, but using the wrong cleaning techniques can damage your devices.

Here’s how to disinfect them safely.

Use the Right Cleaner

Harsh cleaning chemicals can damage your devices. A combination of Isopropyl Alcohol and water in a spray bottle is commonly recommended (70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and 30% water) to clean electronic devices, though many commercial anti-bacterial wipes are also safe. Never use bleach, ammonia, or harsh solvents anywhere on your device, especially on the touch screen. The plate glass surface should be cleaned only with glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth.

Use the Right Tools

Electronic devices, printers, and MFPs should be cleaned with a soft, lint-free cloth or rag, or a soft disinfectant wipe. Never use rough paper towels, cloths, or anything with a “scrubby” surface on your device, as this could cause scratches, especially on the touch screen. Throw away or wash your cloth after each use.

Keep it As Dry as Possible

Spraying a cleaning liquid directly on the device or allowing liquid to pool, could cause liquid to get into your device and damage it. Instead, spray your cleaning solution onto a rag first. If you’re using a disinfectant wipe, be sure it is not too wet. You may have to squeeze out extra liquid before using it to clean your device.

Also, you should shut down and unplug your device prior to cleaning, and wait until all surfaces are dry before plugging it back in.

Keeping your printers and copiers clean will go a long way towards helping prevent the spread of illness in the office, but no cleaner is guaranteed to kill all germs, so good hand hygiene is also recommended. Though these tips are general recommendations that will work for most printers and MFPs, it’s always a good idea to check your owner’s manual for more specific cleaning recommendations for your device.