Dirty devil

Which do you think has more bacteria, your computer's keyboard or a toilet seat? For those of you who picked the toilet seat - think again.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  May 13, 2008

Which do you think has more germs, a PC's keyboard or a toilet seat? For those of you who picked the toilet seat - think again. Don't believe me? Then try this tiny test: lift up your keyboard and place a white sheet of paper below it. Now turn your keyboard upside down and shake it vigorously over the piece of paper.

The chances are all types of particles will come raining down. You're likely to find bread crumbs, hair, dust, dead bugs and other kinds of appetite-killing items.

This folks is the same keyboard that you lay your hands on every single day. More importantly, this keyboard could be the reason for some of your illnesses.

You don't have to take my word for it. This fact has just been confirmed by UK-based Which? Computing magazine, which put 30 office keyboards under the microscope. So what exactly did they discover? The magazine found that some keyboards contained harmful bacteria that could put their users at a high risk of becoming ill.

In one instance, a microbiologist suggested the removal of a keyboard as it contained - wait for it - 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria, and was five times filthier than a toilet seat that was swabbed.

Even more frightening is the revelation that the germs found on four of the keyboards could cause a user to have a stomach upset and other food poisoning symptoms.

I'm sure by now you're wondering when was the last time you cleaned your keyboard. Three years ago? Six months ago? Never? If you answered, ‘yes' to any of these, then you need to clean your PC's keyboard right now. No excuses.

First up, shutdown your PC and unplug it. Next, unplug your keyboard. Now turn it upside down and gently tap in on your desk so that any dust or food crumbs can escape.

Next up, take a can of compressed air and place the nozzle in between keys to blow dust and debris away. If you don't have such a can or can't find one at your local store, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment or dip an ear bud into disinfectant and gently weave through the keys.

If you want a give your keyboard a proper cleaning and don't mind taking it apart, then click here for an excellent and simple how-to guide. (And for those of you who are wondering, you cannot put your keyboard in the dishwasher!).

Think of it like this folks: you wouldn't eat food off a toilet seat, so for heaven's sake don't type on one!

Your health depends on it.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Let me know by e-mailing me on windows@itp.com.

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