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And people think blogging is a safe job. A microbiologist working for Which? Magazine has found keyboards with 150 times the recommended limit of bacteria. It was also five times as filthy as a toilet seat swabbed at the same time.
"[It] was increasing the risk of its user becoming ill," said the microbiologist, James Francis. "I haven't seen a reading like that in a very long time - it was off the scale."
The main cause appears to be eating lunch at your desk and filling it with crumbs, which encourage the growth of bacteria. The design of keyboards creates nice warm spaces safe from disturbance and easy cleaning, except the occasional pounding down; it would be interesting to find out if the bacteria count is higher under the tilde key than under the e or a. Another source may be from not washing your hands after going to the toilet.
Sarah Kidner of Which? says "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." She has some suggestions for cleaning your keyboard:
* first shut down and unplug your PC
* wipe surfaces with a soft, lightly dampened, lint-free cloth
* shake out any dust or food crumbs from the keyboard and disinfect with alcohol wipes.