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Whether you are using mobile computers in healthcare environments and you need to know how to disinfect and clean mobile computers after every patient or in a factory warehouse where the device is routinely exposed to dust, dirt or grease, your device will need regular cleaning. This article details how you can safely clean your mobile computers daily, as well as the monthly maintenance routine that will help keep your devices up and running.

Approved Mobile Computer Cleaning Solutions

The cleaning agent you select must contain active ingredients from the following list:
• Isopropyl alcohol
• Bleach/sodium hypochlorite
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Mild dish soap
Cleansers that contain any active ingredients not listed above should not be utilized.

Known Harmful Ingredients

The following chemicals are known to damage the plastics on mobile computers and should not come in contact with the device:
• Ammonia solutions
• Compounds of amines or ammonia
• Acetone
• Ketones
• Ethers
• Aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons
• Aqueous or alcoholic alkaline solutions
• Ethanolamine
• Toluene
• Trichloroethylene
• Benzene
• Carbolic acid
• TB-lysoform

Special notes regarding the use of vinyl gloves in the work environment

  • Many vinyl gloves contain phthalate additives, which are often not recommended for medical use and may harm the housings. Mobile computers should not be handled:
    While wearing vinyl gloves containing phthalates, or
  •  After vinyl gloves containing phthalates are removed and before hands are washed to remove contaminant residue

Special notes on hand sanitizers utilized in the work environment

Some hand sanitizers commonly used in the healthcare environment may contain the harmful ingredients listed above, such as ethanolamine. Hands must be completely dry before handling the mobile computers to prevent inadvertent contamination with known harmful ingredients and damage to the plastics.

Daily Mobile Computer Cleaning and Disinfecting

Following are the cleaning and disinfecting instructions for environments that require daily or more frequent cleaning to prevent the spread of germs, including healthcare workers who need to disinfect their mobile computers after each patient visit and retail and other shift workers who share devices.

  1. Dampen a soft cloth with one of the approved cleaning agents listed above or use pre-moistened wipes:
    1. Never apply liquid directly to the mobile computer.
    2. Do not let liquid pool around the display window or any other area on the device.
  2. Gently wipe all surfaces, including the front, back, sides, top and bottom — do not wrap the device in the cloth or pre-moistened wipe.
    1. Special instructions when cleaning the front of the device:
      1. Be sure to clean the keys and bet ween the keys (use a cot ton-tipped applicator to reach bet ween the keys).
      2. Af ter cleaning, immediately dr y the display with a sof t non-abrasive cloth to prevent streaking.
  3. Allow the unit to air dry before use.

Monthly Mobile Computer Deep Cleaning Maintenance

Keep your mobile computer and cradle in good working order with a regular comprehensive cleaning routine to remove the natural build-up of dir t that occurs with everyday use on connectors and the scanner exit window as well as the main surfaces of the device.

  1. Housing: Follow the instructions for daily cleaning and disinfecting above to give the housing a general cleaning.
  2.  Scanner exit window: Wipe the scanner exit window with a lens tissue or other material suitable for cleaning optical materials such as eyeglasses.
  3.  Mobile computer connector:
    1. Remove the main battery from mobile computer and close the battery door.
    2. Dip the cot ton portion of a cot ton-tipped applicator in isopropyl alcohol.
    3.  Rub the cot ton portion of the cot ton-tipped applicator back-and-forth across the connector on the Motorola mobile computer. Do not leave any cotton residue on the connector.
    4.  Repeat at least 3 times.
    5.  Use the cot ton-tipped applicator dipped in alcohol to remove any grease and dirt near the connector area.
    6. Use a dry cotton tipped applicator and repeat steps c, d and e. (Note: use dry swab only, no alcohol.)
  4. Cradle connector:
    1. Remove the DC power cable from the cradle.
    2.  Dip the cot ton por tion of a cot ton-tipped applicator in isopropyl alcohol.
    3.  Rub the cot ton por tion of the cot ton-tipped applicator along the pins of the connector. Slowly move the applicator back-and-for th from one side of the connector to the other. Do not let any cotton residue remain on the connector.
    4.  Rub all sides of the connector (as illustrated below) with the cot ton-tipped applicator.
    5.  Spray compressed air in the connector area by pointing the tube/nozzle about 1/2 inch away from t he sur face. (Caution: When using compressed air, always wear eye protection; do not point nozzle at yourself and others — make sure the nozzle or tube is pointing away from your face; and read warning label on compressed air product.)
    6.  Remove any lint lef t by the cot ton-tipped applicator.
    7.  If grease and other dirt are found on other areas of the cradle, use a lint free cloth and isopropyl alcohol to remove.
    8.  Allow at least 10 to 30 minutes (depending on ambient temperature and humidity) for the isopropyl alcohol to air dry before applying power to cradle.