Computers and computer equipment:

  • Computer keyboards, mouses, on/off switches, printer switches, etc., are all high-touch areas just like doorknobs.
  • No matter if you are using a computer in a research laboratory or on the farm, you must consider these items as potentially contaminated!
  • Minimize the number of people who utilize shared computers (official work only).
  • After using the computer, printer, on/off switches, etc., thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. ONLY if no soap and water are available should you use hand sanitizer.
  • Communicate this with all co-workers. If they need a visual reminder, tape a message to the computer keyboard, mouse, printer that says “Consider this to be covered with invisible human feces. Wash your hands after EVERY use.”
  • Do NOT use hand sanitizing gels to “disinfect/sanitize” computer equipment. These products are flammable and do NOT mix well with electricity and are not meant for that use.
  • Alternatively, use disposable gloves to use any computer equipment or commonly shared equipment.

Office/communal telephones:

  • If more than one person is using a work telephone (not your personal cell phone), the handset should be sanitized in between uses (and wash your hands after each use). Use a paper towel that is moistened with disinfectant solution and wipe down the telephone handset, being careful to not get moisture into the mouthpiece or holes…as you could be without a phone! Wash your hands!
  • Use a small piece of tissue to touch numbers on the telephone, then discard the tissue.
  • To minimize having to use the handset, utilize the speaker function of the telephone whenever possible.

Other surfaces:

  • Similar cleaning procedures and processes should be followed for other shared equipment (vehicle/tractor steering wheels, research equipment switches, etc.).

Receiving boxes/mailing envelopes:

  • Use disposable gloves when handling boxes/large mailing envelopes with materials received by mail services. Spray the outside of these parcels with a disinfectant solution, or use a sanitizing wipe (99+% germicidal) to wipe down the outsides of these packages. Allow to air dry (only takes a few minutes). Remove contents and immediately dispose of packing material.
  • Discard disposable gloves. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.


To minimize the number of disposable gloves being used, obtain some Playtex dishwashing gloves or other similar re-usable washing gloves. Handle materials, then thoroughly wash gloves in soap and water and dry with disposable paper towels before removing. Place gloves in a clean bag in a convenient, easy to remember area! Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after each use.


Disinfectants:  Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work on pre-cleaned surfaces.

NEVER mix disinfectants. Always use gloves when using disinfectants. Always wash hands after removing gloves.