How To and How Often Should You Clean Your Office Desk?

Did you know that the average desktop harbours 20,961 germs per square inch in addition to 3,295 on the keyboard and 1,676 on a mouse? And your office’s phone can also harbour a staggering 25,127 – that’s 127 more germs per square inch than on a toilet seat!

So how can you start to reduce the number of germs you interact with in the office on a daily basis in a quick and easy way? The experts at Office Clearance London have provided a handy guide for what needs doing and when to help you keep on top of the germs in your shared or home office this summer.

cleaning office desk

How often should I clean my…

1. Keyboards and Mice – Daily

These high-touch items can harbour a lot of germs. With an average of 1,676 per square inch and an average mouse measuring roughly 10 square inches, there could be up to 16,760 germs on your computer mouse right now.

Wipe them down with disinfectant wipes or a cloth sprayed with a mild cleaning solution at the end of each day to help minimise the risk of illness. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands before eating lunch.

READ MORE: A Quick Guide to Hiring Commercial Cleaners

2. Door Handles and Light Switches – Daily

Did you know that office door handles can be home to 30 times more germs than a toilet seat? High-touch areas like door handles and light switches should be disinfected daily to reduce the spread of germs.

To clean, simply use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean these surfaces thoroughly and regularly. You can also use a paper towel to open the bathroom door, or consider installing a pedal to open the door with your foot instead.

3. Desk Surfaces – Daily

Although you might think your desk is relatively clean, factors like location, frequency of visitors and your line of work. You should be extra cautious if you use a hot desk, or work in the office part-time on a desk share. Desks can quickly accumulate dust, crumbs, and germs, and it’s especially important to keep this area clean if you ever eat at your desk.

Clean your desk surface daily with a disinfectant wipe or spray to maintain a tidy and hygienic workspace. Don’t forget to dust areas that are often neglected, such as behind your monitor and around knick-knacks.

4. Phones and Headsets – Daily

Phones and headsets are used frequently and can easily become contaminated with bacteria, especially in offices with shared phones and devices.

Use disinfectant wipes to clean these devices daily, especially the mouthpiece and earpiece areas. If your headset has foam parts, consider buying some replacement pieces to replace the original every few weeks. Alternatively, you can use warm water or hydrogen peroxide to clean foam pieces. Since they tend to act like a sponge, soap, or liquid detergents will be impossible to rinse fully.

5. Computer Screens – Weekly

Fortunately, computer screens aren’t as full of germs as other touch-heavy pieces of kit, so they don’t need cleaning quite as often or thoroughly. However, they can collect dust, grime and fingerprints over time, as well as germs and bacteria.

Use a microfiber cloth and a screen-safe cleaner to wipe down your screens weekly, ensuring clear visibility and a germ-free environment.

cleaning office computer screen

6. Waste Bins – Weekly

From waste paper bins to kitchen receptacles, office bins can harbour nasty bacteria including salmonella, e-coli and listeria. Empty waste bins regularly to prevent unpleasant odours and potential contamination, illness or infestations.

Empty kitchen bins bi-weekly, and general waste bins at least once a week. Clean the inside of the bins with a disinfectant spray or wipes weekly to keep them hygienic.

7. Shared Kitchen Appliances – Weekly

Shared items like microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee machines should be cleaned weekly to prevent buildup of grime and bacteria. A recent study found that public coffee machines harboured, on average 360 different strains of microbial growth, some of which could cause illness.

Wipe down all surfaces and key touchpoints with antibacterial and disinfectant spray or wipes to maintain a clean communal area.

8. Office Chairs – Monthly

Chairs can gather dust, stains, hair or fur, and odours over time – especially if you have long hair or work in a pet-friendly office. Often forgotten, the average office chair can be home to up to 21,000 germs per square inch!

To keep your chairs looking and smelling fresh, vacuum fabric chairs monthly and wipe down leather or vinyl chairs with a suitable cleaner to keep them fresh and clean.

9. Office Carpets and Floors – Monthly

Carpets and floors can accumulate dirt and allergens, so if you often find yourself suffering from hay fever or other allergies in the office you may want to try cleaning the carpets and other soft furnishings.

Vacuum carpets and mop hard floors bi-weekly, and consider professional deep cleaning or shampooing carpets monthly to maintain a clean office environment.

10. Air Vents and Filters – Quarterly

Air quality is crucial for a healthy office, and can be another big cause of allergies throughout the year. Keeping your air clean and fresh is an easy way to eliminate airborne germs and pollutants around the office, and should never be missed off your cleaning schedule.

Clean air vents and replace air filters quarterly to ensure proper airflow and reduce dust and allergens in the office space.