Yesterday while the kids were in the other room playing video games, I took that moment of peace and plopped in front of the TV to watch Dr Oz . He was doing a segment on “things you should not share”. It ends up that one thing that should NOT be shared is the computer keyboard. According to Dr Oz, your computer keyboard and mouse could very well be dirtier than your toilet. In fact only 1 out of 33 keyboards tested were NOT dirtier than a toilet. The problem is that toilets are usually flushed and occasionally cleaned whereas a computer keyboard is well… well is not.
An extensive study reported by the BBC, showed that many keyboards in a London office showed traces of E coli, coliforms and gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu. Dirty fingers, sneezes. sniffles, and food particles that fall between the keys when you dine at your desk are the main culprits in this bacteria festering community. If someone in your office is sick and uses your keyboard, chances are very high that you will become ill too.
This news reminds me of an episode from the hysterically funny 2005 Showtime series starring Kirstie Alley titled Fat Actress. Kirstie plays herself, a “Fat Actress” who is trying to make a comeback. In Kirsties dire attempt to lose weight she actually tries to contract stomach flu in order to lose weight for an audition. You see, when you have stomach flu, a lot and I mean A LOT of stuff comes out of you. To make matters worse (or in her case better) nothing can go in…..or at least nothing can go in and stay. Other ridiculous weight loss methods Kirstie entertained were to swallow a tape worm or eat paper (zero carbs and calories).
While I have never gone that far in my attempts to lose weight, I can readily admit that I, always an optimist, on one or two occasions did a little victory dance after stepping on the scale after a bout with food poisoning. I mean there are worse ways to lose 3 -5 lbs of body weight in 24 hours….isnt there? 😉
I hate to admit it but I have never cleaned the keyboard on my 3.5 year old laptop. Before you gasp at my shameless behavior or rather lack there of, when exactly was the last time you cleaned between the cracks and crevices of your office or home keyboard?
Cleaning the keyboard is easy enough. While some obsessive compulsive neat freaks have been known to put their keyboards in the dishwasher (!), or to pry all the keys off with a screwdriver and wash each individual key in disinfectant (better make sure you take a picture of the keyboard beforehand lest replacing the keys in the wrong place), I prefer the easier method of turning the keyboard upside down, shaking all the debris and crumbs out, then taking a can of compressed air and giving the keys a good blast of air, finally rub the keys with a sanitizing wipe or an alcohol dipped cloth.
Unless, you are like me and like to live dangerously. Remember when life serves you lemons (or in this case, stomach flu) make lemonade!
Chow for now!