Computer keyboards and input devices can be hotbeds of bacteria, especially if they're used by several people – in a school or office environment, for example.

macbookpro16inchkeyboard
Regularly disinfecting your Apple keyboard, trackpad, and/or mouse is the best way to sterilize these devices and remove any nasties, and it only takes five minutes to do. Keep reading to learn how.

To follow the steps below, you'll need some bleach-free disinfectant wipes – Apple specifically recommends Lysol Wipes for the job.

  1. Before you do anything else, shut down your Mac and unplug the power adapter.
  2. Take one of the wipes and squeeze it to remove any excess dampness, then gently clean your Mac's trackpad, keyboard, and/or mouse. Keep your pressure light to prevent any excess liquid from escaping onto the surfaces.
  3. Next, use a water-dampened microfiber or lint-free cloth and wipe the areas again.
  4. Take a dry microfiber or lint-free cloth and wipe over the keyboard and trackpad one last time.

Apple has a support document that includes some important "don'ts" when it comes to disinfecting keyboards, trackpads, and mice, so it's worth reiterating them here:

  • Do not use disinfectant wipes containing bleach or disinfectant sprays in general.
  • Do not use an extremely damp disinfectant wipe to clean the area. If you encounter a very damp wipe it may need to be squeezed to remove some of the excess liquid before use.
  • Do not allow the liquid from the disinfectant wipe to sit or pool on the area being disinfected for a long amount of time.
  • Do not use rough towels or cloths to dry the area.
  • Do not use excess force when disinfecting the area around the keyboard; this could damage the keys.

If you're a regular traveler, it's worth picking up something like iKlear iPod Cleaning Kit For All Apple Products. The compact kit costs $19.92 and includes a 1-2 ounce spray bottle and several travel-size antimicrobial polishing cloths.

Top Rated Comments

Baymowe335 Avatar
32 months ago

Wearing gloves doesn't stop the transmission of pathogens... It only makes the wearer think it does and therefore causes them to be less aware of what they're touching and reduce the number of times they actually wash their hands. This is especially true in food service. People think because they wear gloves they can do a weak job of washing their hands and then proceed to touch money, tables, handles, trash cans, cutting boards, food items, etc. in the kitchen without ever rewashing. My favorite move is when the glove wearer touches all over the outside of the gloves while he's putting them on, and assumes because he's wearing gloves he's ok. ?‍
Clean hands are preferable to dirty gloves.

McDonald's uses this process.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
32 months ago
Bacteria and viruses are two entirely different things.

Your best course of action is keeping your own hands clean. Soap and water, 20 seconds.

... and there needs to be an automatic trip-line installed in bathroom doorways for everyone that doesn't wash after using the facilities. Humans are disgusting!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
32 months ago

How about when you’re in there washing your hands and you hear someone in a stall pooping their guts out and then they flush and walk past you and out the door? I don’t expect those people to ever start washing their hands for any reason.
I like to hope that when I yell "THANKS FOR WASHING YOUR HANDS, <name if you know it>!" at them, especially if it's in public, that maybe they will next time.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackcrayon Avatar
32 months ago

The article on lysol wipes is 'no longer updated by apple' https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201294

And the one on cleaning says to avoid using 'household cleaners' on almost everything - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172

So short of an expensive UV sanitizer, we're stuck with carrying petri dishes in our pockets.
I've used paper towels with 91% alcohol on my iOS devices for years. Never noticed any damage, though maybe it does something to the "oleophobic coating". I've never seen a definitive answer or noticed any difference though. I've also never seen it damage plastics on other devices (such as key surfaces or the magic trackpad 2), but it leaves (non permanent) streaks on aluminum.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redbeard331 Avatar
32 months ago

This should just be basic everyday normalcy when using public systems.

I cringe every time I notice someone walk right past me and the sinks in a restroom after they’ve wiggled the willy. Right to the door handle and beyond....
How about when you’re in there washing your hands and you hear someone in a stall pooping their guts out and then they flush and walk past you and out the door? I don’t expect those people to ever start washing their hands for any reason.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unity451 Avatar
32 months ago

Side note, I went to an Apple Store yesterday and all the employees were wearing gloves. This should be required at all businesses.
Wearing gloves doesn't stop the transmission of pathogens... It only makes the wearer think it does and therefore causes them to be less aware of what they're touching and reduce the number of times they actually wash their hands. This is especially true in food service. People think because they wear gloves they can do a weak job of washing their hands and then proceed to touch money, tables, handles, trash cans, cutting boards, food items, etc. in the kitchen without ever rewashing. My favorite move is when the glove wearer touches all over the outside of the gloves while he's putting them on, and assumes because he's wearing gloves he's ok. ?‍
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Remains Silent About Plans to Detect Known CSAM Stored in iCloud Photos

Saturday August 13, 2022 1:52 pm PDT by
It has now been over a year since Apple announced plans for three new child safety features, including a system to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) images stored in iCloud Photos, an option to blur sexually explicit photos in the Messages app, and child exploitation resources for Siri. The latter two features are now available, but Apple remains silent about its plans for the CSAM...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...