How to Properly Disinfect Touchscreens during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
2022/06/27 ｜By G Editor
The Covid-19 pandemic is now more than two years. Except wearing a mask and washing hands often, frequent environmental disinfection of the surfaces also plays an essential key to epidemic prevention. Fingers are the most convenient and most commonly used way to manipulate touchscreen monitors. Therefore, to protect the users from the risks of cross-infection, disinfecting the touchscreen monitors properly is a crucial task! Here we provide several practical tips to sanitize capacitive touchscreens safely.
A. Disinfectants for Touchscreens
Coronaviruses are kind of enveloped viruses. According to WHO and U.S CDC , the disinfectants that can kill coronavirus include: 75% Alcohol (Ethanol Alcohol), 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol, IPA), 500ppm Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite).
The surface of the projected capacitive touch screen is covered by 7H hardness glass. In the point of view of chemistry, the glass is not only durable, but also highly cleanable.
All the three disinfectants can be used on the glass surface of the touchscreen monitors. However, the chlorine bleach is irritating to respiratory tract, so it is safe to be diluted to 500 ppm which needs a longer residence time to effectively eliminate viruses. Therefore, we recommend using 75% alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol to rapidly sanitize the touchscreen monitors for indoor use.
|Alcohol (Ethanol)||Isopropyl (IPA)||Bleach
|Contact Time||About 15- 30 seconds||About 15- 30 seconds||Leave to work for 5-10 minitues|
|Suitable for Touch Screens||
♦It is inflammable and should be kept away from fire.
♦It is easy to cause dry skin.
♦The ignition point is lower than ethanol, and it should not be near potential sources of fire.
♦It is easy to cause dry skin.
♦High-concentration isopropanol is often used as an industrial solvent.
♦It cannot be diluted with hot water or other detergents.
♦Avoid direct sunlight.
♦Avoid contact with skin.
♦It is recommended to be diluted in a ventilated environment and used within 24 hours.
Note: All of GeChic touchscreen monitors are equipped with projected capacitive touchscreens, but there are many resistive touchscreens on the market, which rely on the deformation of the top surface of the film to sense touch command (the touch sensibility of fingernails is better than fingertips). For disinfecting resistive touchscreens, high-concentration isopropyl alcohol is not recommended.
Alcohol and Isopropyl are commonly used in the hand sanitizers on the market. Therefore, the qualified hand sanitizers can be used to disinfect touch screens. It’s important to note, however, the additives such as essential oils or moisturizer may cause smudges on the touchscreen monitors. If necessary, choosing hand sanitizers with simple ingredients would be more ideal.
Select the cleaning cloth
Most microfiber cloths are suitable for cleaning the touchscreens. The thicker and higher absorption qualities the lens cloths are, the better the cleaning effect is. Take the following examples.
The cleaning effect of the lens cloths will decrease as it holds more dirt, and therefore regularly replacing the lens cloth is a must.
Faux Suede Cleaning Cloth
With great water absorption qualities and effectively for removing water and finger marks
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
With both great water absorption qualities and adhesion, yet the gaps of the fiber weave are easy to leave dust
For clean room use, with great water and oil absorption, and easy to wipe with a knit fabric
B. Proper Steps for Disinfection
Step❶Turn off the monitor：make sure the power indicator is off.
Step❷ Spray alcohol on the lens cloth and make one side of the cloth moist.
Step❸ Quickly wipe the glass surface of the monitor: Gently clean it, and do not press on it heavily. no. Wipe in one direction and avoid wiping back and forth, for around 30 seconds.
Step❹ Dry the glass surface of the monitor: Alcohol should not be left on the surface of the glass. If there is any, please use a dry cloth to dry the residual disinfectant.
C. Wrong Ways of Disinfections
Spray Alcohol Directly on Screens
Touch screens are not waterproof. Never spray disinfectants directly on a monitor. Disinfectants contain a certain amount of water. Once it leaks into the holes or gaps of the monitor case, it will cause damage to the monitor.
Wipe too Hard
Although the hardness of the touch screen glass is high, it is still fragile due to its ultra-thin thickness. In addition, the sensors and circuits of the capacitive touch glass are located in the surrounding black bezels, and excessive pressure may damage the sensor! When wiping, be sure to keep your movements gentle, and do not press or pinch the screen frame with your hands to prevent the touch glass from being broken!
Use UV Germicidal Lamps
Sunlight and ultraviolet rays can also effectively kill the coronavirus. However, if the LCD panel is exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays for a long time, it is easy to cause material aging, which may result in poor colour display or shorten panel life. Therefore, it is not recommended that use ultraviolet germicidal lamps to sanitize touchscreens.
D. Other ways to avoid cross contamination
❶ Use Medical or Examination Gloves
If the touch screen is located in a hospital or on a checkout counter and is operated by irregular personnel, it is recommended that the operator wears examination gloves or medical gloves to reduce the possibility of cross-infection. The touchscreen monitors, for examples, made by GeChic supports different types of gloves, such as touchscreen gloves, latex gloves, PVC gloves and even winter gloves can all operate the touchscreen normally.
❷ Personal Stylus
Using a personal stylus pen with a cover to operate a public touch-screen kiosk is also an effective way to prevent cross-infection transmission. The personal stylus can be placed in the doctor's lab coat’s or work clothes’ pocket, and sanitize the stylus with the automatic alcohol sprayer once a day. The GeChic touchscreen monitors supports all passive styluses with a plastic disc in 6mm or more diameter, or active styluses with high levels of electromagnetic induction, such as Adonit Dash 3.
❸ Use an Antibacterial Film
There are many antibacterial films for elevator buttons on the market, claiming that antibacterial ingredients are added to effectively reduce virus attachment. This kind of protective film can also be attached on the touch glass, and most of them will not affect the touch operation. However, the so-called antibacterial experiment does not include the testing of coronavirus. Also, reducing virus attachment does not mean to kill the virus, therefore, the effectiveness and reliability of these antibacterial films remain unknown.
Although fingers contact may cause a risk when using a touch screen, the touchscreen glass, which is the full-flat, smooth and refined, is less likely to be attached with bacteria, and it is easier to sterilize thoroughly, compared tobuttons or keyboards. According to the suggestions of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States, medical units or home environment with confirmed cases should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day. In order to strengthen personal protection, except wearing a mask and washing hands , it is recommended that you disinfect your touch screen and mobile phone screen once a day.