Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Following these simple steps can reduce communicable diseases in the office that are spread from equipment.
Office printers and copiers are communal devices and are touched or used on a given day by almost everyone. Events with the COVID-19 Coronavirus bring disinfecting office equipment to the forefront of our concerns.
Printer service technicians should be fully trained and make disinfection part of their routine especially on devices found in health care facilities. Decontamination can be performed post service and be a part of preventive maintenance.
Printer service companies can offer a disinfection protocol that can be positioned as a unique selling proposition.
Disinfection is a good business sense. It protects service people and customers alike. It takes minutes to perform and can save hours of lost productivity and possibly thousands in health care costs.
Metrofuser developed techniques to protect employees from germs and viruses while protecting the printer/copier's sensitive components such as control touch screens and operation panels. Disinfecting printers with common cleaning products can damage the device. Metrofuser suggests using the 70% Isopropyl alcohol.
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How Long Do Virus Survive On Various Materials Found in the Office
Recent studies have investigated how long coronaviruses survive on different surfaces. The research looked at a number of different viruses including SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that has caused COVID-19.
It found that survival times varied according to the type of surface. The virus survived for longest on stainless steel and plastic – for up to nine days. The shortest survival times of one day was for paper and cardboard.
Does alcohol kill germs and viruses?
Isopropyl alcohol is an effective disinfectant against many pathogens, including coronavirus, as long as the concentration is 70%.
Most rubbing alcohols are 70% isopropyl alcohol, but concentrations can range from 60-99%. For killing coronavirus quickly on surfaces, 70% is best — pure (100%) alcohol evaporates too quickly to be effective.
Alcohol can kill many bacterias in 10 seconds or fewer in the lab, including Staph aureus, Strep pyogenes, E. coli, Salmonella typhosa, and Pseudomonas species, some of the bad actors in infections.
For M. tuberculosis, it may take as long as five minutes of contact. Alcohol kills most, but not all, viruses, too, like HIV, hepatitis B, herpes, influenza, etc. Even some systemic bad fungal infections are susceptible, but again not all. When used correctly, alcohol is recommended as a disinfectant by most office equipment manufacturers and top health care universities.
Some Do Nots When Working with Alcohol Cleaning Printers
Don’t use rubbing alcohol near flames or smoking
Don’t mix rubbing alcohol with bleach
Don’t use rubbing alcohol in an unventilated area.
DO NOT spray directly on the device’s surfaces or components, as getting liquid inside the device could damage the internal components.
Correct use of alcohol when cleaning printers and copiers
Turn off and unplug the printer or copier before cleaning.
Use a lint-free cloth.
Do not spray any cleaning chemicals directly onto the printer or copier, instead spray alcohol onto a lint-free cloth/rag and then wipe surfaces. (Our printer and parts technicians use Isopropyl Alcohol.
Wipe down the affected areas on the list below
Wipe alcohol on the area and allow 10 second dell time. Dwell time (or contact time) is the amount of time the surface must remain visibly wet in order to kill pathogenic microorganisms before the disinfectant is wiped off. The surface needs to be left undisturbed. A common problem is that most products typically required well times.
The lint-free cloths should be disposed of after use.
Wait until surfaces are dry before plugging the device back in.
What are the affected areas of the office printer need to be cleaned
Paper Tray Handle (inside as well as outside)
ADF or Document feeder Handle if needed
Face up Trays top and below if needed
Multi-purpose trays if needed
Envelop feeders if needed
Any Area That Has Human Hand Contact
Don't let any liquid sit or pool on the area being disinfected for more than a few seconds. And never use rough paper towels or cloths to dry the glass or screens of your devices, which can cause scratches to the surface. Wet wipes and other consumer products contain ingredients other than alcohol which can damage printers and copiers more sensitive parts.
While no technique is guaranteed to kill all microbes, this is the most effective to date. For more information regarding the Coronavirus ( COVID 19) visit the CDC’s website:
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Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer, and marketer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include remanufactured laser printer parts, remanufactured printers and service training for HP, Lexmark and Canon brands. The company's customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide. Metrofuser has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing companies five consecutive years. For more information, visit http://www.metrofuser.com. .