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.