Your Keyboard’s Crappy, Literally

    May 1, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Ready, set, get out the disinfectant. When researchers tested keyboards in a "typical" London office, one of them was removed and quarantined because it was five times as filthy as the office toilet.

Bet that guy’s popular now.

That same one had 150 times the "recommended limit" of bacteria, including the bad kind that cause food poisoning and diarrhea. "That keyboard is increasing the risk of its user becoming ill," said microbiologist James Francis with Kingmoor Technical Services, who helped Which? conduct the study. "I haven’t seen a reading like that in a very long time."

Luckily, all of the keyboards tested weren’t at this level, just one belonging to the dude that eats lunch at his desk everyday. Likely some professionalism prevented the researchers from revealing whose keyboards were quarantined, but you know the staff knows who. Talk about a staff infection.


Some of the bacteria found on the keyboards are supposed to stay in the stomach where they belong.

"You shouldn’t have gut bacteria on a keyboard," chided Microbiologist Dr. Mark Enright of Imperial College London, presumably before squishing out some hand sanitizer.

Over 30 keyboards were tested, but just four in total failed the "compared to a toilet door handle" test. The toilet door handle passed the researchers’ general hygiene test. Of the four that failed, two were labeled health hazards and removed from the office, and two were cleaned to remove alarm-level presences of staphylococcus aureus.

Other microscopic critters partying it up on the keyboards: fecal bacteria like Coliform and E. Coli. So you know what that means, right? It means watch who you shake hands with at work.

Eating lunch at your desk increases the risk of hazardous bacteria on your keyboard. Food crumbs in addition to moisture-trapping dust become hot tubs and poolside service for germs. They send their thanks.

In a survey of 4,000 people, Which? found that 11% had never cleaned their keyboards, 20% had never cleaned their mouse, and 13% had never cleaned their laptops.

Now, send this article to a friend with OCD and ruin his day.