Keyboards 'Dirtier Than Toilet Seats'

Microbiologist warns that filthy keys can make people ill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 7:01 AM CDT
Experts recommend giving keyboards good, regular cleans - making sure to unplug them first.   ((c) kalleboo)
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(Newser) – A microbiologist studying computer keyboards discovered that some of them harbored more bacteria than the average toilet seat, the Guardian reports. The dirtiest—which had to be removed from an office—had 150 times the level of acceptable bacteria, putting the user at risk of catching bugs that cause diarrhea and vomiting. "It was off the scale," the researcher said.

Only one in five people give their keyboard a good monthly cleaning, and one in 10 never bother, according to a survey for Which? Computing magazine. Experts blame the grime on people eating at their computer—along with poor personal hygiene. They recommend regular cleaning to keep the germs away, but caution that keyboards are not dishwasher safe.