Your computer keyboard may be dirtier than a toilet. No kidding.

A consumer advocacy group in the United Kingdom commissioned tests in which British microbiologist James Francis took a swab to 33 keyboards, a toilet seat and a toilet door handle at the publication’s London office in January.

Francis then tested the swabs to see what nasty germs he managed to pick up. He found that four of the keyboards tested were potential health hazards — and one had levels of germs five times higher than that found on the toilet seat.

In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a norovirus outbreak at a Washington, D.C., elementary school in February 2007 that sickened more than 100 may have been spread through contaminated computer equipment.

How To Clean your Computer Keyboard

Step 1: If it is a desktop computer keyboard, unplug it from your computer. Skip this step if you have a laptop.

Step 2: Turn the keyboard upside down and shake it around gently.  You will probably notice some small debris coming out of the keyboard.  Continue to shake gently until no more debris is falling out.  Skip this step with a laptop.  DO NOT USE A VACUUM for this step, it can create a static electric charge that may damage your computer keyboard.

Step 3: Use canned air and blow it around the keys.  You can do this with a laptop as well.

Step 4: Use rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab to gently clean around keyboard keys and tops of keyboard keys.  Do not get it too wet and be sure to discard the cotton swab as soon as it looks dirty.  DO NOT USE COTTON BALLS for this step, the cotton can stick to your keys and get underneath them.

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