Disinfecting Touch Sensors
Article courtesy of Zytronic and 3M
Cleaning and disinfecting are two distinct processes. Cleaning removes dirt, grease, dust and other contaminants. Disinfecting is a separate process that uses a chemical designed to destroy bacteria and enveloped viruses (such as coronavirus).
It is recommended that the procedure for cleaning surfaces suggested by the Health & Safety Executive is followed, and that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used, to minimise risk to the person cleaning the touchscreen from the chemicals used.
The frequency of cleaning the touch sensor will be dependent upon the use and location of the touchscreen device and should be determined by the equipment owner.
We currently recommend cleaning the sensors with a mixture of 70% isopropanol and 30% water. Higher alcohol content is not recommended. If you have a branded disinfectant, please read manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Many disinfectant manufacturers require the surface to remain wet for a few minutes, so continuous wiping might be required.
Check the label to ensure the product has been tested against bacteria and viruses. Not all household cleaning products contain virus-killing active ingredients. Some antibacterial products may not be effective against viruses, so it’s important to select a product that states: ‘Kills 99.9% bacteria and viruses’ on the packaging.
To prepare for disinfecting the touchscreen, power down the device (if possible) or ensure your on-screen software can tolerate false touches while you clean.
If your kiosk or terminal is not fully sealed against liquid ingress, you should avoid spraying the touch sensor directly. Instead, use wet wipes, a sprayed cloth or a dampened cloth with the excess moisture squeezed off.
Dampen a new clean, non-abrasive cloth with a disinfectant chosen from the list below. Ensure excess liquid is squeezed from the cloth. You may also use pre-dampened wipes.
For disinfectant solutions that are safe for use with touch sensors, see below:
- Household bleach solution (sodium hypochlorite, mixed to 1/3 cup of bleach per gal. of water)
- Household cleaners (containing >70% alcohol)
- Household cleaners (containing >3% hydrogen peroxide)
- Isopropyl alcohol (containing 70% alcohol)
- Methyl Alcohol or Ethyl Alcohol (containing 70% alcohol)
More information from the Public Health England on disinfecting procedures for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
Do NOT use the following materials when cleaning/disinfecting your Zytronic touch sensor (glass):
• 100% Methyl, Ethyl or Isopropanol Alcohol
• Thinner or benzine
• Strong alkalis
• Strong solvents
• Abrasive cleaners
• Detergents with abrasives
• Steel wool
• Sponges with abrasives
• Steel blades
• Cloth with steel threads