Cleaning & Preventing Mold Growth from Electronic Equipment

Mold can grow in every area, including electronic equipment. As long as there is moisture, there is the chance of mold. Even if there is no moisture, however, a spore could remain dormant until moisture arrives.

These spores are how mold reproduces. The mold particles are transported in the air which allows mold to get to the exterior and interior of a building. When mold reaches the interior of a building or home, it has the potential of infecting everything, including electronic equipment.

When this happens, home or business owners may not notice it. This is because the small spore particles blend in with the dust particles that are already present. Soon, however, the mold begins to colonize. When mold grows in colonies, it starts to become more noticeable, quickly affecting daily activities and products.

If you aren’t sure if you’re dealing with mold or not, it may be best to get it inspected to see what you’re dealing with first.

The Problem

Most electronic equipment keeps their motors and processors cool by utilizing fans. The intake ducts on these fans take in dust particles. Mold spores blend in with dust particles, meaning that mold spores could be entering the intake ducts as well.

Mold is usually cleaned and removed by using bleach or disinfectant spray. Each of these items removes mold and prevents the area from having further mold growth. Unfortunately, bleach and disinfectant cleaners can do more damage to electronic equipment.

Other solutions have to be developed as bleaches and disinfectant sprays cannot and should not be utilized on electronic equipment.

Not only are the chemicals in the cleaning agents harmful to electronic equipment, but the moisture is also harmful. Electronic equipment cannot be exposed to excessive moisture if there is to be no damage expected from it. Mold that has grown on electronic equipment has to be dehydrated in order to be removed.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Electronic Equipment

cleaning sponge

The first step in cleaning mold from electronic equipment is to make sure you’re wearing gloves and a mask for your own protection. Once you’re good with that, you can start to clean the exterior or the outer shell.

These areas are able to be cleaned utilizing the bleach and disinfectant products listed above. It is essential to be extra careful if using these solutions on the exterior of electronic equipment.

Only utilize a small amount of the product, whether utilizing bleach or disinfectant. Be sure to wipe down the exterior and outer shell completely, efficiently, and thoroughly after utilizing these solutions to prevent any damage.

It is important to make sure that none of the moisture enters the interior of the equipment. When the area has been cleaned, ensure that it is wiped down thoroughly with a soft towel that will not cause scrapes or scratches on the equipment.

Following the steps below will ensure that all the mold from the exterior is removed, the exterior of the electronic equipment remains safe, and that there is no mold growth in the future.

Cleaning the Interior or Inner Workings of the Electronic Equipment

The interior of electronic equipment is where moisture-based products such as bleach solutions and disinfectants cannot enter. The moisture will damage the interior of the equipment, so therefore it will likely make it inoperable. If this happens, it may be best to contact a local electrician to see if they can get it working again.

cleaning laptop

To safely remove mold and mold spores from the interior of electronic equipment, move the equipment to an area that receives good ventilation such as an open garage or porch to not release particles to the interior of the building. Do not breathe in the dust particles as the equipment is cleaned.

A HEPA certified vacuum cleaner can be utilized to suction out dust particles from the fans. It is important to note that the vacuum will not re-release the spores into the air. Compressed air can then be utilized to rid the interior of any leftover particles. The outer cover can also be cleaned in this way if it is removed.

Preventing Mold Growth on Electronic Equipment in the Future

Once the electronic equipment has been cleaned properly, mold growth will need to be prevented in the future. The exterior of the equipment will have prevention on it from the bleach and disinfectants. The vacuum and compressed air will unfortunately not automatically prevent mold growth from the interior of the equipment, however.

computer and cleaning product

Dehumidifiers can be utilized to prevent future mold growth on all parts of the electronic equipment. Remember that mold grows where there is any moisture, and dehumidifiers pull the moisture out of the area they work in. This will stop any re-growth of mold spores that will eventually turn into colonies of mold.