COVID-19: An Insider’s Guide for Cleaning Two-Way Radios
Anyone working in the construction, education, warehousing, logistics, or janitorial industries should know how to keep their two-way radios sanitized, especially during the COVID-19 era. After all, while we are inundated by reminders of social distancing, hand washing, liberal use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes and other good hygiene habits one of the most important items that many hard working Americans should be aware of is how to clean and sanitize professional grade two-way radios. According to recent report from the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronavirus bacteria and other germs can live on surfaces like glass, metal or plastic for anywhere from two hours to nine days,
Discount Two-Way Radio understands our customer’s concerns and have put together some very simple but highly effective sanitizing do’s and don’ts for cleaning your two-way radios. As a matter of fact, one of the largest cleaning journals in the industry thought so much of these cleaning tips, they ended up publishing our tips in an article titled, "How to Keep Your 2-Way Radio Sanitary and Virus-Free". Cleaning and Maintenance Management Magazine has more than 70,0000 readers who are responsible for cleaning and maintaining commercial facilities. The magazine started in 1964, and has been the authoritative, trusted resource for top building service contractors (BSCs) and forward-thinking, in-house professionals and facility managers in the education, health care, commercial (office/government), hospitality, retail, and industrial industries.
- Make sure the radio is turned off and unplug any accessory or attachments.
- Remove any protective cover or holster protecting the exterior screen or casing.
- Mix approximately one tablespoon of mild dishwashing soap together with about one gallon of warm water to achieve a .5 percent solution.
- Apply the soapy mixture with a stiff but nonmetallic brush, making sure to dislodge any grime or dirt that may have become caked on the radio’s housing.
- Clean antennas and screens by dipping a soft, microfiber cloth into the solution until the material is damp but not wet.
- Two-way radio keypads are usually the worst because this is where all the germs and gunk accumulate! You can also use a damp microfiber terry cloth to wipe away the dust and dirt, and then dry it with canned air, and make sure you do not allow any moisture to become entrapped in connectors, speaker crevice’s, and controls.
- If your radio has an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can rinse your radio by holding it under a faucet.
- If your radio does not have an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can use a soft, lint free cloth to dry the radio.
- For additional sanitation protection, you can use a product like Clorox wipes or over-the-counter rubbing alcohol with no more than (0 percent isopropyl alcohol. Pour the alcohol directly onto a rag first and wipe the radio down with the rag and let the radio air dry.
- If there is a risk that the radio and attached accessories were exposed to pathogens or carcinogens, several cleaners have proven to be very effective in neutralizing these threats on two-way radios. For maximum effect, make sure the radio first receives a detailed cleaning as described above. Then for pathogen decontamination ( as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) apply Zep DZ-7 which is a virucide that kills a broad spectrum of bacteria. For carcinogen decontamination (like metal oxide dust, lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, chromium, arsenic, silver, selenium, cobalt, and other toxic metals, wipe down the radio with either Hygenall FieldWipes or Enspire Fire Wipes per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ultraviolet Rays Clean as Well
Believe it or not, another strategy to disinfect your two-way radio with almost no effort is to use ultraviolet light cleansers. Called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, treatment is an established and effective way to disinfect two-way radios as well according to the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
The DON’TS of Sanitizing Two-Way Radios
- Don’t use alcohol to clean your radio’s screen. Use instead use a very soft, damp cloth.
- Don’t submerge the radio in the detergent solution.
- Don’t attach a dirty cover or holster to a sanitized radio. Take the time to clean your cover and holster with the same sanitizing techniques outlined above as well.
- Don’t let any water or moisture into charging area, speakers, controls, programming buttons, or accessory jack.