How to Clean Your Router

Jesse Rothschild General

How Can I Clean My Router?

While most articles on this subject revolve around purging malware and historical device data, this article focuses on the physical cleaning and sterilization of your mobile communications devices. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are using ruggedized cellular routers to help manage fixed and mobile clinics at permanent and temporary locations. With the COVID-19 threat, a common question has arisen, "How can we disinfect our routers?" Standard and pop-up medical facilities sterilize all their equipment. Their routers can't be the only item left untouched by cleaning methods. To learn the best way to prevent the spread of disease without damaging the cellular routers and gateways follow the steps below.

The Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning Your Routers

Do | Make Sure Your Router is 'Rugged'

Within this article we'll review a few quick and easy steps to help sanitize your communications devices. But the most important thing, is to make sure you have a router that's in a "rugged" class. Routers that are rugged, or ruggedized, are devices that were made for harsh conditions and can withstand the elements. The standard router you use at home is not rugged. Rugged also means your cellular gateway was built to military standards. Generally, this is referred to as "mil-spec".

Sanitizing Cellular Routers in Healthcare Environments
Ethernet Plugs to Sanitize Routers in Healthcare Environments

Do | Buy Ethernet Plugs

Before Cleaning Your Router

While not entirely necessary, it is better to be safe than sorry. Your rugged router is strong on the outside to withstand the elements. But you do not want to risk penetrating this hardened shell through the ports in it's back. To ensure the safe inner workings of your device, buy some plugs (also referred to as hole covers), and stick them in the back before you start cleaning.

Do Not | Submerge Router in Soapy Water

While your rugged router may be quite durable, it wasn't meant for use under water. Most rugged devices can handle rain, but can't handle being completely submerged. It's best to avoid using water at all in the cleaning process. No buckets. No soapy sponges. We can't guarantee your device will stay functional if you attempt to clean it in this manner. Use soap and water to wash your hands, not your routers.
Do Not Clean Routers with Soap and Water
Lysol to Disinfect Routers in Medical Settings

Do | Use Lysol Spray

It's best to use cleaning methods that don't overly saturate the device.  Lysol sprays and other similar aerosols that kill 99.9% of bacteria are the ideal method of disinfecting your cellular routers and gateways. To disinfect your router, just spray the Lysol onto a cloth or paper towel and then wipe the device on all sides then allow it to air dry.

Note: We still advise you buy some plugs for your open ports. They are relatively inexpensive and add security to router cleaning process.

Do Not | Use Windex

Aerosol cleaners that are designed to disinfect are the only type of spray cleaner that should be used to sanitize your device. Windex and other similar products were not designed to kill bacteria. While a streak free router might sound attractive, it won't help prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other diseases.

Do Not Use Windex to Clean Cellular Gateways
Do Use Clorox Wipes to Disinfect Cellular Routers

Do | Use Clorox Wipes

Like Lysol and similar sprays, Clorox and similar wipes will not over-saturate your communications devices. Similarly, these kinds of wipes were also designed to kill 99.9% of bacteria. To clean your router just wipe it down on all sides and leave to air dry. 

Note: Buying plugs for your open ports is still recommended using this method, but it's less risky to use wipes than sprays. 

We hope you found this article on how to clean your routers useful. If you did, please share it so that healthcare organizations nationwide are made aware of the types of devices they need to keep connected to their teams while ensuring clean and safe environments for patient care.

Contact USAT

If your medical organization needs quick solutions for communications, USAT has rugged equipment in stock. Our team can configure and provision each device prior to shipment so they are ready for immediate use upon delivery.  Additionally, we can provide onsite installation services throughout a large portion of the country.

Our installation technicians are ready to install your equipment in fixed and mobile healthcare facilities. We have  teams in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and some regions in Texas and Colorado.

USAT's products and services are covered under the “Telecommunications Services” provision of the FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program. We offer reliable, secure, and rugged cellular gateways and high-powered antenna assemblies designed to cover broad areas. USAT offers solutions from top-tier providers like Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless

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