One of the benefits of using membrane switches in product designs is how easy they are to clean. Membrane switches tend to remain more sanitary than mechanical keypads. Think about crumbs, dirt and particles that fall in between the keys of a computer keyboard.
That same type of debris contaminates other types of keypads that have cracks and spaces between keys. Dust and particles can be the least of the concerns in certain environments. Healthcare facilities are an example where the cleanliness of devices is imperative. Infection control is a top concern in healthcare and when dealing with bodily fluids, sanitation and cleaning is top of mind. Maintaining clean membrane switches is important.
Every device and membrane switch is unique. Many come with their own specific cleaning instructions. Always follow those instructions to avoid damaging your product. In general, there are some cleaning tips that we like to share.
Membrane Switch Cleaning Tips
- Everyday cleaning – Moisten a soft towel or paper towel with water and wipe the membrane switch from one end to another. Make sure you do not soak the device, and always wipe away excess moisture. Soaking your switch in water or chemicals could cause moisture to get under the PSA and possibly cause a switch failure.
- Specialized cleaning – Sanitizing agents and disinfecting wipes can be used on a variety of membrane switches depending on the material they are made of. Check if your cleaning agent of choice is compatible with the material your membrane switch is made of before using this approach. Isopropyl alcohol is a common cleaning agent because of its quick dry ability.
- Trouble-Spots – If there is build-up on the membrane switch that needs to be removed a soft toothbrush can be a helpful tool. Always be gentle, but they can be helpful in cleaning trouble-spots.
- Immersion – Do not immerse the device in liquid/cleaning solution unless it has been specified as completely sealed and approved for immersion.
- Continued Maintenance – Wipe down your membrane switch on a regular basis and prevent it from getting excessively dirty. With most things, preventative maintenance allows it to function and remain presentable for extended periods of time.
Following these tips on a regular basis will help keep your membrane switches clean in many environments. Each situation is different and cleaning needs vary, so always keep your product and its use in mind.
Are you tired of cleaning and replacing mechanical keypads? Consider an environmentally sealed membrane switch from Telamco. Applying HeatSeal® Technology to our membrane switches effectively seals out harmful environmental contaminants and can prevent failures.