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Can Disinfectants Cause Your Equipment to Crack and Break?

Know the Proper Disinfectants to Use on Your Devices Before Causing Any Potential Damage

Although traditional barcode devices may look like their healthcare counterparts, there are some keen differences between the two. Unlike healthcare devices, traditional barcode scanners and mobile computers are made with a housing of amorphous plastics. The most commonly used amorphous plastic in enterprise devices is Polycarbonate/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS). Since PC/ABS is composed of a loosely packed structure, it makes it easier for disinfectants to penetrate the plastic.


Common cleaning agents and chemicals have harmful effects on these devices, including discoloration, swelling, hardening, and cracking of rubber and certain plastics after prolonged and repeated use. In turn, cleaning agents or other substances can get through these cracks in your devices. As a result, internal exposure to chemicals leads to hardware failure, corrosion of electronic circuitry, and even electrical fires. Consequently, it is important that device owners consult user guides and manufacturer recommendations before applying disinfectants to their devices.

Disinfecting Healthcare Devices

Most healthcare products are made with antimicrobial, disinfectant-ready plastics. However, although a device may have anti-microbial plastic, they still require proper disinfection.

Recommended Disinfectants: Honeywell Scanning and Mobility

Honeywell is the first manufacturer in the AIDC space to incorporate disinfectant-ready housings. Below are their recommended cleaning solutions for healthcare devices:

Honeywell disinfect devices

  • Sani-Cloth® HB
  • Sani-Cloth® Plus
  • 409® Glass and Surface Cleaner
  • CaviWipesTM
  • Clorox® Bleach – 10%
  • Gentle Dish Soap and Water
  • Virex® 256
  • Windex® Blue
  • Isopropyl Alcohol Wipes (70%)
  • Super Sani-Cloth®

Learn more about disinfecting Honeywell healthcare devices

Motorola Devices 

Motorola is now owned by Zebra Technologies, however, the following are approved disinfection materials for older Motorola devices. Motorola Devices

  • Isopropyl alcohol (Including Wipes)
  • Bleach/sodium hypochlorite
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild dish soap
  • Ammonium chloride

Learn more about disinfecting your Motorola devices

Zebra Healthcare Devices

Cleaning and disinfection procedures are different for each of Zebra’s healthcare product lines. Please refer to the guides below for disinfecting Zebra healthcare mobile computers, scanners, and printers. For non-healthcare models, please consult the user guide for each device.

Mobile computer disinfection guide

Scanner disinfection guide

Printer disinfection guide

Disinfecting Non-Healthcare Devices

Unlike healthcare devices, industrial devices are made with materials that are less resistant to microorganisms and chemicals. Therefore, these devices require different cleaning solutions with less abrasive agents. The best practice for cleaning non-healthcare devices is to consult the manufacturer’s user guide for each device.

Contact RMS Omega if you have any questions or need help finding information on proper disinfection practices for your enterprise devices.

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