How not to Clean a Cisco IP Phone

One of our best clients is a manufacturing company who several years ago deployed a Cisco Unified Communications solution consisting of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), Cisco Unity Connection (UConn), and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX).  In addition to the new Unified Communications applications, they of course deployed a bunch of Cisco phones to go with them.

Cisco IP phones are made of durable ABS plastic and are generally pretty sturdy, unless they get zapped in a lightning storm (which would never happen because you use surge protectors and UPS, right?) or something.  Unfortunately this 7911 below met with an early demise when an employee took it upon himself to clean the phone up a little bit…  with acetone.  Not only was the Cisco logo almost completely burned off, but so was most of the silver paint AND apparently enough of the acetone/paint mixture seeped into the phone itself that the buttons are now immovable.  The phone still boots and I suppose it may still receive calls, but its days as a production phone are over.


Cisco 7911 IP Phone Before and After

A typical Cisco 7911 and the 7911 subjected to an acetone cleaning. The Cisco logo is almost gone and you can’t even see the model number any more!


The moral of the story here?  As per this handy Cisco doc, avoid pouring liquids of any type, even cleaning solutions, directly onto your Cisco IP phones.  Clean them only with a cloth slightly dampened with your cleaning solution of choice.  Acetone is a little too caustic so we recommend simple soap and water or perhaps Windex or rubbing alcohol again, applied only via a slightly dampened cloth.  Regardless of which solution you clean your phones with remember these two things:  1) As every cleaning solution says on the back of the bottle – test in a small inconspicuous area first, and 2)  If your phone starts to melt… stop cleaning!

Have your users ever tried to help you fix an IT problem only to end up compounding the issue?  Let us know in the comments!

About the Author:

Phil is the President and founder of Denton Business Solutions. He's had a fascination with technology for as long as he can remember. Phil uses that fascination to guide manufacturers to technology solutions for enhancing their plant safety, cybersecurity, and productivity. Outside the office, Phil enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and son, and reading up on the latest manufacturing news. You can connect with Phil on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

One Comment

  1. Brook Tadesse July 25, 2013 at 9:07 am - Reply

    chemistry gone wrong

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