The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all germaphobes, but it’s worth noting that even without a global health crisis, there are still plenty of other “regular” afflictions to worry about. Thankfully, there are things you can do to combat the spread of germs, particularly during cold and flu season. First and foremost, it’s time to face facts: your smartphone is a germ magnet. As microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, Charles Gerba, PhD, explained to Health, “Cell phones are one of the dirtiest things we encounter daily.”
In fact, the outlet notes that research conducted by the university showed that these devices can carry “10 times more bacteria” than toilet seats (let that sink in for a moment). Making matters worse, Gerba said that most people don’t clean their phones very often, meaning, “germs and bacteria continue to build up and accumulate, including E. coli, influenza, and MRSA, just to name a few.” Touch screens increase the ability of germs to spread everywhere else, leading to infections.
Thankfully, cleaning your phone is easy and, once you figure out how, should be something you do on a regular basis.
Cleaning your cellphone should be a regular occurrence
Pure Wow advises, first and foremost, to make sure your phone is turned off and unplugged before cleaning it. You can use a damp microfiber cloth, disinfectant wipes, or any other wipes containing 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Bleach and household cleaners are all no-nos, though. Likewise, don’t try to give your phone a bath, because doing so will definitely break it. In fact, ensure you don’t get any moisture in the various holes and always be gentle with your screen. Your case and buttons need attention too, so don’t forget about them. Essentially, make sure every inch of the sucker is wiped thoroughly.
If you’re really concerned, a smartphone UV sanitizer could be your best bet, it’s worth noting they’re a bit pricey. A study from mobile company Dscout suggests the average person touches their phone around 2,617 times every day, so cleaning it once a week simply won’t do the job.
As Gerba advises to Health, when it comes to smartphones, “We’re in constant contact with them, and they spend a lot of time near our face and mouth.” So, whether it’s flu season or not, clean your device at least once a day, try not to pass it around in groups, and never take it into the bathroom. And obviously, ensure you’re washing your own hands as often as possible, too.
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