Riddle Me This.
As we’re all wrestling with how to avoid being infected by COVID-19, experts tell us to wash our hands, spray down our groceries, stay 6′ apart, wear masks, and use wipes everywhere possible.
Unfortunately even if you do all of those things you are probably missing one of the easiest ways for you to still get infected. So let’s start with a riddle.
What’s the one item that you’re never without? It goes into the bathroom with you. You use it in between times that you wash your hands. It frequently touches your face, your lips, your hands, your desk and just about any other surface within arm’s reach.
Answer: your mobile phone.
So if you’ve ever wondered if you should clean your smart phone… the answer is Yes. Not yeah, sure, do it, why not, cant’ hurt. It’s an OMG absolutely ASAP YES.
Is This a Real Problem?
Your smart phone is a breeding ground for germs and a cesspool of bacteria. Fecal matter can be found on 1 out of every 6 smartphones, according to a 2011 study done by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Your phone has an average of 25,127 bacteria per square inch according to Seattle Times journalist Bobby Caina Calvan. This makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day. In fact, when compared to other items that are infamously “dirty,” cell phones are much worse by a multiple of 3 to 20 times!
- Toilet seat: 1,201 bacteria per square inch
- Kitchen counter: 1,736 bacteria per square inch
- Pet food dish: 2,110 bacteria per square inch
- Checkout screen: 4,500 bacteria per square inch
- Doorknob: 8,643 bacteria per square inch
One more issue is how often we keep reinfecting our phones during the day. A study by dscout.com concluded that we touch our phones 2,617 times a day! Still think that cleaning it once a day will help much?
A quick and easy solution is to purchase a water-proof case for your phone. Amazon has a good selection of them for $15 to $20. Then just wash it under the sink with soap and water a few times a day. Prefer to spray it? No problem.
If you love your existing phone case, or don’t have one and don’t want one, then let’s talk about how to clean your phone. Apple recently released updated care instructions that should work with any smart phone. Those instructions also meet the cdc.gov cleaning and disinfecting recommendations.
- Unplug the power cord and headphones before you clean.
- Wipe the hard surfaces of your phone with 70% isopropyl alcohol (no higher) as long as no moisture gets into any openings, keys, or charging ports.
- No need to purchase more expensive wipes. The $1 rubbing alcohol that you can purchase at the pharmacy is typically 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Use only soft, lint-free cloths. Do not use paper towels which can scratch.
- Do not spray the phone directly.
- Avoid bleaches and other cleaning products.