We Wash Our Hands and Avoid Touching our Face, but What About Our Phones?Ivy Gutierrez
We’ve seen the funny memes and images, the tips and songs. It took a pandemic but – we have all finally started washing our hands properly. CDC and WHO are advising people to wash their hands often and avoid touching their face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are also aware of disinfecting surfaces that get frequently touched, like doorknobs, light switches and counters, have we considered that people spend more than 3 hours a day on their smart phones, maybe even more now?
How many germs your phone has greatly varies on what you do and how you handle it. Keeping your phone out of the bathroom helps. Some studies report that more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies were found on phones of high school students. And that may be an abstract number if we do not know how many bacterial genes usual dirty places carry, so let’s quote Time on a good comparison:
Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
Gross, right? So, what can we do about it? There are several options, but the only rule I have for you is this: Do not use bleach.
- Wipe your phone with 60-70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or use a disinfecting wipe. Gently wipe the surfaces.
Though your phone may be rated to be waterproof, actually submerging it in water is not recommended. You do risk water getting in your device though micro-cracks that may have formed.
Also, a simple wipe off the phone with a microfiber cleaning cloth or a soft towel will also work to physically remove some bacteria. If you have a cleaner in a bottle, spray a bit and wipe the surface of your phone. You could also use a damp cloth or a small towel, but avoid using soaked or dripping wet towels.
For our mobile scanner customers, Infinite Peripherals recommends similar cleaning procedure, with a warning of what NOT TO DO:
- no abrasive cleaners or cleaning materials,
- no spraying cleaners onto devices,
- do not soak a device into cleaning liquid.