Did you know that your phone is covered in germs: 25,127 bacteria per square inch, to be accurate. This makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day.
According to an analysis from the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronaviruses and other germs can live on surfaces like glass, metal or plastic for up to nine days. And phones are known to be more bacteria-ridden than toilet seats.
That means no matter how much hand washing and sanitizing you do if you turn around and pick up an unclean phone right away, you are potentially exposing yourself to those same germs you just got rid of. In fact, Singapore Ministry of Health’s director of medical services, Kenneth Mak, told reporters at a press conference that cleaning mobile phones was a more important preventative measure than wearing face masks.
- Unplug all cables and turn off your iPhone.
- Remove any case or cover on the device.
- Wipe the screen and surfaces with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free microfiber cloth.
- If your device is still visibly dirty or germs are of concern, use a soft, lint-free cloth with warm soapy water.
- Wipe down your phone’s screen with rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant wipe. This can damage your device’s screen and remove the coating that protects your device from oils and grease.
- Let any water or moisture into openings, like the charging port, speakers, mute switch or elsewhere.
If your device has any case or covering, it’s important to clean that too. Refer to the case’s packaging or informational materials for proper cleaning. Normal household cleaners may be safe to use on only the case. Make sure the case is dry before putting it back on your device. If your phone’s case is dirtier than you care to admit, you might consider just getting a new one.
If you want to truly disinfect your device, however, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents and other cleaners could be damaging. Instead, these ultraviolet light cleansers are specifically designed to keep your phone germ free by bathing it in UV rays. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation is an established and effective method of disinfection.
Don’t use your phone in the toilet. One survey found 88 percent of people have admitted to doing so, but a report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control suggests that coronavirus may have been able to spread so quickly because it’s been “transmitted through the potential fecal-oral route.”