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Let’s face it: Your phone is essentially a part of you. It comes with you everywhere you go, whether it be a bathroom, gym, restaurant, doctor’s office, etc.
Throughout the day, your phone is placed on surfaces with more germs than you can imagine. What’s even more disturbing is how close you put your phone to your face and mouth.
Although your sparkling white iPhone might look clean, a microbiologist would say otherwise. So there really shouldn’t be any reason why you aren’t sanitizing your phone as much as your hands, if not more often.
Is Your Phone Really That Dirty?
Your phone is exposed to every single thing you touch. Whatever is on your hands gets transferred to your phone.
Researchers at the University of Arizona discovered that phones hold 10 times more germs than a toilet seat! Another study found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies are on a typical high schooler’s phone.
For the most part, the bacteria on your smartphone won’t cause illness, but it is best to clean your phone regularly to be safe from the sneaky germs that attack your immune system.
Common Phone Bacteria
There are five bacteria in particular that most commonly call your phone home. Don’t get too worried as we go through them because your immune system is likely to protect you against whatever sickness they cause.
Doctors treat most of the following infections with antibiotics unless the case is severe.
- Streptococcus: Responsible for causing strep throat, pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.
- Staphylococcus: Can cause various types of staph infections.
- Corynebacterium: Mainly responsible for diphtheria which you were likely vaccinated for as a child.
- E.Coli: Food recalls are often caused by discovering traces of E.Coli, but it is not always harmful. Still, the more harmful strains can cause gastrointestinal illness, urinary tract infections, and meningitis.
- Cold & Flu: These viruses are always a threat to your health but usually go away on their own. However, the spread of COVID-19 should make you extra cautious because it can live on your phone too.
How to Properly Disinfect Your Phone
Now that you are familiar with the bacteria living on your phone, it’s time to learn how to disinfect without damaging it.
First, turn your phone off so that you can see smudges and dirt. Then, wipe your phone using a microfiber cloth and a gentle cleanser that is safe to use on phones. Finally, use the dry side of the cloth to dry it off.
Cleansers containing harsh chemicals and alcohol can cause damage if it gets inside of a port, jack, or speaker. Avoid using paper towels or harsh textured cloths because they can cause scratches.
Besides cleaning your phone regularly, there are other actions you can take to ensure it is germ-free, like not bringing it to the bathroom, not giving it to children, washing your hands more, and being aware of surfaces it touches.