You’ll Be Surprised to Know Your Phone is 7 Times Dirtier Than Your Toilet
If you think about your daily life, what is the ONE thing that you couldn’t manage without? You probably said your phone, because for most of us, at work, keeping in touch with friends and family, even entertainment, all involved using a smartphone. Try and think about the last time you deliberately went anywhere without your phone. Can you think of one?
Having your phone with you all the time is just part of life today, however we don’t really think about what that actually means. That smartphone in your pocket is with you in the kitchen, in the bathroom, at work, in the car, you put it close to your face, on the table at the burger place or on your desk at work.
In short, the way we all use phones means they are exposed to all kinds of germs and bacteria every day, and as a result, they are much dirtier than you would think.
What’s wrong with my phone?
In fact, a recent study has shown that the average smartphone has 7 times more germs and bacteria present than a toilet seat! Carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene, the company took swab samples from a range of smartphones, and they found that while a toilet seat averages 220 indicators of bacteria, a smartphone showed 1,479 indicators on average. Worse, if you keep your phone in a leather case, your phone will likely show the worst levels of contamination, while plastic cases are at the lower end of the range.
Another study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found fecal matter in one in six smartphones they examined, a horrifying thought when you think about how we use our phones, putting it close to the face. In fact, there have been numerous studies looking at hygiene related to smartphones, and they don’t make pleasant reading. A wide range of problems have been discovered on smartphones, including Streptococcus and E. coli, both posing severe health risks.
How is this happening?
So, the first question is how does this happen? We talked about your day, and how the phone is with you everywhere, well basically, that is how. Did you know that today, we touch more surfaces in a day than at any other time in history. ATM keypads, the seats in an Uber, a light switch at the office or the self-service checkout at the grocery store, the list goes on. Thousands of other people have touched each surface, and we are constantly picking up germs and bacteria as a result. Then the phone is picked up, and some of those germs and bacteria are transferred to it.
That’s not all, taking a phone into the toilet will expose it to more bacteria, the so called ‘toilet plume’ that studies show is a result of flushing a toilet. What happens is that microscopic particles are dispersed into the air during a flush, and many of these can find their way onto a phone if it is exposed at that time.
This is a problem
As you can imagine, this is an issue. Not just because it’s nasty, but there is the potential for health issues resulting from this. Think about it, a phone full of germs, bacterial and all sorts of other contaminates. And then you put it close to your face and your mouth. Now, our bodies are capable of dealing with bacterial infections most of the time. But if you are feeling run down, or already ill, it could become an issue. In addition, if someone is ill, coughing onto a phone perhaps, those germs will stay on the phone for hours. And could well be a source of transmission for the problem. In any case, doing something about a bacteria infected phone just makes sense. It’s just better to avoid doing that to yourself if you can.
Taking care with your phone
By now, you are perhaps giving your phone the side-glance and wondering what to do next. If you look at the major phone manufacturers, they offer widely different advice. For instance, Google suggests using household soap on their phones if you feel the need. While Apple specifically says no liquids or disinfectants.
So, now you have read this and need to do something about your phone (sorry), what can you do? It depends on the phone. Water resistant and waterproof phones have an advantage here, allowing you to use a home-made disinfectant. Take a small spray bottle, and fill it with distilled water and rubbing alcohol, about a 70/30 mix works perfectly. Spray it on, wipe off with a cotton cloth or microfiber cloth. The alcohol evaporates quickly on its own, sanitizing the phone in the process. Remember to wear gloves when cleaning.
Is it OK to wash my Phone?
If your phone isn’t water resistant, things are a little more difficult. You can’t use the spray method, instead, antiseptic wipes can be used, like the kind Lysol make. Check for wipes that are labelled as safe to use with electronics. As these have a higher alcohol content and less water, so have no risk of damaging the phone.
An alternative for all phones is the sanitizer that is now available on the market, it uses bright UV light to kill 99%+ of germs on your phone. They can be an expensive investment, but do the job quickly and simply. For some of us, it may be the ideal solution.
Whatever cleaning method you choose, sanitize your phone once a day to avoid a build up of germs and bacteria. If you think your phone is exposed more often, due to work environment or something else. Cleaning your phone twice a day can help put your mind at ease.
Germs and bacteria are all around us, all the time, and we tend not to think about them too much. Our phones are exposed to everything we are, and they become a breeding ground for such bacteria unless we take measures to clean them regularly.
The last thing you want when the phone rings is to be worried about holding it close because of germs or bacteria. Adopt a regular cleaning strategy and have confidence in your phone.