Our cell phones go everywhere with us. They become a second appendage. They are in our hands and on our face through out the day. While people manage to wash their hands after a trip to the bathroom, there hasn’t been a standard etiquette for how often we clean our phones. After reading this article, it may change your perspective. Look at the images below and be prepared to be shocked!
“From these results, it seems that the mobile phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil and other matter.” And he explained the purpose of this work, “As part of a course called Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology, an undergraduate module that I run, I get the students to imprint their mobile phones onto bacteriological growth Petri dishes so that we might determine what they might carry. It’s unusual but very effective way of engaging our students with the often overlooked microbiology of everyday life [emphasis added] (source).”
Recently, a British company known as “Watch Dog” took swabs and collected germs from 90 devices. They reported an overwhelming amount of “hazardous” bacteria that can cause illnesses. They even reported E. Coli
One iPad had 600 units of Staphylococcus aureus, while a smartphone had 140. The dirtiest keyboard had 480, compared to less than 20 units per swab of an office toilet.
“A count of 600 on a plastic device of any sort is incredibly high,” said head researcher and microbiologist James Francis. “It indicates that some people don’t wash their hands a lot.” (source)
If cell phone are dirtier then a public toilet seat, then how are we supposed to keep them clean?
The first option seems somewhat obvious, wash your hands consistently through out the day! This way, less and less bacteria is transfer to your device.
Option 2, clean your screen with a dry, clean, and lint free cloth. Also make sure you aren’t reusing the same cloth over and over. Standard alcohol based cleaners should be avoided. Apple warns that they could damage the screens of iphones, ipads and computers.
Option 3, use hand sanitizers through out the day. This way you are able to keep you hands clean without and avoid transferring bacteria and germs.
Lastly, it is advised to wash your keyboard and phones with a light bleach solution, but of course, you have to make sure you avoid too much moisture and make sure it doesn’t get into keys or ports.
Chances are, you know someone who can’t live without their phone. Hopefully, sharing this research will encourage others to wash their hands more, clean their devices often and decrease the spread of bacteria and germs on cell phones! Please post this on your social media outlets and share it with your friends and family.