We use our phones all the time. And when we’re not using them, they’re at the bottom of our bags or down the side of the sofa cushion. It’s no wonder they pick up dust, dirt and smears on the screen.
Having said that, your phone isn’t necessarily unhygienic enough to be passing on germs and disease. When asked about the role that mobile phones could play in spreading Coronavirus, Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at University, suggested we needn’t be too concerned:
“There is limited evidence of spread of infectious disease from mobile phones and other devices… ultimately, phones are touched by fewer different people than, for example, a door handle. So, whilst it’s important to recognise potential sources of infection, people don’t need to be overly concerned about the phone itself, but make sure they are thoroughly washing and cleaning their hands several times a day.”
That sounds like good advice. But just to be on the safe side, here are a few tips on smartphone hygiene we think it’s worth taking the time to follow from now on.
How to keep your smartphone clean
Invest in some phone screen cleaner
Wiping your phone on your shirt sleeve won’t cut it. The best thing to do is to turn your phone off completely and wipe it gently with a dry microfiber cloth. Phone screen cleaner will take care of the screen - which is the most obvious place for dirt and germs - but you should also disinfect the rest of your phone and case with a proper antibacterial cleaning kit to truly rid your handset of all the nasties you can’t see.
Don’t use your phone in the toilet
It might seem like the perfect time to glance through your social media feeds, but toilets have lots of germs in them (no surprises there!). Find somewhere else that gives you five minutes of cleaner scroll time.
Don’t go overboard
A few gentle wipes with a proper cleaning kit each day is really all it takes to keep your phone clean and hygienic.
We wouldn’t advise using stronger liquids or tougher materials as there’s a good chance they could cause some serious damage.
Keep your hands clean
Clean hands equal a cleaner phone. Even the most hygienic of us can be carrying germs on our hands, so washing them regularly is important if you want to keep your handset squeaky clean. There’s some official hand-washing advice from the NHS that’s really easy to follow. Basically, you should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes you to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. That’s around 20 seconds. So lather up and have a sing-song.
You don’t need to wash your hands each time you pick up your phone. But you should definitely give your whole phone a good clean if you’ve handled raw food or have been in a public place where you think germs might be kicking around.
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