COVID-19 is Here. Clean Your Cell Phone!

A 2015 study of physician’s smart phones found that 44 out of 53 of their phones had dangerous bacteria on them.  And most cell phones have more bacteria on them, including E. coli, than most toilet seats. 

On average, we handle our cell phones for two hours every day.  Bacteria moves from our hands to our phones and from our phones to our faces.  To best stay safe and healthy, we need to be cleaning our smart phones, and cleaning them regularly.

First, if you don’t have a screen protector, get one.  Cleaning, even with manufacturer’s recommended practises and products, can wear down your smart phones protective screen coating. 

In March, Apple came out with recommendations for cleaning all their products.  You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.  But no bleach.  Samsung (Android) also recommends Clorox wipes, any 70% alcohol wipes or a 70% alcohol solution on a microfibre cloth.  For other Android devices, check with your manufacturer.  In general, 70% alcohol, diluted rubbing alcohol and the alcohol pads medical offices to wipe skin before an injection, all seem to be safe.

How to Sanitize

  1. Turn off the device
  2. Remove the case (if applicable) and clean it separately
  3. Wipe off any dirt before sanitizing
  4. Use a lint free or microfiber cloth (no paper towels)
  5. Avoid bleach, liquids, aerosols, and sprays
  6. Air dry (up to 10 minutes)
  7. Wash your hands before and after sanitizing your device

Tips

  • Use hands free (e.g. ear buds) to keep your phone away from your face
  • Use contactless payment (credit or debit card) and not a mobile pay app
  • When you’re in public spaces, keep your phone in your pocket, purse or car
  • Don’t rest your phone on common surfaces (e.g. counters)
  • Clean your hands before touching your phone
  • Use a paper shopping list, not the list on your phone

UV Phone Sanitizer – another option

Many styles and types are available online, for as little as $40.00.  Some can also charge your phone while sanitizing it, and in as little as eight minutes.  Check out more at:

Best Reviews https://ca.bestreviews.guide/smartphone-sanitizers?origin=google&google_params[matchtype]=b&google_params[network]=g&google_params[device]=c&google_params[creative]=430435056604&google_params[keyword]=&google_params[adposition]=&google_params[adgroupid]=102687779889&google_params[campaignid]=9815792549&bs=&google_params[feeditemid]=116176884097&google_params[targetid]=dsa-584251888043&google_params[loc_interest_ms]=&google_params[loc_physical_ms]=9000807&google_params[devicemodel]=&google_params[target]=&new_api=true&dest=0&sys_id=0|316&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqfz6BRD8ARIsAIXQCf2qq_hstWJiRsaAeYLec_PXTJd7PQM1vfjPKLm9cTz0_j4T5kUAQPoaAvIxEALw_wcB

These phone sanitizers can also be used to sanitize jewelry, watches and other electronic devices.

Whatever option you choose, it’s only effective if you follow through with regular cleaning.

 

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References

Villines, Zawn.  “Disinfecting phones: A how-to for COVID-19 prevention”.  Medical News Today.  Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — Written by Zawn Villines on April 17, 2020.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-disinfect-phone

Federal Communications Commission.  “How to Sanitize Your Phone and Other Devices.” May 11, 2020.  https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/how_to_sanitize_your_phone_and_other_devices.pdf

Collie, Meghan.   “Your cellphone harbours lots of bacteria. How to keep it clean during COVID-19.  Global News.  March 11, 2020 7:00 am  Updated March 16, 2020.  https://globalnews.ca/news/6655019/coronavirus-cellphone-germs/

Heartford Healthcare.  “How to Disinfect Your Phone During COVID-19 Without Destroying It.”  July 23, 2020.  https://hartfordhealthcare.org/about-us/news-press/news-detail?articleid=27245&publicId=395