If you’re anything like us, your anxiety levels over cleanliness and good hygiene have been skyrocketing recently.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to ensure we’re living our cleanest, safest lives—which involves removing germs and other pathogens from our environments as much as possible.
We know you keep hearing a few common pieces of advice, like handwashing and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces.
But the second tip is most often applied to doorknobs, tabletops, and surfaces in public places. It’s easy to forget that most of us carry around one of the most frequently-touched surfaces in our lives every day in our back pocket.
That’s right. Our phones have the potential to be breeding grounds for nasty germs.
The Science Behind Germ-Covered Phones
Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, suspects that the average phone can carry as much as 10 times more bacteria than most toilets. Gross!
This is in part due to our phones’ warm temperature and our steady reliance on them throughout the day: any pathogen we come in contact with is likely to be quickly transferred to our phones, and live on their surfaces for as long as multiple days afterward.
In fact, the current coronavirus making international headlines has been found to survive on inanimate surfaces for up to three days or more. And when it comes to pandemic safety, we can’t afford to take chances.
We know you don’t want to carry a germ bomb around in your purse—especially if it’s likely to end up in your kids’ hands or right next to your face!
Luckily, there are ways to solve this icky problem.
Disinfecting your phone once a week and keeping it clean in between disinfections are great ways to keep your family safe from harmful bacteria and viruses.
We did some research and came up with a winning recipe for phone disinfectant solution that only takes a few common ingredients.
Check it out below!
Phone Disinfectant Solution Recipe
Rubbing alcohol with an alcohol content of over 70%
A spray bottle
A lint-free cleaning cloth—microfiber works great!
How to Properly Disinfect Your Phone
To make phone disinfectant solution, simply combine water and rubbing alcohol into a 50/50 solution in a plastic spray bottle. To clean your phone, spray this solution into your microfiber cloth and gently wipe all your phone’s surfaces—especially the screen and buttons, which get the most contact from dirty fingers.
It’s important to remember not to spray the solution directly onto your phone—the propelled droplets could get lodged in one of the phone’s ports or other small openings.
Trust us, we know the panic of getting a non-waterproof phone wet: it’s a disaster that can cause hundreds of dollars in damages! To avoid liquid seeping into your phone’s inner components, make sure your cleaning cloth is moist, but not soaked.
It’s also important to note that this level of cleaning shouldn’t be done every time your phone gets dirty, or even every day. In between weekly disinfecting sessions, simply keep your phone’s surfaces clean with a dry cloth. Microfiber is a great option because it doesn’t shed loose strands or lint that can get caught in your phone’s sensitive components!
Top Tips for a Healthy Phone Surface
If the mental image of a germ-infested phone is grossing you out, you’re not alone. Our phones are some of our most used, most trusted possessions, and the idea that yours could be infecting you or your children is understandably scary.
But luckily, there are some simple behavioural changes we can all make to keep germs off our phones in the first place.
By following the advice below, you can make your phone a safer surface for everyone in your life.
Keep Your Hands Clean
From texting thumbs to app-tapping fingers, your hands are the leading source of germs on your phone. If you keep your hands clean, you can stop the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria to your devices.
This can be done in a few ways.
First, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever you come into contact with surfaces that could be infected.
It’s also a good idea to wash your hands before you eat and after you use the restroom. Additionally, covering coughs and sneezes with your hands is a dangerous practice that can spread disease to your phone, your family, and even strangers. Coughing and sneezing into your elbow is a great alternative that keeps your hands germ-free.
Scrolling the news, messaging friends, and even online shopping while in the restroom are habits many of us practice. But using your phone while in the presence of the bathroom’s many germ-covered surfaces is dangerous—it can lead to a germ-covered phone that will provide a warm, comfortable environment for nasty pathogens for days to come.
For this reason, it’s always best to leave your phone safely secured in a purse, backpack, or coat pocket when you use the restroom. After you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, you can then safely check your favorite apps and websites in a cleaner environment.
The Case for a Good Case
When you think of keeping your phone safe, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a phone case. But did you know that in addition to preventing shattered screens and broken buttons, phone cases can also protect against germs as well?
Antimicrobial covers are now easy to find and come in a wide variety of styles. You can also purchase screen protectors that will repel the natural oil of your fingers and face, and may protect against germs as well.
Just remember that your phone is only as clean as its dirtiest layer. Remove cases and screen protectors often to clean both them and the phone underneath.
Take Action Today!
In such uncertain and scary times, it’s more important than ever to take charge of what we can control. That means being proactive about the cleanliness of our own lives and possessions.
Take charge now and take the simple steps above to keep your phone clean—one small action today could make a world of difference tomorrow!