As our world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, our phones have practically become extensions of our bodies. We take them everywhere, we touch them constantly, and we rely on them for just about everything. But have you ever stopped to think about how many germs are on your phone? It may shock you to learn that your phone could be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
The Dirty Truth
According to recent studies, your phone is one of the dirtiest things you own, harboring more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies per square centimeter. To put that in perspective, that’s more than 10 times the amount of bacteria found on a public toilet seat. And the types of bacteria found on our phones can range from harmless to dangerous, including E. coli and MRSA.
Sources of Germs on Your Phone
- You – Your own hands are the biggest source of germs on your phone. Every time you touch your phone, you transfer the germs on your hands onto the surface, which can then multiply and spread.
- Surfaces – Your phone picks up germs from every surface it comes into contact with, including counters, desks, and even other people’s hands.
- Pet and Animal Contact – If you are living with animals, especially indoor pets, there is a greater chance of their germs being transferred to your phone surface.
- Inadequate cleaning – Since phones have electronic components, cleaning them with moisture can be risky. However, many people do not clean their phones regularly with appropriate cleaning materials (such as a microfiber cloth) that will remove the germs safely.
Why Your Phone is a Germ Magnet
There are several reasons why your phone is such a perfect breeding ground for germs:
- Warmth and humidity – The warmth of your phone and humidity from your breath provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.
- Passing from one hand to another – As mentioned earlier, germs from other people’s hands can easily be transferred to your phone.
- Pores and crevices – The surface of your phone has many tiny pores and crevices that can harbor germs and make it difficult to clean.
- Email,Talking and Using in Washroom – Can you touch your phone with dirty hands when using it on the toilet seat?
The Risks of Germ-Infested Phones
While most of the bacteria found on our phones are harmless, some of them can pose a serious risk to our health. Here are some examples of what can happen when we allow germs to fester on our phones:
- Spread of illness – If you have a virus or bacterial infection, your phone can quickly become contaminated and spread the germs to other people through close contact or sharing.
- Bacterial infections – In rare cases, bacteria on your phone can cause infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) or even pneumonia.
- Acne and skin irritation – The bacteria on your phone can cause skin irritation, particularly if you hold your phone against your face frequently.
- Allergy and Asthma Trigger – One of the most common causes of allergy and asthama is bacteria, so if your phone is harboring germs, then it can be a contributor towards these conditions.
Cleaning Your Phone
Given the risks associated with a germ-infested phone, it’s essential to clean it regularly.
Best Way to Clean Your Phone
It’s important to note that phones need to be cleaned carefully because they have electronic components. Rough handling, moisture, and certain cleaning solutions can damage your device.
The best way to clean your phone is with a microfiber cloth, which you should dampen slightly. Avoid using alcohol-based solutions, and instead, use distilled water or diluted vinegar, which is just as effective at killing germs. Be careful, never spray any liquid directly on your phone, especially in the ports, holes, and speakers.
Clean Your Phone Regularly
The frequency of cleaning your phone is up to your discretion. Ideally, you should clean your phone once a day or at least once a week. You should also clean your phone after you sneeze, cough or touch it with dirty hands.
Clean Phone Accessories Too
It’s not just our phones that harbor germs — accessories like phone cases and headphones can also be breeding grounds for bacteria. Make sure to clean your accessories regularly, especially if you share them with others.
Your phone is a great companion, a tool for everyday tasks, and an unappreciated home for many germs. A clean phone is of utmost importance to avoid contamination and minimize the risk of spreading germs. For a healthy device, you must establish good habits of cleaning and disinfecting it regularly.
Here are some of the most common questions about germs on your phone:
- Why is my phone so dirty? – Our phones pick up germs from everything we touch, including people, surfaces and even your pet’s nose.
- How can I clean my phone without damaging it? – A microfiber cloth dampened with a diluted vinegar or water solution is the best way to clean your phone without risking damage to the electronic components.
- How often should I clean my phone? – It’s recommended to clean your phone regularly, at least once a week or more often depending on your usage.
- What are some signs that my phone may be dirty? – Your phone may have a visible smudge, grease, or grime accumulation or unpleasant odour that can be a sign that your phone has been misused.
- How do I clean my phone case? – Use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to gently scrub your case.
- What happens if I don’t clean my phone? – Failing to clean your phone regularly puts you at risk of spreading illnesses and may lead to additional skin allergies and asthma symptoms.
‘Smartphones are everywhere: why are they so hard to keep clean?’ – The Guardian
‘Your Phone is Covered in Germs. Here’s What You Can Do About It’ – Healthline
‘Germs on Your Phone: Understanding and Managing the Risk’ – MedicineNet