Smartphone hygiene – keeping it clean

Some essential advice on keeping your handset squeaky clean and free from germs.

17 Mar 2020

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There’s no better time to think about keeping your smartphone super clean.

We use our phones a lot. And when we’re not using them, they’re at the bottom of our bags or pockets. So they tend to pick up quite a lot of dust, dirt and smudges.

But that doesn’t mean they’re unhygienic enough to be passing on germs and disease. When asked about the role that mobile phones could play in spreading the Coronavirus, Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at University, suggested we shouldn’t be overly 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. So just to be on the safe side, here are a few tips on smartphone hygiene we think it’ll be worth following from now on:

 

How to keep your smartphone clean


Use proper cleaning equipment
Wiping your phone on your shirt or spare handkerchief isn’t good enough. The best thing to do is to turn your phone off completely and wipe it gently with a dry microfiber cloth. You can also pick up a proper antibacterial cleaning kit to rid your handset of all those nasties you can’t see.

 

Don’t use your phone in the toilet
This is an obvious one, surely? And it’s not hard to work out the reason why we’re suggesting this. Toilets have lots of germs in them, so they’re not good places to be swiping through your social feeds. Okay, let’s move swiftly along.

 

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. If you’re thinking about using stronger liquids or tougher materials, please avoid the temptation. There’s a good chance they could cause some serious damage.

 

Keep your hands clean
Clean hands, clean phone. Let’s make that a new saying. 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.

You don’t need to wash your hands each time you pick up your phone. You’d be at the sink all day if that was the case. But you should definitely give them a good scrub if you’ve handled raw food or have been in a public place where you think germs might be kicking around.

Just make sure you wash them properly. There’s some official hand-washing advice from the NHS on this subject 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 get cleaning, and get singing!

 

 

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