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How Dirty Is Your Cell Phone?

Talk About Gross!

Cell phones are today’s human lifeline to the world. Nearly everybody in the industrialized world uses a cell or smartphone to stay connected with work, family, and life. But just how safe are those tiny gadgets we carry around, eat with, and sleep next to? Well, if you love your cell phone, you may not want to read on as you may never use one to talk again. Germaphobes, skip to the following article!!

Let’s call on some folks who have numbers.

People, for better or worse, are masters of consumption. According to global tech protection company Asurion, Americans check their phone once every 12 minutes and rest that phone on their cheek at least 80 times a day.

Scientists at the University of Arizona found that your phone is ten times dirtier than most toilet seats. Another study also found that a typical high schooler’s smartphone can have as many as 17,000 bacterial gene copies. If that doesn’t gross you out, listen to this. According to a London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine study, fecal matter can be found on 1 out of every 6 smartphones.

According to a Seattle Times study (and we do not want to know the research parameters), cell phones are covered with germs: 25,127 bacteria per square inch (YIKES!!). This makes cell phones one of the dirtiest objects we encounter every day. For reference, here are a couple places you would never put your cheek against—first, the toilet seat. The toilet seat was found to have 1,201 bacteria per square inch. And you know that kitchen counter where you place your bread while making a sandwich? It has 1,736 bacteria per square inch.

Now the solution! Here are some tips for cleaning your cell/smartphone. You will need a microfiber cloth, Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, distilled water or white vinegar, cotton swabs, cleaning gloves, and a small spray bottle.

  • First, unplug your phone and take it out of the case.
  • Mix a 1:1 ratio of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol in a small spray bottle.
  • Now, spray the microfiber cloth with the solution lightly.
  • Use the microfiber cloth to wipe the phone.

For extra cleaning and removing the faint smell of feces from your phone, mix 1:1 white vinegar with distilled water and repeat the cleaning process. This is mentioned as an extra step but really should be a fixture within the cleaning regimen. This should be done daily, but that is up to each person’s comfort level toward interacting with thousands of bacteria daily.

There are some excellent UV light sanitizing cell phone cases out there, and many will also charge the cell phone at the same time. These work great and can be used when you go to sleep. This way, you wake up to a sanitized cell/smartphone that you can simply spray, wipe, and go.

So, with these cleaning tips, feel free to reach out and touch somebody. If you don’t clean, just don’t reach out with the hand you use to carry your cell phone.