The global effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has ushered in stricter sanitary regulations to keep all surfaces clean and free of germs. People are more germ conscious than ever, practicing social distancing and routine hand washing to keep themselves germ-free and safe from COVID-19. People can forget to clean their smartphones, which can carry a number of bacteria.
Touch screen devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets, are always within our personal space. They are woven into the fabric of modern life, but people neglect to clean these devices. In fact, numerous studies have found that cellphones can carry microbial life forms, including fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Most of these are harmless, but it is possible for viruses like COVID-19 to survive on these surfaces long enough to transmit from person to person.
Do You Need To Clean Your Phone?
If you wash your hands a lot, do you need to clean your phone? According to Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology, the frequency at which people touch their devices is cause for mild concern. A 2019 survey found that the average person touches his or her cellphone 2,617 times per day. Because of this statistic, it has become necessary to properly sanitize and wipe down phones.
How To Clean Your Phone
First off, don’t go grab bleach and throw it on your phone as though you are trying to banish the plague. Now that we got that out of the way, it is beneficial to check with the manufacturer of your specific device to see if there are particular instructions for cleaning the screen. Most manufacturers have provided recommendations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disinfecting wipes are fine, for the most part, but the following steps have been outlined by Apple:
- Use a soft, lint-free cloth
- Do not wipe excessively
- Make sure that the device is not plugged into a power source and that all cables are removed.
- Keep liquids away from the device and don’t allow moisture to penetrate the device.
- Avoid aerosol sprays, spray cleaners, bleach, and abrasives.
- It is ideal to use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or disinfecting wipes to clean the screen of your device.
How Often Should You Clean Your Phone?
Your device may only become contaminated with COVID-19 if someone with the virus sneezes or coughs near the device. That being said, you also need to pay attention when you are out getting supplies. If you are wearing gloves and you grab items in the store, make sure that you do not touch your phone with your gloves. Keep your phone stowed away until you have removed your gloves and washed your hands. Generally, it’s a good idea to regularly clean your phone, but not every single time you touch it. If you are diligent about social distancing and hand washing, you should only need to wipe your screen once or twice a day at most. Unless you are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is relatively unlikely that your phone has the virus on it.