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Feature Article

Keep those Germs from Contacting YOU—
on Your Cell Phone

Cell phones are germ magnets and it’s obvious as to why: they are in our hands, next to our faces and often used in places that may not be sanitary — such as public restrooms. A recent Stanford University study found that cell phones are 18 times dirtier than a toilet handle!

How do you keep your cell phone clean? Start by avoiding bathroom chats!
Then consider the following:

  • Clean your cell phone regularly with a damp, lint-free cloth, which might eliminate bacteria, though some experts say it does little more than rub the bacteria around.

  • Fast-drying cleaners specifically made for mobile devices are available, such as alcohol-based “Wireless Wipes.” But know that alcohol does not kill all viruses.

  • Commercial disinfecting wipes are not recommended on cell phones. While they’re effective at killing germs, they can damage the various surfaces of your phone, including coatings used on the screen.

  • A do-it-yourself cleaner is the choice of many. A cleaning solution can be made with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Clean your phone by spraying the solution on a microfiber cloth rather than spraying it directly on your phone. But keep in mind that while alcohol is a disinfectant, it does not kill all viruses.

  • A high tech solution is available as well.  There are now special cleaning cases for cell phones that use UV-C light to kill germs. The “C” in UV-C stands for the particular frequency of light that can kill up to 99.9 percent of germs. The phone is placed inside a lighted case and treated for 4 to 10 minutes (depending on the device). “PhoneSoap” is one of several brands available that use UV-C light as a disinfectant.

  • Kids can be especially careless with phones so helping them develop awareness and a cleaning routine is a good habit to start now.

Greater awareness of your cell phone’s potential as a major germ carrier will hopefully be just the spur you need to be more attentive about where you use your phone and in getting in the habit of cleaning it thoroughly and often!