A study by the University of Arizona back in 2012 found that mobile phones carried 10 times more germs than a toilet seat, largely because toilet seats are cleaned frequently’
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus you will be more self-aware of routinely washing your hands and not touching your face. Science demonstrates that viruses like to breed on high touch items such as mobile phones and computer keyboards.
If you are anything like the average person, recent findings (Source: DScout) advise us that people touch their smartphones 2,617 times in a normal day! What’s more disturbing is that a survey conducted by Direct Line Insurance found that more than half the people surveyed said they took their mobiles to the toilet, despite the health and hygiene risks.
As the coronavirus continues to spread its way around the world the WHO (World Health Organisation) is advising that everyone wash their hands frequently and disinfect objects that are repeatedly touched such as objects and surfaces. This means if the average user touches their phone around 2,000 times a day you would be advised to minimise your risk by cleaning it regularly. Coronavirus has been claimed to live for up to 96 hours on glass, or four days at room temperature (Source: University of Tennessee Health Science Center).
Cleaning your phone can be quite a difficult task and making sure the products you use don’t damage your device is equally important (please refer to your own mobile phone supplier for cleaning instructions on your specific device). Google confirmed it’s okay to use isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes to clean its Pixel devices. Galaxy issued an update that suggests owners dampen a cloth with a disinfectant or alcohol-based solution and wipe gently, but not to apply liquid direct on to your phone. Ensure you never submerge your phone in a cleaning product and avoid getting moisture into any openings such as the charging port.
Apple and Samsung document on their support pages that wiping your phone with a soft and lint-free cloth is a safe method of cleaning (Apple recommend a camera lens cloth as being a great idea). Dampen the cloth slightly with warm water and soap if you need to get rid of any substance that has built up, such as make-up. Make sure you unplug your phone prior to cleaning.
If you use a case on your phone (which is probably easier than potentially damaging your device with constant cleaning) then trying cleaning that. Although you can’t use cleaning products on your mobile you may be able to do so on the actual case.
For cleaning your laptop (Recommended by Apple) hold it at a 75-degree angle and use a can of compressed air to blow away all debris before wiping it down.
For keyboards and your mouse, you don’t need any special products just a normal disinfectant wipe over them both would be extremely helpful in stopping the spread of germs (as recommended by the NHS). To disinfect your keyboard properly it needs to remain damp for a period of between 3-5 minutes, don’t dry it artificially. (Source: CDC). Always make sure your specific electronic device can withstand the use of products for cleaning and disinfecting and that liquid or water is not seeping into your actual keyboard, exercise caution. Refer to your user’s manual if possible. Again, always remember to make sure your product is unplugged prior to cleaning.
Keep in mind cleaning only removes viruses from surfaces, disinfecting wipes them out.
UV light can kill viruses on your phone and portable charging boxes with UV light are available to purchase from many retailers (please note Shackleton do not endorse any products).
These devices claim to kill up to 99.9% of germs, viruses and odour in a very short time period (6 minutes) that is safe and energy saving. They are charged by a USB cable and are environmentally friendly. It’s also been reported that some people are using them to also sanitise their make-up tools, headsets, glasses etc.
Some companies even sell microfiber cleaning pads, so you don’t damage your screen upon cleaning, and they can be used on other devices such as laptops and TV’s, or your reading glasses.
The main item to note is keeping your hands clean and your phone will stay clean (if you don’t pass it to anyone to take a snapshot!) Think twice before you take your mobile to the bathroom. Be mindful of who is handling your phone, where are you handling your phone and what surfaces you put it down on prior to cleaning, i.e. do you come in from work and put it on the kitchen surface where food is being prepared?
What we know is that the coronavirus will fade with time and life will get back to normal very soon, but in the meantime we can all learn valuable lessons for the future when it comes to cleanliness. Developing habits that can keep us all safe in the future.