What the Tech? Tips to avoid sickness from dirty smartphones
If we're being honest, most of us have taken our phones in the bathroom for a little toilet texting. A new survey from Bank My Cell shows 90% of Millennials use their phones in the bathroom. Generation X is not much better, at 82% and a majority of baby boomers admit using their phones in the bathroom. If that isn't enough reason to keep your hands off someone else's phone, maybe this will do it.
"In theory, yes, the flu virus can survive on a cellphone for 6 to 8 hours," says Dr. Jennifer Everett. She says the virus can live on any hard surface like phones and computers, long enough to spread to other people.
We've all heard of medical studies that show smartphones are 10 times filthier than a public bathroom. And the bacteria and viruses that can live on our phone, can spread the flu, food poisoning and staff infections. While a virus can live on the phone all day, it's even longer for dangerous bacteria.
"Bacteria can stay longer on surfaces, up to 8-9 days where a virus is a much shorter course and the flu is a virus so that's why it's a much shorter course," said Everett. She recommends never using someone else's phone, especially during flu season.
You should also clean your phone, not just wipe it off. Bacteria is still on it. While you should never use a chemical like alcohol or cleaning liquids. Those can damage the phone's screen. You can use a little soap and water, or vinegar and water put on a cloth. Wipe it down, the front and back.
There are products made specifically for smartphones. “Whoosh!” is one of them. Spray it on and wipe it away. “Whoosh!” says it kills bacteria that typically gets on a phone and leaves the phone 99% cleaner than it was before.
But be careful if your screen has a crack in it. Liquids can get inside, which will ruin the phone and void any warranty.
Wash your hands, clean your phone, and don't use someone else's phone because, you don't know where it's been. But chances are it's been in the bathroom and right next to their mouth.