My cell phone goes with me everywhere and when it’s not in my hot little hands, it’s in my toddler’s, or at the bottom of my purse, gym bag or banging around the floor of my car. And yes, it even makes its way to the lavatory with me from time to time. I’m certain the thing is covered in thousands of germs.
Scientists in London recently found that one out of every six cell phones shows evidence of fecal matter. Ew, right? According to TIME magazine, researchers analyzed 780 swab samples, half from cell phones and half from hands, in 12 cities in the U.K. and found that 16 percent of them were contaminated with E. coli.
Wondering how E. coli got there? People not washing their hands after they use the bathroom. Double ew! We have all watched in shocked amazement as fellow public restroom users have left their stalls and walked right out the door. Or witnessed them using only water and no soap. A thorough hand washing only takes 20 seconds, people.
E. coli can be transmitted easily to phones, and basically anything else that the infector touches. And the bacteria likes warm conditions, which makes a cell phone a perfect resting place. Overall, researchers found that approximately 92 percent of hands and 82 percent of cell phones had some kind of bacterial contamination present. 82 percent!!
Although this particular study was conducted in the United Kingdom, it is hard to imagine that the United States is much different. The number may be even higher for parents with young children who, say, are in the midst of changing a diaper when they receive a call or text theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re expecting and think theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve wiped their hands thoroughly.
And then when the parents give said phone to their toddlers to keep them momentarily busy while they take their turn using the facilities, who then end up chewing on the corner of it, well, that’s just gross.
How can you avoid a germ infested phone? First of all, keep it out of the bathroom or at the very least, keep it safely tucked away in your purse or diaper bag, and once a week at minimum, clean it!
Spray window cleaner on a cloth and wipe down the phone. Don’t spray the window cleaner or any other liquid directly on the cell phone. Ever! You may also use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. If you don’t already have a case, get one. Taking both measures will not only prolong the life of your phone, but help keep the ickies away!
You may also consider contacting your cell phone provider to see if a cleaning kit is available for purchase for your particular phone and check your cell phone manual for cleaning suggestions if the alcohol and cotton swab does not work.
Photo credit: qiaomeng