How to clean your phone (and keep it clean!)

If you're reading this on a phone, we've got some bad news: that device in your hands, that wonderful sleek handset that connects you to the world, is crawling with germs.

There's science to prove it too. Here's a quick rundown (grab a bucket, just in case)…

– A London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine study examined 400 phones and found that one in six of them were contaminated with number two.

– A microbiologist from the University of Arizona claims there's more bacteria on the average phone than a toilet.

– A Buzzfeed experiment examined numerous phones and found some worrying pathogens, including e.Coli!

Horrific, I'm sure you'll agree. But don't go and throw your phone into a bucket of bleach just yet (mainly because it'll break it, unless you have a Nokia 3310), because cleaning your phone is easy.

How to clean your phone properly

First things first, don't just wipe it with an antibacterial wipe. The chemicals used and the coarseness of the wipe can scratch your device.

Don't try anything that involves a lot of liquid either, as you'll run the risk of irreversible liquid damage (which isn't always immediately obvious).

The best way to clean your phone is to make your own diluted alcohol spray using bottled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol (which you can buy from most pharmaceutical shops) and apply it using a lint-free cloth  at least once a week. This Buzzfeed article has all the details you need!

Now you've cleaned your device, here's how to protect it from nasty germs.

Don't use your phone in the bathroom

Forget nail biting or nose picking; our most disgusting shared habit is using our phones in the bathroom.

Alright, so it kills a few precious minutes while you're doing your business… but it's also an open invitation for germs to party on your phone.

The obvious germ risks are touching your phone before washing your hands or dropping it down the toilet, but even placing it on the side is risky. Did you know germs can shoot up to six feet in every direction when you flush the toilet? Well, now you do!

And don't even think about getting your phone out in a public toilet. In a 2015 study, researchers found that just 38% of men and 60% of women washed their hands after using the bathroom, which is a little stomach churning to be honest. Keep your phone in your pocket.

Wash your hands

Not to sound like your mum or anything, but seriously: if you don't wash your hands, please start immediately. It's the easiest way to stop the spread of bacteria, and it'll make me feel a lot better about going out in public.

As you've just read, not everyone bothers to wash their hands. But even those of us who do don't always do it properly, with one study claiming that 95% of people don't use the correct technique.

The correct technique, if you were wondering, is to use plenty of soap and scrub well for around 20 seconds.

Don't worry too much

Although many of the studies quoted in this post make it sound like your phone is literally the dirtiest object on Earth, most of the germs on your handset are totally harmless. As long as you follow the tips in this post, you'll be fine!

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