A Filthy Phone May Make You Sick – Here’s How to Disinfect It.

By Ye Li, MD
Family Practice
Reliant Medical Group

We all seem to spend a lot of time using our cell phones these days. In fact, it is estimated that the average person in the U.S. is on their phone for at least five hours a day. Unfortunately, this makes it more likely that our phones could become contaminated with viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

As a part of everyday, common-sense efforts to reduce the spread of germs, it’s a good idea to clean commonly touched surfaces such as phones to prevent the spread of disease. Keep in mind that even if you have just washed your hands, picking up a phone contaminated with germs could potentially make you sick. Many germs can live on hard surfaces for days, and sometimes even longer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting electronics such as your phone. If no guidance is available, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contains at least 70% alcohol.

Keep in mind that many of the products that are commonly used to disinfect household surfaces, such as ammonia, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide, should never be used on a phone. You should also never submerge your phone in water to clean it, as this will also harm it.

Follow these steps when cleaning your phone:

Before you begin, read the instructions on the cleaning product. Be sure to use a cleaning cloth and never spray your phone directly since moisture could get inside your phone and cause a problem. It’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after disinfecting your phone to avoid any possible cross-contamination.

  • Remove the phone from its case and make sure it is off
  • Before sanitizing, wipe the phone with a clean dry or damp cloth to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Spray the disinfecting solution on the cloth and thoroughly wipe the phone to cover the entire phone surface in disinfectant. (Be careful not to get sanitizer into the phone’s charging port while cleaning.)
  • Allow the disinfectant to be in contact with the phone for the recommended amount of time.
  • After disinfecting, wipe the phone with a clean cloth a final time before you use it

If someone in your house is sick, consider storing the phone in a plastic bag and wiping it down after each use to reduce the risk of contamination. Remember, disinfecting a phone regularly can be an excellent way to prevent the spread of disease.

A Filthy Phone May Make You Sick – Here’s How to Disinfect It.

About Ye Li, MD

Before attending medical school, Dr. Ye Li became interested in holistic medicine and studied acupuncture. Wanting to bridge Eastern and Western medicine, she decided to become a physician. Her goal is to provide preventive and comprehensive care for patients of all ages. While she is trained in Eastern medicine, she currently does not practice acupuncture at Reliant Medical Group.

Dr. Li enjoys serving entire families as it not only...

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