Keep your touch screen clean this winter. Cold and flu season is around the corner. During that season, we spend a heckuva a lot of time cleaning our hands clean with sanitizer, but we forget our touch screens.
The nasty truth is that according to recent consumer study, our cell screens are carrying more bacteria than a public toilet seat. The study tested 30 smartphones and tablets for bacteria. Swab tests revealed thousands of germs living on touch screens. They found up to 20 times as many bacteria on-screen as on a toilet seat.
According to statistics the average american checks his phone 150 times a day. In any given day, that may be from a myriad of locales. When our fingers touch the screen, we can just as easily take that finger and fidget with our eyes or mouth, transferring germs through two of nature’s most vulnerable portals.
While older flip phones have more nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in, the flat screens of modern smartphones are hardly immune to bacteria. Studies from the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials have found colonies of streptococcus, staphylococcus and diphtheroids on people’s cell phones. And there’s even been one reported case of a person contracting an MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) infection – a so-called flesh-eating bug – from a phone. Eeck.
Some companies offer anti-microbial shells and screen protectors to guard against these scary germs, but you can keep your phone relatively germ free by simply remembering to clean it occasionally. Wipe it off with antibacterial wipes, swab it with some rubbing alcohol or even roll it around in your damp hands the next time you use hand sanitizer. Apple will recommend not cleaning touch screens with an alcohol based product, but I have been using alcohol on my Apple screens for years and have not noticed any degradation.
With just a few simple steps, you can preventively banish the boogeymen bacteria from that touch screen we all love too much.