It is an object that we almost always carry on ourselves without ever really worrying about its potential impact on our health. Yet, beyond the waves they can emit, our smartphones are also known to be real nests of bacteria.
So much so that they are even at the very top of the ranking of the dirtiest objects of our daily lives, far ahead of sponges, pillows, and other toilet bowls, which carry up to 10 times fewer bacteria. But then, how often and how should you wash your smartphone to make sure you don’t put your health at risk?
How often should I clean my smartphone?
The question is all the more important as our smartphone is constantly in contact with parts of our body that can promote the transmission of bacteria or viruses, such as Covid-19. We hold it almost constantly in our hands, we stick it to his ear during a call, and we sometimes find ourselves with our nose almost glued to it…
And, let’s be honest, few of us regularly think about asticating our phones to rid them of any microbes that may have been deposited in them. However, this is a preventive measure that should all be carried out on a fairly regular basis, according to Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine (United States).
Interviewed by Time magazine, the scientist compares our smartphones to a “vehicle capable of effectively transferring infectious organisms”, inside our body. His first advice: do not handle the object during a meal, in order to prevent germs from coming into contact with your food.
And if you are one of those for whom the smartphone is almost an extension of the hand, the specialist recommends daily cleaning, with a disinfectant wipe. “I clean mine twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening,” he asks as an example.
How to clean your smartphone without risk?
These regular cleanings are all the more useful if you use a rubber shell, which will tend to “hook” bacteria more easily because of its material and small nooks and crannies where microbes can come to lodge.
And how to clean your smartphone without taking the risk that it will no longer work after? If the wipe is a perfectly valid option to avoid “drowning” its device, most smartphone manufacturers, Apple and many others, also recommend turning off your phone before cleaning it and avoiding penetrating liquid into the device’s charging port or other openings.
In addition, it is strongly advised against spraying a disinfectant directly on the screen of your smartphone. It is better to put it on a cloth before you start cleaning. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve never damaged my phone,” says Philip Tierno.
If you want even more precise advice, Dr. Lena Ciric, a microbiologist at University College London, produced in March 2020, for the BBC, a small video tutorial to explain how to clean your smartphone as efficiently as possible: