1 Thing You Can Do Today

Clean your phone

The pandemic has brought hand hygiene to our attention like never before. Keeping your hands clean and off your face can protect you from all sorts of infections, including coronavirus, the flu and norovirus.

But clean hands can quickly become germy if you touch a dirty surface. Which brings us to mobile phones. How many times a day do you pick up your phone to check the time, send a message, keep up with the news, read a book, listen to podcasts, book a gym class, or order groceries?

Unless you keep your phone clean too, you risk contaminating your hands every time you want to check Instagram.

A 2017 study published in the journal Germs found that mobiles can carry a host of bacteria, viruses and pathogens, some of which can survive for days. Norovirus, for instance, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, is a born survivor and can live on hard or soft surfaces for about two weeks.

Experts recommend washing your hands several times a day, and cleaning your phone most days if you use it a lot. Here’s how:

  • Moisture can interfere with your phone’s function, so avoid spray cleaners or heavy-duty products.
  • Wash your hands before and after cleaning. Wipe gently with a product that has 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol or any product recommended by your phone’s manufacturer.
  • Don’t forget the phone case. Remove it and wipe it down, in and out. Allow to dry before replacing your phone in it.