Keep It Clean: How to Up Your Device Hygiene

We touch tons of surfaces a day, from that screen we sign to pay for lunch at a food truck to the stubborn office elevator button we need to press 10 times. But we touch nothing as often as we touch our phones.

According to recent studies, Americans are checking their phones anywhere from about 50 to 100 times a day, and actually pressing and swiping over 2,500 times per day. While other studies have shown that our phones are germier than a toilet seat.

Here’s how to keep the germs away and seasonal illnesses at bay.


Don't use your phone in the restroom. When toilets flush, they can spread germs all over the place, including the surface of our phones. And as long as we're having the bathroom talk, make sure to always wash your hands after visiting the facilities and, of course, throughout the day. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — about the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. We know, singing “Happy Birthday” several times a day can get annoying. Shout out to @JenMonnier for offering up 10 awesome songs to sing instead.

Hand sanitizer isn’t an exact substitute for washing your hands, but for general germ battling throughout the day, it’s a decent, reliable backup. Spend about the same 20 seconds covering your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer until they’re dry. And here’s a bonus pro tip: avoid touching your face with your phone. Rather than sneezing or coughing into your screen when you're sick — and turning your device into a germ breeding ground — think about using earbuds, AirPods or speakerphone.

Last but not least, clean your device. Different device manufacturers have different do’s and don’ts for cleaning your phone; check the booklet that came with your device or visit the manufacturer's website for specifics. We suggest cleaning your device with a damp microfiber cloth, and wiping down your phone and case completely. Be cautious of using alcohol and household cleaners as they may damage your phone. (Some further information on that can be found here.)

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