Mobile germs

Gabrielle Read, Staff Writer

In an era where even young kids have the newest iPhones, it is no secret that most of us are quite attached to our phones. We take them with us almost everywhere we go–many of us even take them to the bathroom. 

There have been many studies done on just how gross our phones are, and the results differ but they all have one answer in common–our cellphones are quite dirty. A recent study focusing on phones of high school students found more than 17,000 germs on the phones’ surfaces. In addition, Abrams (2017) explained, “Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.” We touch many surfaces throughout the day, including countertops, ATMs, sinks, toilets, our faces, other people, and the list continues–then we touch our phones without giving it a second thought. When we wash our hands, we’re removing the bacteria from our hands, but the bacteria on our phones remains. Most of the bacteria found on phones is not too worrying; however, some can be dangerous, including Streptococcus MRSA and E. Coli (Abrams, 2017). E. Coli is found in fecal matter and this directly correlates to a study done by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where they found that one in six phones were found to have fecal matter (Brown, 2019). The easy fix to this is to simply stop taking our phones into the bathroom.

When a toilet is flushed, it can spread tons of germs, and this is most likely how these gross germs are getting on our phones. The easiest way to keep your phone screen as free from bacteria as possible is to quit taking the phone into the bathroom and to wash hands with soap and water after bathroom use. For a deeper clean, some experts recommend dipping a cloth into a concentration of 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol. Avoid liquid and spray cleaners, as these can damage the phone (Abrams, 2017). 


Works Cited

Abrams, Abigail. “Your Cell Phone Is 10 Times Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat.” Time. 23 Aug. 2017.

Brown, Dalvin. “Your Smartphone Is 7 Times Dirtier than Your Toilet. Here’s How to Clean It.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 26 Feb. 2019.