The most germ-addled item in your home may not be the toilet or the kitchen sponge.
Mobile phones pick up bacteria wherever they go. In addition, users touch their phones an average of 47 times a day, according to the national average determined by a Deloitte research survey, introducing new contaminants to the device each time they do so.
Researchers at the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than many toilet seats, and there may be as many as 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the average high-schooler's phone.
While cell phone safety often focuses on protecting data, smartphone users also should consider keeping their phones clean to remove the potentially harmful microbes that accumulate on phones every day.
Avoid excess moisture when cleaning cell phones, advises the home and lifestyle experts at The Spruce, as moisture can damage internal components.
Most cell phone screens have an oleophobic coating that repels oils from hands and fingers. Harsh cleansers or abrasive materials on the glass can prematurely remove this coating and/or scratch the surface.
While you clean at your own risk, many tech experts suggest a spray mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol applied to a microfiber cloth to remove surface contaminants. Don't directly wet the phone.
There also are pre-packaged cleansers sold for electronics usage. Invest in an antimicrobial cover to provide an added layer of protection for the phone.
Other ways to keep a phone clean are to wash your hands before use and to try to keep the phone away from areas that may be vulnerable to germs, such as bathrooms.