How Often Should We Be Disinfecting Our Smartphones? An Expert Explains

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the start of the flu season, it's important, now more than ever, to make sure that we keep ourselves and those around us as healthy as possible. A simple way we can do this and keep germs at bay is by disinfecting our smartphones.

Dr. Shirin Peters, MD and founder of Bethany Medical Center based in New York, told POPSUGAR that our smartphones are considered high touch surfaces, getting on average 90 to 100 touches per day. Perhaps surprisingly, because of this our smartphones actually have the potential of being exponentially dirtier than a toilet seat. "Studies have shown that our phones typically are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat," Dr. Peters said. "And we touch our phones a whole lot more than our toilet seats during the day, too." Dr. Peters explained that if we neglect cleaning our smartphones, it can become a very easy way to spread germs which can then cause illness.

According to the CDC, we should sanitize our smartphones daily, in the least. Dr. Peters suggested that to clean your phone you should first wash your hands for 20 seconds, power your phone off, and then remove dirt from all sides using a microfiber cloth. "After this use a disinfecting wipe, like a Lysol wipe, to disinfect every surface," she added. You can turn the phone on again after you have let it dry for a few minutes or so.

Of course, there are also ways we can prevent germs from getting on our phones to begin with. For instance, Dr. Peters suggested to not take your phone to the grocery store and to not touch it while cooking. Another important piece of advice: do not take out your phone in the bathroom. "Touching your phone while using the toilet is one of the biggest ways germs are transferred to your phone to begin with," Dr. Peters explained.