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Practice safe smart-phoning.

Tips to Keep You and Your Device Germ-Free

If you are reading this article right now, there is a good chance you’re doing so from a smartphone or tablet. From the grocery store to the kitchen, from where we sleep to our daily commute, our smart devices travel with us to all the places we work and live. While we all know to practice good hygiene through regular hand washing, many of us neglect the vital step of regularly disinfecting our devices.

According to a study published in early February, viruses can live up to nine days on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, such as those on smart phones and tablets and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the cleaning of these “high-touch” surfaces at least once per day.

So what’s the best way to properly clean our smartphones, tablets, and watches to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, without damaging our devices? There are products on the market for cleaning your devices, but all you really need are some safe and simple practices to keep you and your device clean and safe. Follow these simple guidelines to maintain a germ-free device:

Wash your hands frequently: Our hands touch so much throughout the day and pick up so many germs along the way. Clean hands, washed with hot soapy water, is an important first step to maintaining your device’s cleanliness.

Treat your device as a personal item: Smart devices are great ways to connect with others, but keep in mind that these are personal items. You keep these devices in your purse or pocket, you put it to your face throughout the day, and you carry it into your home.  Much like a comb or tooth brush, your device is a personal item. Try to limit the number of people touching your device throughout the day.

Clean your device daily:  Here’s how to clean your device safely:

  • Before you clean, ensure your device is turned off and unplugged from external power sources and cables.
  • Use soapy water (40% dish soap and 60% water) or a, rubbing alcohol solution (40%-70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and 60%-30% water).  Be sure to steer clear of aerosol sprays, bleaches or abrasives.
  • Spray your cloth until it’s damp and lightly wipe down the front and back of your device, avoiding any openings like the charging port and speaker grills.  Do not spray any cleaner directly on your device.
  • Use a soft, lint-free or microfiber cloth.  Use a dry corner of the cloth to remove any excess solution on your device. Avoid abrasive towels, cloths, or similar items.
  • Don’t forget your phone case!  While cases protecting our devices from drops and scratches, they may be carrying germs as well. Consider cases with an antimicrobial cover, which can help eliminate bacteria from the surfaces.

Keep clean, keep safe!