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Your Phone Is Full Of Germs! How to Kill Coronavirus and more, With CDC And Science Backed Guidelines For Cleaning Screens, Smartphones and keyboards

The statistics just keep coming.  Our phones are super dirty.  Virus causing germs and some nasty bacteria. Updated With CDC Coronavirus Information.

We've got Tips on How to Clean Screens, Phones and Keyboards and Here's Why You Want To

The studies are pretty gross;

  • One in six cellphones had fecal matter

  • Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria On School Students Smartphones

  • Cellphone Has More Germs Than Toilet Seat

Yuck. Ick. So not good.

One in six cell phones have fecal matter on them, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene.  Your smartphone is likely the filthiest object you own. The average smartphone has 18 times more potentially harmful bacteria on it than the toilet handle in a typical public men's restroom. Various studies have found E. coli, MRSA, Streptococcus, norovirus and many microbes living on your smartphone.

Another study found that high school kids phones had all kinds of nasty bacteria and fungi on them--and some, the researches said were "potentially pathogenic bacteria" and came to conclusion that "this may play a role in the spread of infectious agents in the community."

Now that we know about the dreaded Coronavirus, we can imagine that's probably on our phones too.

Why your phone is so germy

With the advent of touchscreen technology, we have our grubby little hands on our phones all day.the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands, and what's in our hands way too much?  Our Phones! We always seem to be gripping them for dear life, even when not in use.

Toilet Texting is A Thing

We knew this.  Right?  A phone use survey polled over 2,000 people to find out just about everything that happens when the phone is in the bathroom with its person.

Turns out phones being used in bathrooms happens a lot.   More for men(we knew that too)--80% admitted to using the phone whilst on the toilet vs just 69% of women.

3 out of 4 Americans in total said they used their phones during bathroom breaks.

So we know what to do.  It's what mom always told us:  When you use the bathroom, wash your hands.

Wash Your Hands AND Wash Your Phone To Avoid Spreading Germs

  • 87% of Americans clean their hands after using the toilet

  • 84.5% of Americans Don't clean their phones 

  • Flush and Run!

    Even if you're super careful and your hands stay clean even when you're doing your bathroom thing.  Here's a fun fact: the flushing mechanism radiates germ-laden aerosol spray six feet in every direction, on every surface imaginable - door handles, counters, toilet paper roll containers, etc. 

    The bathroom just isn't a good place to take your phone.

    Cellphones have 10 times More Bacteria Than A Toilet Seat

    Charles Gerba a U of A microbiology research scientist has swabbed many a cellphone and reported that statistic to the the University of Arizona news. 

    "When' the last time you cleaned your phone? " he asked.

  • Today! Said the Tech Wellness Team. 
  • anti bacteria non toxic cellphone wipe cleaner
  • I clean my phone every day.  Sometimes more often.  And, I keep wipes at the office to make it easy for everyone to clean their phones too.

  • Phone manufacturers caution against cleaning products and moisture(see guidelines below) near their phones, but if you clean carefully and and try to avoid getting moisture in the openings, your phone will be cleaner and more free of germs, fungi and bacteria.

  • Living as organic and natural  as possible, I like to use Herban Essentials  natural essential oil wipes. They're yummy.  They smell fabulous and fresh.  Made from  and aromatic, aromatheraputic, germ killing essential oils,  -I feel even better about keeping my phone clean.  I've been using them daily for years and my phone's fine. It's pretty startling to see the dark color of grime that comes off. 

  • But Now, with the Coronavirus I'm going a step further with my phone, keyboard and device and whole house cleaning. Incorporating hydrogen peroxide first.  Clorox too, but my body is not enjoying being exposed to the bleach and I find I can handle the hydrogen peroxide better.

  • keyboard cleaner
  • The Germ Studies Say

  • Essential Oils can be pretty powerful against fungi and bacteria.  We have studies to check out here
  • Typically, I clean my phone in the car--so I stash the wipes in the center console and then I go round the steering wheel with the wipe too and the door handles.  Germs, germs go.

  • But, there isn't specific research about essential oils killing viruses.  There are two new 2020 studies specifically addressing how long Coronavirus can last on surfaces and what agents have been proven to kill it.

    Killing Coronavirus On Your Phone: NEW March 17th Studies

    The Journal of Hospital Infections published a deep dive into specifically eliminating coronvirus or H-Cov from different surfaces.  They showed that the Coronavirus can last up to 9 days on various things depending on what they're made of from wood, to metal to plastic.

    Coronovirus Lasted Longest On Plastic and then stainless steel.

    Coronavirus was "persistent" or "active" as two new research studies noted for up to 9 days.   One that looked at it specifically on surfaces and the other that measured the virus in "aerosols" or basically how long it could last if it were airborne. 

    The point is, this coronavirus can remain alive for a very long time and lower temperatures make it last longer as does more humidity. 

    Here's the How Long Does It Last On . .  Chart:  Our phones are made of metal, aluminum and glass.

    Here’s the How Long Does Corona Last On Surfaces Chart:

    Our phones are made of metal, aluminum and glass.

    Smartphones and tablets and laptops ALL have glass screens. The research shows the Coronavirus or HCoV can last up to 5 days on that surface

    The back of the phone can be metal, plastic or glass- The SARS-CoV can last up to 9 days on the plastic, 4 days on glass and 5 days on metal. This virus does not want to die.

    Here’s What The Research Tells Us Can Eliminate The Coronavirus From Surfaces

    They compiled 22 research studies that tested everything from iodine to hydrogen peroxide and benzalkonium chloride- which is found in many hand sanitizers and NOT found to kill the virus, and put it all in one important document.

    Here’s how the researchers summarize their finding about how Coronavirus can be stopped on surfaces:

    They say the virus “can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62–71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute”

    What Works To Kill The Virus: Strong concentrations is what the science says, so we consult the CDC for their recommendations on what we, at home, can clean with.

    The CDC in their recommendations on how to clean and disinfect your home, directs you to the EPA listing of products that registered to work against the Cornavirus. NOTE that this list is part of the Pesticide Registration. So, as you would probably expect, items on the list are heavy duty industrial products- there are a couple of Clorox Ultra bleach items.

    Austin Bleach and Clorox Ultra Bleach on this list

    Here’s the Clorox product and here’s the Austin product. And here’s what my favorite healthy safe products site, The Environmental Working Group or EWG,  says about Clorox Ultra — it gets a C- and they don’t have a listing for the Austin product.


    The CDC has these directions for how to water down bleach to clean the house, food packages, purses, shoes and phones.

    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted:
      • Use bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified.
      • Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions for the surface, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute.
      • Ensure proper ventilation during and after application.
      • Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
      • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.
    • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
      • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25–8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
      • 4 teaspoons of 5.25–8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water
    • Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
    • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

    Or You Can Try Alcohol--Strong Alcohol: 70 Percent alcohol wipes are serious. They'll have a strong order and A Flammable Label. 

    These sterile alcohol prep wipes--the kind Dr.s and hospitals use before they give you a shot--have 70% alcohol.

    70% alcohol wipes

    You'll see they have they say Flammable on the label:


    seventy percent alcohol wipes 30%

    How Long The Cleaning Product Needs To Stay On Or Stay Wet To Kill the Coronavirus

    The CDC listing says that the chlorine products and the alcohol wipes will kill the virus in 30 seconds.


    I certainly would not be comfortable with these products around my house and I see why they’re used in hospitals.

    Not Just Any Hydrogen Peroxide The research showed that .5% hydrogen peroxide was effective, but the CDC has only listed products that have high 4.5% hydrogen peroxide like Phato that are more like the peroxide in hair bleach then the 3% household peroxide. If anyone has ever had their dentist prescribe Perodox for your gums, you know how strong that is — well that’s listed here as killing the Coronavirus.

    The American Chemistry Council Also Has A List Of Coronavirus Killers- Mostly Industrial Strength

    The lists don’t really overlap much, you can check ACC listing to see if you happen to have a product they recommend, here’s what they say about their listing:

    The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for Biocide C hemistries (CBC) has compiled a list of products that have been pre-approved by the U .S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens and can be used during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This product list i s not exhaustive but can be used by business owners, health professionals, and the public to identify products suitable for use during the COVID-19 situation. The information in this document is being provided as a public service. All efforts have been made to ensure the information is accurate, but ACC and CBC make no representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of the information.

    Of course they’re also not warranting or offering a guarantee on the list. But I was excited to see the Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach. We actually bought that just the other day — and I got it because it said With Bleach and the market was out of all bleach.

    For Home Use, I’m going with diluted bleach or Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach.

    Here’s why: Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach made it on the American Chemistry Council list and regular bleach can still be found online and at the market as they get continued deliveries.

    It’s true that Clorox or any of the household bleach products are not on either the EPA or the American Chemistry Council lists. However, the research did say the sodium hypochlorite-which is in house hold bleach, at greater strengths did kill the virus and more importantly, NBC News carried this quote from an infectious diseases professor from University of Washington Medical Center:

    “Bleach is very effective at killing the coronavirus, as well as virtually every other germ on the face of the planet,” said Dr. Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington Medical Center. “The problem is, it’s stinky, it’s hard to use and it can damage what you’re trying to clean.”

    So for folks like you and me, the practical answer is Clorox or some household bleach. Most of us have had it in our homes or have it now and we know how to use it safely. DON’T USE BLEACH FULL STRENGTH! Even Clorox says this. The proper dilution is 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Also, the CDC says when it’s referring to super strong sodium hypochlorite to make sure surfaces stay wet for FIVE MINUTES to insure effectiveness.

    The bummer is, The EWG gives any bleach and the toilet bowl cleaners F’s. Noting that that the Sodium Hypochlorite is of moderate concern for it’s asthma and respiration effects.

    what kills cororna virus

    Yeah. Be careful with these chemicals. Full disclosure: This is the first time years, maybe decades that I’ve purchased chlorine. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    We’re using these disinfectants this way:

    Say we go to the grocery store, we wear gloves, we walk the barren aisles, we use our phone, we check out, we take off the gloves, we put the bags in our car, we get in the car, we wipe our hands and the phone with an essential oil wipe and we drive home.

    Once we get home and the bags are in, we wipe down everything the packages and the phone with a diluted Clorox solution.  OUTSIDE and Wearing a Mask and Gloves!  Bleach is really so toxic, it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that we're actually using it. But, we're doing it as safely as possible.  The Clorox stays out of the house.

    When someone comes over we ask them to take off their shoes at the door and we do the same. wraps up the research this way:

    The collected data also showed that this type of virus can be efficiently inactivated by disinfection with sufficiently concentrated ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, or sodium hypochlorite solutions. Other disinfectants such as benzalkonium chloride seem to be less effective. The suitable disinfection of surfaces could prevent the transmission of the virus, especially in a hospital setting . . .

    How to Clean Your Cellphone or Smartphone from bacteria and germs:

    Hot water just doesn’t do the trick and alcohol and ammonia can be so tough on your skin and so toxic to your body. There are products that are made to clean screens and “say” their safe on Amazon — but Apple says not to put anything wet on their phones. They say even putting phones in pants or denim can ruin the matte finish. We have Apple’s directions below.

    But if you want to try the natural and delicious organic essential oil wipes on a normal daily basis and then during this Coronavirus crisis use Clorox or Chlorine bleach— here’s how I’m cleaning my phone now, safely- step by step!

    TURN Phone Off

    1. Super important. Power down by Pressing and holding the Top Left and Top Right Buttons on the side of the iPhone and slide the on-screen red slider which says “slide to power off”


    2. Disconnect any cables or chargers connected to the phone.

    Clean the Case Separately or Clean Case With Phone

    3. Take phone out of the case for a thorough cleaning- or for a daily cleaning, clean the case and the phone with the phone in the case

    4. I’m cleaning my phone once a day with a sterile alcohol wipe. You can use diluted Clorox too.

    • Wash Your Hands
    • Wear rubber gloves
    • Dilute Clorox 20% or 1/2 cup for 1 gallon-OR use Alcohol Wipes.
    • The CDC adds-- If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
    • Do Not Spray Any Alcohol or Clorox Solution(no need to get it in the air or your lungs)
    • Put the solution on a paper towel or rag and continue to wipe for a while(the CDC registration of Clorox said 5 minutes-but that’s a long time- we just wipe the phone down and
    • BE VERY CAREFUL not to get it into the openings
    • Wipe Dry with Clean Cloth
    • Remove Gloves

    Open Towelette, breathe in essential oil and sanitize

    5. I continue to do this often everyday, especially anytime I go out.Wipe the iPhone, including its screen and back case, with the yummy aromatheraputic essential oil antibacterial wipe. Use a circular motion to remove nasty debris and break up any fingerprints. Be super careful not to get moisture into the phone’s openings, headphone and dock connector ports.

    Remove Bacteria and Germs From Hands Too

    5.Honestly the best thing about these wipes, get your hands are safe and clean with the same wipe and then your hands don’t instantly contaminate the phone again. I find one wipe can sanitize hands and screens.

    Buff Screen Out

    Sometimes I like to follow up with an nice micorfiber lint-free cloth to get the screen streak free and perfectly fine-finished.

    Turn On Phone

    7. You turn on iPhone by pressing the top right button on the side until the power slide function returns to the screen. Remember, if you don’t need all the phones functions you can save battery and EMF exposure by turning off WiFi and BlueTooth in Settings and eliminate all electromagnetic radiation by using an adapter and wiring up your iPhone.

    Ultraviolet Light Zaps Phone Germs: Phone Soap is safe for the phone.

    You can also try and ultraviolet machine that will clean your phone without any liquids or CDC recommended chemicals in 10 minutes or so. PhoneSoap is what one of the makers I found. They say that UV-C light kills 99.99%† of household germs. It destroys nucleic acids and breaks apart bacteria DNA. With their DNA broken, bacteria can’t function or reproduce, and the organisms die.

    Keep That Dirty Phone Out Of Your Hands

    You can be hands-free though now with our Tech Wellness solution crossbody cell phone case) Then we press the screens into our facial skin (oh no!) and breathe our germs through our nose, ears, and mouth. Then we store our phones in dark, moist places like our pockets and purses. The screen itself is really warm from electricity so microbes can live up to a week on your $700 petri dish.

    germs on phone how to kill

    Germs aren’t good for your looks, either.

    Even if you aren’t super-worried about getting the stomach flu via your dirty handset, think about your vanity. Now, there are very good health reasons regarding EMF energy to keep your cell phone away from your head and face. Choosing texting or speakerphone is optimal for other reasons though:

    You are pressing a germ-laden screen into your cheek and the heat from your phone causes your skin to perspire, squeezing out oil and sweat back onto your phone and causing acne. Women’s Health Magazine even thinks this pressing action causes sagging skin on your face. The friction and rubbing activate oil glands, in any case.

    Can Blue Light From Phones Can Cause Bacteria Growth too?

    In the first study to investigate if exposure to the digital blue light that comes from all of our screens could effect a bacteria known to cause acne- the answer is YES. When Staphylococcus aureus was exposed to short-wavelength visible light emitted from smartphones and tablets there was an increase the proliferation of the bacteria.

    The researchers noted that the greatest effect was at about 4 hours of exposure. Does anyone text or stare at the screen that long?

    Here’s the good news about EMF and Blue Light and Exposure

    They both heed our Tech Wellness Mantra: Distance Is Your Friend. As you get further from the source of light waves or radio waves the amount of exposure you receive lessens proportionally.

    It’s called the Inverse Square Law: The intensity of a force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from that force.

    Practically speaking: Your face or any part of your body holding the phone or glued right up to next to it, is getting the heaviest dose of exposure. Keep it out of your hands anytime you can and a good 12" away from your face and eyes is a good rule of thumb for “safer” exposure levels.

    Here’s how Apple says to clean your iPhone

    iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max

    iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature glass with advanced textured matte finishes. On iPhone 11, the textured glass around the camera complements the polished glass. On iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, the textured back glass provides an elegant look that is also tough, slip resistant, and feels good in your hand. With normal use, the textured glass may show signs of material transfer from objects that come in contact with your iPhone, such as denim or items in your pocket. Material transfer may resemble a scratch, but can be removed in most cases. Follow these guidelines for cleaning:

    Unplug all cables and turn off your iPhone.

    Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth — for example, a lens cloth.

    If material is still present, use a soft, lint-free cloth with warm soapy water.

    Avoid getting moisture in openings.

    Don’t use cleaning products or compressed air.

    Your iPhone has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic — oil repellent — coating. Cleaning products and abrasive materials will diminish the coating and might scratch your iPhone.

    iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7

    Clean your iPhone immediately if it comes in contact with anything that might cause stains or other damage — for example, dirt or sand, ink, makeup, soap, detergent, acids or acidic foods, or lotions. Follow these guidelines:

    Unplug all cables and turn off your iPhone.

    Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth — for example, a lens cloth.

    Avoid getting moisture in openings.

    Don’t use cleaning products or compressed air. Your iPhone has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic — oil repellent — coating. On iPhone 8 and later, the coating is on the front and back. This coating wears over time with normal use. Cleaning products and abrasive materials will further diminish the coating and might scratch your iPhone.

    iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s

    Clean your iPhone immediately if it comes into contact with contaminants that might cause stains, such as ink, dyes, makeup, dirt, food, oils, and lotions. To clean your iPhone, unplug all cables and turn it off. Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, or abrasives to clean your iPhone. The front glass surfaces have an oleophobic coating. To remove fingerprints, wipe these surfaces with a soft, lint-free cloth. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal use, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and might scratch the glass.

    To clean the Home button (allowing Touch ID to work optimally), wipe it with a soft lint-free cloth.

    Interesting, that in light of the Coronavirus crisis, Apple updated it’s How To Clean Apple Product Page with this:

    Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
    Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.


    I hope this article is helpful to you. Please let me know if you have other science backed ideas and above all else, I’m hoping that you will

    BE WELL!


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