Is Your Cell Phone Making You Sick? The Truth about Your Phone and Your Health


We take our phones with us pretty much everywhere we go. We leave them on some questionable surfaces, even the bathroom. We can’t see them, but our phones are a breeding ground for germs. Have you ever wondered why annoying illnesses have crept up on you? This guide dives into the issue of germs on cell phones and how to dodge these dangers by properly cleaning your phone.


How Dirty is Your Cell Phone?


Short answer: fairly filthy. According to a 2012 study from University of Arizona, our phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. These are the same phones we use to text on while eating and place near or against our faces for calls. Yikes.

Who are these lurking creepy crawlies on our phones? MRSA, E. coli and Streptococcus, to name just a few. While these bacteria might not pose an immediate threat to your health, letting them into your system can have some serious consequences such as the flu, infections, and other not-so-fun illnesses.


A closer look at the bacteria found on a phone in a Columbia University study. Photo courtesy of Business Insider.

Here’s How to Clean Your Cell Phone (The Right Way)


Doing a simple web search will show you dozens of ways to clean your phone. What you might not know is that a few of these ways are actually harmful to your phone, such as using household chemicals like solvents or ammonia. Follow this simple process to turn that germ brick in your hand into a clean calling machine.

Even taking a microfiber cloth to your screen once a day can greatly help reduce spreading germs. Photo courtesy of iMore.

What you’ll need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Distilled water
  • Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol


Step 1: Turn off your phone and remove any casing you may be using. (It’s fine to leave on any glass protector unless you feel inclined to swap it out)


Step 2: If you have any physical buttons on your phone such as the lock function, volume or home buttons, use a cotton swab and the rubbing alcohol to gently clean.

Step 3: Use the distilled water and a cotton swab to gently clean the camera lens.


Step 4: Mix water with the rubbing alcohol to dilute the chemical and use a cotton swab to clean your phone screen. After this, dampen your microfiber cloth with the distilled water and gently swipe from top to bottom to remove any streaks.


Step 5: Make sure to clean your case (if you use one) before you put it back on.


That’s it! We’d recommend doing about once a week, maybe adding a daily wipe-down routine with screen wipes if you have those.


Bottom Line


The reality is that no matter how careful and clean we think we are, our phones will continue to serve as hosts to just about anything we lay our fingers on each day. By being aware of your phone usage and daily interactions, you can majorly cut down on the creepy crawlies that thrive on your phone. Challenge yourself to wipe your screen once a day or leave it behind the next time you go to the bathroom. It’s the little daily steps that will lead to healthier interactions with your device and keep germs at bay!






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