A toilet seat is more than three times cleaner than the average smartphone screen.
Dirty smartphones are not uncommon. In fact, over a third of people have never cleaned their phone with a cleaning fluid, sanitary wipes or other similar cleaning products, according to research conducted by Insurance2go. However, this research is even more troubling considering what the company found was that the average smartphone screen is three times dirtier than a toilet seat.
Aerobic bacteria, yeast and mold were found on the tested handsets.
In its study, the mobile insurance firm swabbed three popular handsets. These handsets included an iPhone 6, a Google Pixel and a Samsung Galaxy 8. The handsets were tested for aerobic bacteria, mold, and yeast. All of these substances were found on the dirty smartphones in some shape or form on all key areas of the device: screen, lock button, home button, and back.
The dirtiest parts of the phone were measured by counting the number of colony-forming units per cm2. The units measure the amount of viable bacteria of fungal cells in a sample. Combined, the screens of the three handsets had a total of 254.9 colony-forming units per cm2. This amount of viable bacteria on the screens easily made this part of the device the filthiest part of all key areas of the tested phones.
To put this into greater context, each screen had an average of 84.9 colony-forming units compared to a toilet and flush handle having only 24 units and an office mouse and keyboard having only 5 colony-forming units.
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Dirty smartphones can contribute to skin problems.
Smartphone are a primary source of skin contamination and skin problems, especially acne, according to Dr. Shirin Lakhani of the skin clinic Elite Aesthetics, reported Sky News.
Insurance2go sales and marketing manager Gary Beeston added that since most people take their phones with them wherever they go, they are bound to pick up a few germs along the way.
“In our experiment we took the germs that are normally lurking on our phones invisibly, and placed them in ideal growing conditions to help people see the potential hidden germs,” Beeston said.
“Perhaps we don’t realise quite how infectious our phones can be considering we’re holding them against our faces!”
Beeston, along with Dr. Lakhani, suggests cleaning dirty smartphones every so often with alcohol wipes to disinfect them. In addition to reducing the amount of bacteria introduced to the skin, taking care of the phone this way can help it remain in better condition for longer.