Several studies over the past few decades have confirmed that the screens of our smartphones are true-breeding grounds for bacteria. And during the recent Coronavirus outbreak, these surfaces are often a lot dirtier than they might seem and might help the virus spreading.
As well as the basic suggested preventive measures such as steering clear of people, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and avoiding shaking hands with other people, it is also recommended to pay particular attention to how clean your smartphone is.
Avoid using bleach and abrasive materials
On Tuesday 10th March, Apple updated their website page on how to effectively clean your smartphone without risking damaging the screen. Apple recommends using a ‘soft, slightly damp, lint-free, cloth.’
Avoid all abrasive materials that could scratch your screen as well as certain cleaning products such as bleach which destroys the smartphone's case. The aforementioned products also prevent your screen from identifying fingerprints. Ideally, Apple recommends using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox disinfecting wipe.
And obviously, it’s better to avoid submerging your phone in soapy water, even if it is supposedly waterproof. Finally, Apple also explained that you should only clean your phone after you have disconnected all the cables and turned it off.
Can the Coronavirus survive on our screens?
According to data compiled on the WHO’s website that was later picked up by RTL, multiple studies have shown that the Coronavirus (the generic term to refer to the COVID-19 virus) can survive for between a few hours to a few days on inert surfaces depending on the temperature, humidity and the environment.
The study of different types of Coronavirus such as SARS, MERS and HCoV have determined that some strands can even survive for up to nine days on surfaces such as metals, glasses and plastics.