Bacteria on Your Phone: A Danger to Your Health?

cell phone

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It’s a new year and hopefully a healthier you. One issue that affects every single one of us is germs on our cell phones. It might not sound like a big deal because there are germs everywhere, but unfortunately, germs on our phones can cause everything from breakouts to rashes and even illnesses.

The best authority on health is always your doctor, so we asked Sheila Nazarian, a board certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills as well as an assistant professor at USC, for all of the dirty details about why we aren’t so smart about germs on our smartphones. According to her, “There was a study performed on the cellphones of 100 college students and discovered them to be ‘veritable reservoirs of pathogens.’”

Another study showed bacteria found in feces, called Coliforms. This sort of bacteria causes the flu, pinkeye, or diarrhea. That means that are phones are not unlike the bacteria found in public bathrooms. Except we don’t wash our phones or our hands every time we use our phones.

Instead, we keep our phones warm to let bacteria thrive. Then we put those phones next to our faces and wonder why so many rashes and break-outs occur on the skin just in front of our ears.”

So if you aren’t completely terrified by now and considering throwing the new phone you received for the holidays in a fire pit, don’t worry; there are several ways to keep your phone and face germ-free.


PhoneSoap isn’t actually soap, but it does get your phone squeaky clean and charges it at the same time. PhoneSoap is a box you can put any smartphone in (there is also a PhoneSoap for tablets), close the top, and in just five minutes, your phone will be sanitized. Using UV-C light, short-wavelength ultraviolet radiation destroys the nucleic acids of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and pathogens and breaks apart their evil germ DNA. With broken DNA, those little monsters can’t reproduce or function, so they die.

PhoneSoap is completely safe and you will never expose yourself to the light because it turns off if you open the box mid-cleaning cycle. If you leave your phone in the box, it will charge at its normal speed, so this product has more than one use.

On-the-go options

While sanitizing your phone completely is best, that’s not always possible. There are several products you can use anywhere, at any time. PhoneSoap’s Polish is a screen polish and protector. Made of all-natural ingredients, it kills bacteria on your screen and prevents smudges and fingerprints on your phone or tablet. This is an excellent product particularly for people who (reluctantly) hand their smartphones over to their kids. And we all know how dirty children’s hands can be.

The iRoller is another device that sanitizes your smartphone screen. It quickly and easily removes smudges, fingerprints, smears, and bacteria. It’s perfect to keep in your desk at work. It’s also reusable and cleans off easily with tap water.

If you like wipes, Wireless Wipes will be your phone’s best friend. These disposable anti-bacterial wipes come in a resalable package in three different scents, green tea cucumber, rosemary peppermint, and pomegranate citrus. Wireless wipes are safe for all of your devices, won’t streak, and dry quickly.

Some “don’ts”

While you want to keep your phone clean, you also don’t want to damage it at the same time. Always use a microfiber cloth to clean your screen. Never use a paper towel because it can cause scratches to the surface.

Never use ordinary household cleaners such as Windex or any other harsh chemicals on your phone because they can dissolve the coating on your screen.

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