This everyday item is 10x dirtier than a toilet

This everyday item is 10x dirtier than a toilet

Cell phones are everywhere, and we use them all of the time. So it might not be surprising to learn that they are carrying quite an army of germs.

More specifically, a study conducted by the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

It makes sense when you think about it – you probably have a routine for cleaning your toilets, but what about other common items in your home like shoes, remote controls and cell phones?

If the idea that one out of every six smartphones was found to have fecal matter on it creeps you out (thanks for that study, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), here are some things you can do to combat the germs.

First and foremost, wash your hands.

“The best thing you can do to fight germs is to simply wash your hands,” says Laurel Mode, Advocate Nurse and infection preventionist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Basic hand hygiene protects you and the people around you, including those who you might be sharing your phone with.”

Keep your phone out of the bathroom. Waste particles are known to float around in the air after a flush.

Make an effort to clean your phone. There are various microfiber cloths and even UV ray sanitizing devices available on the market for cleaning your phone.

Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center, told TIME magazine that dipping a cloth into a solution of 60 percent water and 40 percent rubbing alcohol and wiping it gently across your phone can be used to “deep clean” your phone.

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  1. Read a study that stated a flushing toilet without lid down emits more germs air-borne than a sick person throwing up. Comments??

  2. There goes my comfort talking zone. Thanks for sharing this dirtier and your toilet article. That means even the magazines we read in the bathroom should be discarded in the bathroom waste basket itself. I am certainly deep cleanse my gadgets and go to the bathroom empty handed, wash hands for sure, and come out clean.

    I enjoy advocate newsletter a lot and I have learned a lot about my health habits and change motivators. Kudos to you all.

  3. Yet another reason to not buy a used phone!

  4. Great article, ty. As a retired RT, I’m used to washing hands, gadgets, knobs, steering wheel, etc. Great habit from working around killer (literally) cooties. I saw a doctor use his elbow to push elevator buttons, and I do it now. Happy to say good so far. Food poisoning is another article.

  5. When I flush the toilet, more toilet spray goes on the phone in my pocket, than the seat over the toilet, right? And I can clean the fecal germs off my toilet more effectively than I can my cellphone, right? IF anyone believes this crap, you are a special kind of stupid.

  6. Argumentative much? Even special kinds of stupid people can see the article implied that cellphones GENERALLY have more germs than toilet seats, not that EVERY cellphone has more germs than ANY toilet seat. And not that the phones CAN’T be cleaner than the seat, but that generally they AREN’T. Or do you dispute these findings?

About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.