Do Our Smartphones Spread the Flu

phone and earth

Smart Phones and why we never clean them

If everyone in the world would wash their hands frequently, a large part of disease, infections, and illness on this planet would vanish almost overnight. In addition if you the reader would wash your hand more frequently your chances to pass on or fall prey to the dangerous micro-organisms that cause illness would GREATLY decrease.

On average we humans touch our face 16 times every hour. The Flu virus can remain on a surface for up to 3 hours. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out how that math equals an epidemic.

Health professionals recommend vigorously scrubbing objects that we frequently touch. These surfaces should be disinfected with cleaners or solvents, like ammonia, bleach, or alcohol. The problem is that in this day and age the Smartphone is THE object that we touch more often than any other. The other part of the problem is that the manufacturers all but tell you not to disinfect your Smartphone.  The following is taken from Apples support page:

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items may cause damage to the item.

(This way we can smear the virus and bacteria to a nice glossy coat all over the phone)

  • Disconnect your Apple product from any external power sources.

(No arguments here)

  • Disconnect any external devices and other cabling from the product.

(This means you may have to unplug the AppSpeed Monster Truck controller to smear the Mocrobials around properly)

  • Keep liquids away from the product.

(The phones performance is greatly decreased when underwater)

  • Don’t get moisture into any openings, and don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives.

(No Lysol, No Bleach, No Alcohol, No Lysol wipes, No Ammonia, Hmm)

  • Do not spray cleaners directly onto the item.


Now that we have figured out that the device we most often touch cannot be cleaned or sanitized properly, what can we do? Is there anything? Yes. These things can be done to reduce your risk of spreading harmful microorganisms that are responsible for numerous illnesses including the Flu.

children are germ magnets

Children are germ magnets

  1. Do not share your Smartphone. While it may be fun to show your pals that awesome video of your cat in the swimming pool, you might get back a Smartphone full of bacteria. When most viruses are removed from the host they can stay highly active and are very contagious for a 15-20 minute window. After this time they are less likely to cause a problem. MRSA on the other hand will remain active for up to 9 days. *If you have to share your Smartphone, sanitize it, or don’t use it again for several hours.
  2. Place your device in a case that can be sanitized. For example an iphone in an otterbox can be wiped down with an alcohol wipe. While this is not good for the case it will help keep the bug count down.
  3. Do not use the phone in the restroom. Restrooms are typically teaming with bacteria and microorganisms; reduce the chances that you are putting them on your phone.
  4. Do not share your phone with children. Children are rich sources of bacteria and viruses as they typically do not have particularly great hygiene.
  5. Use a headset so that the phone does not have to come in contact with your face.
  6. Wash your hands. Often.