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Sanitizing smartphones

Phones, much like our hands, need regular cleaning

-Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Chad Thompson Regular washing of smartphone devices is recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smartphones are often an extension of people’s hands, making phones one of the dirtiest items people are likely to come in contact with throughout the day, according to Tony Smith, store manager at U.S. Cellular in Fort Dodge.

And as people are being advised to wash their hands regularly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs, Smith said people should be doing the same with their phones.

“A phone is one of the highest germ carriers that people are exposed to,” Smith said. “So it’s very important that regular cleaning takes place, especially during a time of heightened awareness with the virus going around.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches and phones.

And according to the CDC, phones, which have been found to carry more germs than toilet seats, can be carriers of the virus.

“Even if your phone is just laying around it can be picked up by other friends or family members,” Smith said.

Smith said specific wipes and sprays for phones are sold at the U.S. Cellular store.

“They carry 90 percent alcohol, which is very effective in killing the germs,” Smith said.

According to the CDC, a household cleaning spray or wipe, registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, can also be used to clean a phone.

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean a phone.

“Sometimes people will use anything they have handy to clean a phone,” Smith said. “We have seen people use soap and water on it. Water is typically not a good thing for a phone.”

Smith also said people should avoid using any abrasive chemicals like bleach that could do more harm than good on the device

“Don’t use any of those,” he said.

Instead, the phone’s surfaces and grooves should be wiped thoroughly using the wipes or spray. Cleaning should include in and around the phone case.

Above all, Smith advises consistency.

“Just make sure the cleaning is done on a regular basis and stay ahead of it,” he said.

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