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Coronavirus can live on your phone for a week – here’s how to disinfect it

There’s just no getting away from coronavirus news, it’s everywhere. Panic is so widespread that it’s even going to affect your Costco shopping spree this weekend. The big-box store just announced that due to coronavirus, it’s suspending all those tasty samples until further notice. Oh, the insanity! When will it end?

If you’re worried about the disease infiltrating your town and want to keep track of where it’s spreading, there is a great site that can help. Tap or click here for the most accurate coronavirus infection map on the web.

But what can you do to help lower the risk of infection beyond washing your hands and avoiding infected people? You can start by cleaning that nasty phone in your pocket.

Your phone is disgusting

You might not realize just how filthy smartphones can be. Think about how often they are handled and all the places they get taken into. We’re talking about that bacteria-infested restroom.

Now imagine how much bacteria your device collects from all that activity. A 2012 study from the University of Arizona revealed cellphones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Yuck!

Really, a toilet seat has less bacteria than your phone? The main reason is toilet seats are typically cleaned much more often than smartphones.

RELATED: Online marketplaces are full of phony coronavirus gear

Did you know the coronavirus can live on your phone for over a week? It’s true. In times like these, you don’t want to take any chances of handling a phone covered in bacteria. Here are the best ways to disinfect your phone.

Cleaning your phone’s screen

Having the proper tools makes DIY jobs easier. For cleaning smartphone screens while killing bacteria, the best solution is to use pre-moistened wipes.

This 200 pack of pre-moistened wet alcohol wipes from Ringke should do the job. Use them to clean off fingerprints, dust, oil and smudges without using harsh chemicals.

They are safe and effective with a mild antibacterial cleaning solution that kills 99.9% of germs. Good for smartphones, glasses lenses, cameras, laptops and more.

Before cleaning the screen, be sure to remove the case. This way you can clean the case and backside of the phone more liberally without fear of damaging your device.

If you don’t have these disinfecting wipes, you can use a microfiber cloth dampened lightly with a little soap and water. Make sure not to get any water in the devices’ ports — you don’t want to ruin your phone. Most of today’s smartphones are water-resistant but you don’t want to take any chances.

Use UV lights

Passively keeping your phone clean is another great idea. This portable UV lights phone sterilizer will do the trick.

No liquid, heat or chemicals are used in this SOELAND smartphone cleaner, so it’s safe to sanitize anything that fits inside. Killing 99.9% of germs, UV-C light can get to the microorganisms hiding in those hard-to-reach crevices.

You’re going to love how easy it is to use. Just press the clean switch to start sterilizing and the machine will stop automatically after 5 minutes, when the cleaning process has finished.

Disinfecting frequently touched objects like your phone is one of the CDCs recommendations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Keep reading for more suggestions.

CDC coronavirus prevention recommendations

There is currently no vaccine or cure for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

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As a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    • The CDC does not recommend uninfected people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of others in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

While following the CDC’s recommendations is no guarantee you won’t get the coronavirus, these practices can’t hurt. Plus, knowing just how nasty the typical smartphone gets in real life should be enough to inspire you to give it a deep clean as often as possible.

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research, as we may earn a very small commission. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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