Be safe during the holidays, don't let others touch your phone!

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Be safe during the holidays, don't let others touch your phone!
Ah, the holiday season – some hate it, some love it. There certainly is a huge number of holiday comedy movies that feature young and old dreading that they have to get with their families, more so than enjoying it.

But, if you celebrate Christmas, there's a decent chance that you'll spend it with relatives – catching up, sharing meals, showing pictures… Probably pictures on your phone, which maybe you'll be tempted to pass around the table. And that's where this article becomes relevant to your upcoming holiday experience.

It's not meant to scare anyone, it's just a few friendly tips on how to be safe, and some useful information about how (un)hygienic your smartphone probably is.

Smartphone displays collect germs like nobody's business

We're all painfully aware that the world has changed quite a bit since early 2020, but even before that, it was commonly known that smartphone displays are pretty gross, full of germs.

A 2017 study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website came to a conclusion that the average phone is basically dirtier than a toilet seat. Here are the exact results of that study, but promise to keep calm; they're meant to be informative, not to scare you:

Now, with that in mind we should also point out how the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that along with washing your hands frequently and keeping surfaces in the house cleaned and disinfected, you may want to put particular focus on those that are regularly touched, "such as door handles, taps and phone screens."

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Lastly, here's another informative tidbit – according to various sources, the average person picks up their phone over 50 times a day, and touches it well over 2000.

At the very least, make sure that you're the only one touching it, and that it, as well as your hands are kept clean. And, of course, avoid using other people's phones, because they're just as germy.

And now, since you already know how to wash your hands), let's get into the proper way to clean your phone.

How to clean your smartphone (according to those who made it)

Regardless of what your smartphone is, whether an Android phone or an iPhone, the proper way to clean it is pretty much the same, as you'd expect.

To keep things simple, we'll let you know how two of the biggest phone brands – Samsung and Apple – advise that you clean your Samsung phone and iPhone respectively.

According to Samsung, the first important thing to know is that you should not use general cleaners, compressed air sprays or disinfectant and bleach-based products.

Just turn off your smartphone, take off its case, if you're using one, and unplug it, if it's plugged into your PC or a charger. Then use a lint-free microfiber cloth to thoroughly, gently wipe its front, back and sides.

If you insist on using any cleaning liquids, apply a small amount of distilled water or disinfectant on the microfiber cloth, not directly on the phone. Take care to avoid getting any liquid in the phone's openings. Those include, but are not limited to its USB port, earpiece, speaker and headphone jack (remember those?).

According to Apple, when it comes to iPhones, the song and dance to cleaning those is essentially exactly the same. Once again, most importantly – if you insist on using a liquid to dampen your cleaning cloth, avoid getting said liquid into the iPhone's openings.

But if you're looking for a tip from someone who's both super hygienic and knows a thing or two about smartphones – I'd advise you to avoid liquids altogether, as using the wrong ones could ruin your phone's oleophobic coating, plus using any liquid risks it getting into the phone's internals. Just have a clean microfiber cloth handy – it's all you really need.

Have a great holiday season and be safe, dear phone enthusiast!

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