It’s a great time for Americans to start a daily cleaning routine for their phones because right now, less than half of us clean them daily, even with the potential for coronavirus contamination.
The CDC advises cleaning “high touch surfaces” including phones, tablets, touch screens, and keyboards as often as once a day.1 According to experts, COVID-19 can live on surfaces that make up your smartphone (like glass, metal, and plastic) anywhere from 2-5 days.4
Phone Cleaning Habits Before and After COVID-19
We surveyed 1,000 Americans about their phone cleaning habits before and after the outbreak of COVID-19 to get a better understanding of how well we’re following expert recommendations.
The number of people cleaning their phones every day has doubled following the coronavirus pandemic, growing from 22% to 44%. That means still less than half of Americans clean their phones daily, but before COVID-19, it was less than a quarter.
Before the pandemic, less than half of Americans (42.7%) cleaned their phones more than once a week. Since the outbreak, over two-thirds of people (66.8%) clean their phones more than once a week.
Here’s some good news for everyone: the number of people who cleaned their phones once a month or less shrunk from 40.5% to 18.8% after the coronavirus news spread.
Despite expert recommendations and COVID-19 concerns, 13.4% of Americans surveyed admit they still didn’t clean their phones at all.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Phone
On average, people touch their phones 2,617 times each day, according to research firm dscout.2 Consider the fact that phones carry more than 17,000 bacteria species, regardless of whether they use a touchscreen or keypad, according to one 2017 study.3 It’s best not to think about it for too long, at least without thoroughly cleaning your phone.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve doubled how often we clean our smartphones.
Whether we’re connecting with family and friends, studying, working, eating, grooming, or worse yet, using the bathroom, we are constantly using our phones. And then we often pass our phones off to other people to check out memes and videos without thinking twice.
Phones are harbingers for germs, bacteria, and viruses, and most of us don’t clean them often enough. All this considered, it might be time to start a daily cleaning routine for your little digital buddy.
1. Center for Disease Control, “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households”
2. dscout, “Putting a Finger on Our Phone Obsession”
3. National Center for Biotechnology Information, “High level bacterial contamination of secondary school students’ mobile phones”
4. howtogeek.com, “How Long Can Coronavirus Live on a Smartphone?”