Don't Forget to Sanitize Your Tech!
Have you been washing your hands consistently to protect yourself from infection? Now think about what you touch after you wash you hands... your phone, computer, laptop or tablet.
Electronics have a fixed place in our daily lives and are often shared by family members or co-workers. It’s important to know how to clean your devices and to do it as often as you wash your hands.
Note: When considering how to clean electronics, you should always check your manufacturer’s instructions first, as the use of some products is not advised. If your device is damaged at some point, veering from the manufacturer’s instructions could result in the nullification of any warranties you might have.
How to Disinfect Cellphones and Tablets
You may have heard that your smartphone screen has more bacteria than a toilet. Unfortunately, that’s not just a dirty rumor. What’s more is that tablets can be even more germ ridden.
Here’s how to disinfect cellphones and tablets:
- First, you’ll need a touchscreen-safe antimicrobial spray and a microfiber cloth. (There’s a rift in popular opinion when it comes to whether alcohol-based sprays are OK to use on touchscreens. Again, refer to your manufacturer’s instructions.)
- Make sure your electronics are powered off and unplugged.
- Dampen a microfiber cloth with the spray, being careful not to oversaturate the cloth.
- Wipe down the screen, avoiding all openings.
- Allow the spray to sit for the amount of time noted on the product packaging.
- Wipe your screens dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.
Don’t forget that your case needs to be cleaned from time to time. You can wash this with dish soap and a microfiber cloth.
- Remove your tablet from the cover.
- In a bowl, mix a couple of drops of dish soap with warm water.
- Dip your cloth into the solution so that it’s damp, not saturated.
- Wipe down the cover.
- Rinse the cloth until it runs clean and then wring it out so that it’s damp.
- Wipe the cover again to remove soapy residue.
- Leave the cover to air dry overnight or wipe it down with a dry cloth or paper towel.
- Make certain the cover is absolutely dry before re-inserting your tablet.
What are ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizers?
“Unlike the average American, our tech devices don’t take a shower each day,” says Michael Schmidt, PhD, a professor with the department of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina. “We take a shower to remove the microbes affiliated with our skin. The only thing that microbes like better than human skin is plastic and glass,” he explained. In other words, microbes are attracted to your smartphone, your earbuds, your tablet and other products you likely use everyday.
Until recently, your best option was to use a microfiber cloth — or an alternative — to physically wipe these microbes away. Recently, companies have been releasing products equipped with ultraviolet (UV) light to sanitize products (or themselves). These UV light sanitizers promise to rid your tech and other household items of germs that might make you sick.
How do UV light sanitizers work?
On the UV light spectrum there are UV-A, B, and C lights. Only the UV-C light can kill germs, says Philip Tierno, PhD, a clinical professor in the department of pathology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
“This light has a range of effectiveness, which interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria and other microbes,” Tierno explained, adding that the range of light can also disrupt proteins in the microbes by killing certain amino acids. They work best on smooth surfaces and have limitations, Tierno advised.
“UV-C penetrates superficially, and the light can’t get into nooks and crannies,” he explained. That includes things like buttons or phone cases, which are lined with crevices. If a germ is encased within a food particle, for example, the UV light won’t be able to get at it.
“These kill microbes quickly," Michael Schmidt said. "But when your device comes out, it’s only as safe as its last encounter." In other words, using the UV light sanitizer doesn't license you to get dirty and ignore possible new germs on the phone.
Contact us if you have any questions on the best ways to disinfect your devices!
Some info gathered from nbcnews.com.
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