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Why you need to wash phone every time you put it down and how to clean device during coronavirus

An Infectious Diseases and Immunology specialist has revealed that it’s not just your hands, fruit and vegetables and rings that you need to be careful with when it comes to COVID-19, but also your mobile phone.

Professor Nigel McMillan, from Griffith University, specialises in infectious diseases and the risk of transmission, as well as how the coronavirus compares to other diseases.

He told FEMAIL that while the virus can live on myriad surfaces, you need to be especially careful with your smartphone – which, on average, we touch 2,617 times daily.

Studies have found that coronavirus can survive on the kinds of smooth glass and plastic found in smartphones for up to nine days depending on the conditions.

‘COVID-19 can live on any surface and the more moist it is, the longer it will live there,’ Professor McMillan explained.

‘The safest thing to do is consider your phone an extension of your hand, so remember you are transferring whatever is on your hand to the phone.’

With this in mind, every time you put your smartphone down somewhere or do something and then touch your phone, you should be cleaning it.

‘Don’t put it down in random places if you can avoid it,’ Professor McMillan said.

‘Clean it every time someone else touches it, too, as the virus could be living on it far longer than you think.’

To wash your device, Professor McMillan recommends you use either hand sanitiser or lens cleaner for glasses.

‘They must have at least 60 or 70 per cent alcohol,’ he said.

‘Alternatively, they need isopropal alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Spray and wipe products will also do in a pinch as they have detergent.’   

Tech giant Apple have recently changed their position on using alcohol-based wipes and similar disinfecting products on their devices.

While the company still recommends using a slightly damp lint-free cloth to wipe your device clean, it has changed its previous advice to avoid disinfectants.

Apple now says those problematic wipes are safe to use, and recommends using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe the hard, non-porous surfaces of your Apple product.

All of this will do little unless you are washing your hands well, however.   

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a proper method for washing your hands that will help to stop you and those around you from getting sick.

The agency recommends you wash your hands at frequent intervals to stay healthy, and advises that everyone follow five steps to ensure they are washing their hands the right way.

‘The first step is to wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap,’ the CDC said.

‘Then, lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.’

However the third step is where many people might be falling down.

The CDC recommends you scrub your hands ‘for at least 20 seconds’ – which is the same amount of time it takes to hum Happy Birthday twice.

‘Rinse your hands well under clean running water,’ the guide advises. 

Finally, you should use a clean towel to dry your hands or air dry them.

 

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