HOUSTON – Desks, tables, nightstands, bathroom counters -- just think about how many surfaces your cellphone touches every day, before touching your hands and then your face.
It makes you wonder how many germs are living on your phone.
There are products that claim to help remove bacteria from smartphone surfaces, from simple wipes to an electronic gadget.
How often do you check your phone? A study shows it's probably close to 50 times a day, and that means plenty of germs are being transferred from your fingers to your phone and back again.
So every hand you shake and every bathroom doorknob you touch, all that bacteria is at your finger tips.
Reachers say our phones are 18 times dirtier than a public bathroom. But let's ask this: How often are you cleaning your phone?
There are four products that are supposed to clean your phone and eliminate bacteria, all ranging in price:
- Terry cloth towels, for $2.
- WHOOSH! screen cleaner wipes, for $10.
- An iRoller screen cleaning device, for $20.
- A PhoneSoap disinfectant that cleans with ultraviolet light, for $50.
With kits from a biological lab, each phone was swabbed before and after the cleaning method to get the plate count for bacteria, including E. coli.
Here's how much bacteria each product removed:
- Terry cloth towels: 7,800 bacteria.
- WHOOSH! wipes: 410 bacteria.
- iRoller device: 430 bacteria.
- PhoneSoap device: 2,300 bacteria.
That means the simple terry cloth towel method was the most effective, followed by the PhoneSoap device.
So while the device might look cool and it has big claims to eliminate almost 100 percent of the germs on your phone, it's pricey and takes a few minutes to do so, while just a quick wipe can do the trick.