Are Toilets Cleaner Than Cell Phones?

smart-phone-germsToilet vs. Cell Phone

According to a new study, our smart phones are harboring more than text messages and e-mails. The average cell phone is host to more than 25,000 bacteria per square inch. You read that right, 25,000+ bacteria per square inch. That number easily makes our phones one of the dirtiest things we touch and use every day, far outpacing even public toilet seats, which are home to only 1,200 bacteria per square inch.

5 Things Cleaner Than Cell Phones

Because they are kept warm by frequent use and proximity to our bodies, are touched and used every six minutes on average, and are rarely cleaned or disinfected, cell phones are a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Most of the things we consider to be the dirtiest things we encounter each day don’t even come close.

Our cell phones are dirtier than:

  1. A public toilet: The poster child for germs and filth, public toilet seats are relatively clean compared to other things we interact with on a daily basis. They host an average 1,201 bacteria per square inch.
  2. Kitchen counters:  Covered daily with germs from coffee cups, food scraps and uncooked meat, kitchen countertops clock in at 1,736 bacteria per square inch.
  3. Dog dish: We’ve all heard about how, technically, dog’s mouths are cleaner than human mouths. That doesn’t keep the germs away from their dog dishes. Fido’s food bowl has 2,110 bacteria per square inch, on average.
  4. Self-serve checkout: Saving a few minutes at the check-out line in the grocery store could have you
  5. Doorknobs: Door knobs are the only offender that comes close to cell phone bacteria saturation. These culprits contain 8,643 bacteria per square inch.

Keeping Your Phone Clean

Part of the high bacterial rate could be that despite educational campaigns, Americans aren’t very good at washing their hands.

There’s no doubt that the cleanliness of your phone is related to the cleanliness of your hands. By practicing effective and regular hand washing techniques, you may be able to prevent excessive build-up of bacteria on your cell phone.

Proper hand washing techniques include:

  • Thoroughly washing and scrubbing hands with hand soap for 20 seconds. Washing for less than 20 seconds can be almost useless in terms of killing and eliminating germs.
  • Scrubbing between fingers, under nails and on both sides of hands.

Research has been gathered that suggests men and women are more likely to wash their hands in clean and well-kept public restrooms. Facilities managers can also provide automated foaming hand soap, faucets, soap dispensers and dryers to prevent cross contamination of germs.

“Image Credit: flickr.com