Iowans are repeatedly hearing the messages about the importance of hand washing and coughing into our elbows, but to stay healthy, we also need to clean our smartphones.

Phil Biermann, who owns CPR Cell Phone Repair in Mason City, says your cell phone catches a lot of things from the air and those things stick to its surfaces. “They collect anything in their environments when it comes to people coughing, sneezing, all that stuff, they’re just netting all that in,” Biermann says, “They collect so much of the microbial viruses.”

While soap and water are great for cleaning your hands, Biermann says don’t use them on your phone. “Even though some people have water-resistant phones, there’s still a lot of areas that are susceptible to the damages from any type of actual water or moisture,” he says. “The other one is some people are spraying on their phone, do not spray on the phone.”

Biermann recommends using an anti-bacterial wipe to carefully clean all parts of your phone.  “Avoid a lot of the open areas like your speakers and charge port and microphone hole areas,” he says. “If you’re going to use a spray or anything, spray on a nice soft cloth, don’t douse it too much, and then you can go over it. Don’t overdo it to where it’s just soaking with moisture, but enough to buff and clean it out. And not just the screen, but the backs of the phone.”

Biermann says to make cleaning your phone a part of your routine.  “With what’s going on right now, to do it a couple of times a day is really good, because you can wash your hands and then you go straight to grabbing your phone, you just completely defeated the purpose.”

Biermann says besides possibly picking up coronavirus-related germs on your phone, if you take any of your devices into your bathroom, they are likely covered with fecal-related germs.

(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)