You are washing your hands, but when was the last time you properly cleaned your mobile phone, tablet or iPad?
iPads and other devices help spread disease in healthcare as well as your school, home or workplace. A study of the mobile phones of healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers shows that almost 50% had colonising bacteria on their phones[i]. This contributes to the spread of disease at work, home and public places.
In recent times with the spread of COVID-19, we have all learned to wash our hands better, but if we then pick up a device that has not been sanitised, we are collecting bacteria, viruses and other pathogens from the device and spreading it to ourselves, others and surfaces everywhere.
So here is how to sanitise your devices and reduce the spread of disease at home, at work and in public environments including schools, aged care, hospitals and more.
- Soap and water have been proven to be the most effective way to stop COVID-19, and this is the same for your devices. Choose a soft cloth and dampen it with soapy water. If you don’t have a rugged or waterproof case on your device, be very careful of openings in your device – power port, audio port but also any physical buttons – and wipe all surfaces without dripping water into the phone. Dry the phone with a dry soft cloth then allow it to air dry.
- If you are away from soap and water, wipe your device with antibacterial alcohol wipes or an isopropyl alcohol solution (50% strength). Be careful to cover the whole device, including crevices and raised buttons. However be mindful that harsh chemicals including alcohol can speed up the deterioration of your screen and device body.
- Assuming that you are ensuring the longer life of your device by keeping it in a protective case, make sure you clean the case thoroughly too. Ideally, choose a rugged case for iPad or other device that can withstand regular cleaning. Waterproof cases are fully sealed and can be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- You can also choose a case with a strap to reduce the number of times you touch it to just carry it around. This also helps to reduce the number of drops and bumps the device has to endure, especially at work or when being used by children.
- Particularly for hospitals, aged care premises and other places using devices near large numbers of people, fully sanitising devices quickly is crucial to reducing the spread. A new UVC disinfection station by PC Locs is a touchless system that uses UV-C light to kill 99.999999% of bacteria to a 6-log kill level in 30 seconds.
 Study of bacterial flora associated with mobile phones of healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers. 2017 Iranian Neuroscience Society. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719508/