During cold and flu season, you might find yourself disinfecting almost everything around you to stay healthy. But how do you properly clean electronic devices without damaging them?
As the general manager of Next2New Wireless, Brad Hatle has seen all sorts of cell phones in all kinds of conditions.
"I've seen food caked up in the microphones. I've seen ear wax at the ear piece. I've seen all kinds of disgusting things with cell phones," Hatle said.
The unclean devices have made Hatle more aware of cleaning his cell phones and tablets.
"Every time I go to use a phone I make sure I wipe it off before I put it up to my face," Hatle said.
But cleaning your devices can be tricky because some products can damage electronics.
"Most important thing is don't douse the device in anything - hand sanitizer included, water, window cleaner, anything like that. Moisture and electronics don't mix," Hatle said.
Hatle recommends using a small amount of hand sanitizer or a sanitizing wipe.
"You can either use the wipes or just use a soft cloth and put a little hand sanitizer on it and wipe the phone off with that," Hatle said.
By a soft cloth, Hatle means a Kleenex or a soft microfiber cloth.
“Just don't grab a rugged paper towel and start grinding on the phone," Hatle said.
Along with cleaning your devices, Dr. Wendell Hoffmann says you should practice good hand hygiene.
"Every time I pick up my cell phone to use it I should wash my hands. Any time I touch another surface, like a computer board, I should be washing my hands," Hoffman said.
You also might want to consider how many people touch your phone or tablet.
"You just have to be aware that the bacteria are there even though we can't see them," Hoffman said.
That is why Hatle is calling on others to clean their electronic devices.
"Even though it's my phone and it's probably my goo, I still don't want to put it up against my face," Hatle said.
If you're not thinking about cleaning your cell phone yet, this might have you searching for hand sanitizer. Several studies show that the average cell phone has more bacteria than a toilet seat or the bottom of your shoe.