The dirty truth: how dirty is your mobile phone?

In today lives, there’s no doubt that the mobile phone becomes an essential part of life. This is so because there is a transformation of the use of the mobile phone itself - evolving from the basic devices to the multifunctional devices especially to various incredible features and opportunities that mobile phones offer.

An article by Telegraph in 2018 stated that “people are on average online for 24 hours a week, twice as long as 10 years ago, with one in five of all adults spending as much as 40 hours a week on the web”. While people are holding onto their smartphones longer, have you ever imagine how dirty is your mobile phone? Let the truth be told!

Things cleaner than your mobile phone

According to the short video entitled “Your Phone Is Dirtier Than These 5 Objects” by Mashable in 2013 - they revealed that each square inch of your cell phone contains roughly 25,000 germs!

You might also be surprised to find out that some of the things below are evidently far cleaner than your mobile phone!

  • Toilet seats - contains 1201 germs per square inch
  • Kitchen counter - contains 417 germs per square inch
  • Pet food dish - contains  2110 germs per square inch
  • Self-service checkout screen - contains 4500 germs per square inch
  • Doorknob - contains 8643 germs per square inch

What are the common bacteria found on your mobile phones?

A study has shown that 92% of mobile phones play host to a wide range of different bacteria, of which 16% contain E.coli. Additionally, according to Dr Charles Gerba, germs such as E.coli, influenza virus and MRSA can all be found on mobile phones.

Why my mobile phone has more bacteria than I ever imagine?

The simple answer to this question is because our mobile phone radiate the warmth away and bacteria thrive in warm conditions!

As already mentioned at the beginning of the article, we are too long and often together with our mobile phone for doing a lot of things. From chatting with a business partner, uploading your new photo images with friends in social media to looking for the latest news on the web - we unconsciously let our mobile phone constantly working and generating heat. And this is the moment when we creating a very stable environment for bacteria to breed.

How does my mobile phone get covered with bacteria?

As previously stated, we are all guilty of being on our mobile phones too much. What this means though is that any germs that get on your hands will get on your mobile phone!


How often have you used your mobile phone whilst you‘re eating or straight after without washing your hands? This is one way in which bacteria can be transferred to your mobile phone.

Although fresh food is considered clean and bacteria free, stale food isn‘t. Think about those tiny particles from your dinner last night sitting on your mobile phone screen and the bacteria breeding in them.


We all know that washrooms can harbour a lot of germs and bacteria. That‘s why at Calmic we have developed a range of products to make the washroom more hygienic.

Using a washroom and forgetting to wash your hands afterwards can lead to harmful germs and bacteria being transferred to your mobile phone. The same can be said for using your mobile phone in a washroom.

Public transport

Public transport is used by millions of people every day. Because of this, buses, commuter line and MRT harbour an array of germs.

Touching items such as handrails and seats and then using your mobile phone can transfer those bacteria and viruses to your mobile device.

Other people

Letting other people use your mobile phone can also help build up the germs and bacteria on your mobile phone as any bacteria found on their hands will quickly transfer to your mobile phone. This will be worse if they haven‘t washed their hands for a while.

Keeping it on surfaces

We all keep our mobile phones on a surface such as a desk or a worktop if it is not in our pockets. But how clean is that surface? Just like the previous point, if there are any bacteria living on the surface your mobile phone is sitting on then it will also be transferred to your device.

You can also transmit bacteria to your mobile phone through your sweat and also by not washing your hands after playing with your pets.

How to keep your mobile phone clean and bacteria-free?

There are a few ways in which you can keep your mobile phone clean and bacteria-free, but they are not a guaranteed fix:

  • Tissue paper - it is a good idea to give your mobile phone a good wipe down with some tissue paper, both wet and dry. This will clean the surface but won't fully rid your phone from germs.
  • Alcohol wipes - although these are great for eliminating germs from your phone, using them too often can damage your mobile phone’s screen.
  • Cleaning kit - there are hundreds of mobile phone cleaning kits available on the market that are designed to get rid of the germs and bacteria on your mobile phone.

Back to basics: hand hygiene!

Although there is a range of ways in which you can clean your mobile phone, this cleanliness issue can be solved with good and proper hand hygiene.

Remembering to clean your hands after you have eaten, used a washroom, prepared food or played with your pets can help keep down the number of germs on your mobile phone.

Using simple hand hygiene products such as soap and water or a good quality hand sanitizer before and after you‘ve used your mobile phone can ensure you prevent germs transferring between your hands and your mobile phone.

Practising good hand and phone hygiene will reduce the number of germs on both your hands and phone and consequently reduce your risk of developing an illness such as influenza.