Scientists from Florida have made a startling discovery about smartwatches – they can be hotbeds for bacterial infection. These microbes have the potential to cause severe diseases such as urinary tract and blood-related infections. Professor Nigel McMillan even claims that smartwatches can be 30 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
The good news is that keeping your smartwatch clean can help you avoid these dangerous infections. Many people rely on their smartwatches to track their exercise routines and reach their fitness goals. However, it is essential to maintain the cleanliness of these devices to protect your health.
Luckily, disinfecting your smartwatch is a simple process that can be done using common household items. The scientists tested three household products – Lysol Disinfectant Spray, 70% Ethanol, and apple cider vinegar – and found that the first two significantly reduced the bacteria count in just 30 seconds. Vinegar, on the other hand, took two minutes to achieve similar results.
Different smartwatch brands may have specific recommendations for cleaning their devices. For example, Apple suggests using alcohol wipes or Clorox disinfectant wipes for specific band types. It is also possible to do a thorough cleaning by disassembling the watch face from the straps.
When cleaning the screen, it is best to use a microfiber cloth. If the smartwatch is waterproof, the cloth can be moistened with a lukewarm mixture of water and a tiny amount of soap. If a clean screen is still not achieved, a cloth dabbed in white vinegar and water can be used, taking care to rub gently to avoid scratching it.
Cleaning the straps depends on the material. Leather straps require a leather cleaner and conditioner, while silicone straps can be cleaned with heavily diluted liquid soap. For metal straps, a few drops of dishwashing soap should suffice, though a jewelry cleaning solution is recommended for gold straps.
It is also important to clean every nook and cranny of the smartwatch, using a Q-tip or cotton swab for hard-to-reach areas and a toothpick for tinier spots.
The Florida scientists conducted a study on the cleanliness of smartwatches, analyzing bands made of different materials worn by professionals in various fields. They discovered that nearly 95% of smartwatch straps harbor bacteria, with rubber and plastic straps being the most contaminated. Metal straps with gold and silver had the fewest microbes.
Certain professions also had a significant impact on the severity of pathogens found on the straps. Veterinary experts and gymgoers had the highest concentration of various pathogens. Surprisingly, antibacterial bands can intensify the types of bacteria present on smartwatches, as they can train the bacteria to become resistant to drugs and antibiotics.
The most common pathogens found on smartwatches include Pseudomonads, Enterobacteriaceae, and Staphylococci. These bacteria can cause serious infections like urinary tract infections, blood-related infections, and even fatal organ failure.
Ultimately, the scientists concluded that metallic straps are the most sanitary option, as metals inhibit the enzymes on bacteria membranes, effectively killing the bacteria over time.
In conclusion, it is crucial to clean your smartwatch regularly to avoid bacterial infections. Follow the tips provided in this article or consult your smartwatch manufacturer for specific cleaning recommendations. By keeping your smartwatch clean, you can ensure both its longevity and your own health.