A Discreet Guide to Using Mobile Devices in the Loo

Last year, British researchers swabbed 390 cell phones and analyzed what they picked up. Know what they foundOne in six phones has poop on it. Four out of five are contaminated by some kind of bacteria. Sure, we all like to make our own calls while answering Mother Nature’s, but that’s just gross. Here’s a surefire way to avoid a crappy user experience on your smartphone or other mobile device.

Step 1. Wash Your Phone (Carefully!)

Here are the only Apple-approved instructions for cleaning an iPhone. They seem like good advice for any mobile device user. Don’t do anything else. It will void your warranty. If you use water, do it carefully, and keep the wetness away from all openings. Don’t use any kind of chemical. If your mobile is already contaminated, you’ll just have to live with it.

Step 2. Choose Your Phoning Hand

Before you even walk into that bathroom, decide which hand is for the mobile and which is for wiping. If your device hand touches anything nasty, it’s out of play. So make a choice and stick with it.

Step 3. Commence Your Business

Hopefully you don’t need instructions for this part other than a reminder to keep your device hand well away from the drop zone, as it were.

Step 4. Return the Phone to Your Pocket (With One Hand)

This is the most delicate part of the procedure. When you’re ready to rejoin polite society, you can restore your device to your pocket – but you must do so one-handed, taking care to avoid contact with potentially soiled items and surfaces. Once your device is securely stowed, you may wipe, stand and flush.

Step 5. Wash Your Freaking Hands

I’m embarrassed to feel it necessary to include this step, but once you have evacuated, and before you touch your mobile device again, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

After researching this topic, I don’t think I’ll ever again feel comfortable borrowing someone’s phone unless we all promise to follow this protocol. I promise. Do you? 

Please leave your promise in the comments.

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