No one wants to think about it, but the devices we use all the time, like our phones and laptops, are actually covered in bacteria. And we hate to break it to you, but a lot of other frequently used tech items around the house are also pretty gross. Thanks to a new study, we know just how filthy they are.
Vivint, a company that sells smart home products, conducted the research, which did swab tests on home security items including a smart thermostat, remote, control panel tablet, security camera and doorbell. Every surface was checked for colony-forming units (CFUs), which is a measurement for the number of certain kinds of living organisms. Brace yourself for the results:
- The control panel had five times more germs than bacteria in a pet food bowl.
- The smart remote had 12 times more bacteria than a toothbrush holder.
- The doorbell had seven times more CFUs than a bathroom sink faucet handle.
- Even the camera had four times more bacteria than a toilet flush handle.
- But the worst of all was the smart thermostat. It was found to have the most bacteria of all items tested, with 32.5-million CFUs.
- Just to give you an idea of how gross that is, it’s three times more bacteria than the kitchen sink.
Since we’re all going to want to disinfect our homes after hearing this, what’s the best way to clean smart home tech?
- Use a microfiber cloth with glass cleaner to wipe down touch screens.
- Wipe a smart remote with rubbing alcohol, a soap solution or disinfectant wipes.
- Use Q-tips to clean hard to reach areas and a toothpick to remove trapped debris between buttons.
- Vivint recommends cleaning these things once a week to prevent this kind of bacteria build-up, but security cameras can get away with being cleaned just a couple times a year.