Most of us use our phones every hour of every day. We take them out into the world, tap them against all manner of things, and then raise them up to our faces to take a call without a second thought! Whether you’re out and about or even if you’re just at home, following some simple steps will keep your device clean from any unwanted nasties.

To find out how Aussies are treating their phones and if phone hygiene is an important consideration in 2021, we worked with YouGov to ask people all around the country how they use them every day. The results were…

We started out by asking where you all use your phones, and we don’t think many of you will be surprised by the answers. As it turns out, we use our phones everywhere: the most popular places are on the couch (84%), in bed (62%) and in the kitchen (56%). While we’d say that’s already good evidence there that we’re using our phones in places that get a bit dirty, there’s more: 43% of people surveyed used their phones while they were eating, 30% while sweating away exercising, and 35% use their phone when they’re on the toilet!

If you’re over 50, you’re more likely than your younger peers to be using your phone on the couch. If you’re 18-34, though, you’re more than twice as likely as your parents to use your phone in bed. It gets worse, too – it’s these young Aussies that are three times more likely to use their phones while eating and six times more likely to have a quick scroll on the loo.

We use our phones everywhere, but we’re not great at cleaning them

When it comes to cleaning our phones, the numbers we’ve seen are pretty gross. Let’s start with the top of the class; one in four Australians (25%) clean their phone every day – good on you lot!

A third of us clean our phones weekly, and 15% give their phone a quick wipe down at least once a month. One in five Aussies let a few months go by without cleaning their phones – yuck – but we have some advice for the nearly 1.5 million Australians (7%) who never clean their phone…

You’ve gotta clean your phone! Your phone touches your face when you make a call, but it also touches your hands, your pockets or purse and dozens of other surfaces every day. Each one of those can harbour invisible nasties like viruses and bacteria, and your phone is a perfect vehicle for them to get into your nose or mouth.

We commonly share our phones around all the time, too, so it’s not just your health at risk; when was the last time you showed your friend or family member something on your phone? The good news is that cleaning your phone is simple and barely takes ten seconds – read on to find out how.

We can point a few fingers at the younger generations in our research, with 18-24s and 25-34s less likely than those 35-49 and 50+ to clean their phones daily. There’s some good news if you’re a parent of children under 18 – you’re nearly twice as likely to clean your phone daily than if you didn’t have kids to clean up after in the first place. Those kids, though, need a bit of a refresher course.

Maybe there’s something in the air up there, but Queenslanders don’t need their phones when they’re out for a jog or a stretch, with only 20% using their phones during exercise versus 34% of NSW and Victorian athletes. A round of applause to those fastidious South Australians, too, with 70% cleaning their phones at least once a week.

Our store staff keep their hands, and your phone, clean

In our stores, our team members follow good hygiene practices when they’re interacting with your device.

Our stores have hand sanitiser available for you to use when you visit, our working spaces in stores are regularly cleaned with disinfectant, and our store staff have gloves available to use when they’re handling your phone.

Social distancing practices are built in to how we work to keep everyone safer. We’d strongly prefer that you pay by card, too, but have procedures in place if you need to use cash.

Keeping your phone clean is simple and quick

Our simple advice is to clean your phone daily. A lint-free soft microfibre cloth is ideal for this, or you could use another gentle cloth like a camera lens cleaning cloth. You can dampen part of the cloth with a small amount of water, or a disinfectant or alcohol solution, for extra cleaning power. It’s a good idea to spray this on the cloth, not the phone. Don’t use spray bleach or compressed air to clean your phone as those might damage it.

You can also clean your phone with a single-use disinfectant wipe or alcohol wipe of the kind you can buy in supermarkets and pharmacies, but it’s always worth checking with your phone manufacturer to make sure that it’s safe and supported to do so.

Either way, the important thing to remember is to keep your phone clean and to do that regularly – it only takes a few seconds, and might just be the difference between you living your best life or accidentally picking up a nasty bug that’ll ruin your week.