Cellphones are as sanitary as bar peanuts. They’re probably worse. Most people, most of them, don’t eat peanuts in the bathroom. Cellphones go with us everywhere. Based on the damaged devices you’ve seen, people bring them into the ocean, into their pets’ mouths, into bonfires, under car tires, on plane wings, into toilets. Everywhere. Have you seen photos of the fatbergs they find under London? Dudes probably took those on their phones.
Simple Good Hygiene and Regular Disinfection Can Keep You From Getting Sick
When you’re handed a busted phone, you don’t know what germs have hitched a ride. If you want to keep from getting sick, good hygiene and a sanitary workstation go a long way. That’s at the best of times. Right now is the worst of times. It’s flu and cold season here in Michigan, and we reckon it is elsewhere, too.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the following tips to help prevent you from getting sick and spreading sickness to others. Before you ask if we’re doctors, we’re not. We all changed majors. For a real expert opinion, refer to an actual doctor. We’re simply concerned with helping you beat back a nasty virus if it makes its way into your shop. In any case, you’re hopefully already following most of these good hygiene habits. If not, it’s never too early to start.
Wear gloves: Boom. Done. Why’d we even write this article? Put a barrier between you and the germs. Full stop. Use disposable gloves, and don a new pair for every repair to keep from spreading germs. There are tons of options out there: latex, nitrile, poly, vinyl. Be conscious of allergies. If necessary, avoid latex for your own or your employees’ sakes.
Use hand sanitizer: Another quick solution. One quick spritz after completing a repair and you’re germ-free. Or about 99.8% germ-free, depending on your brand. Let your hands dry before doing anything else. And still wash your hands. Sanitizer always comes second to that.
Wipe down devices: Get germs before they get you. Don’t use antibacterial wipes and spray cleaners. They’re abrasive, and they can really mess up phone and tablet screens. Instead, a good rubdown with a damp microfiber cloth will sweep away most germs. Strengthen that by dampening the cloth in a 60% water-40% rubbing alcohol solution.
Use antibacterial UV lights: Firmly a member of the non-moisture cleaning camp? Give a germicidal UV lamp a try. They may not get in all the cracks or around all the contours of a phone, but you’ll still come out ahead after letting a device soak in the light (say for 15 seconds or so).
Wash your hands: The proper way. Wet your hands. Lather soap. Scrub for 20 seconds. Rinse. Dry with a towel or air dry.
Moisturize your hands: Winter is dry. Steven Wright dry. The worst part? The more you wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, the more you dry them out. Cracked, bleeding skin gives germs a shortcut into your system. It also feels terrible. Keep moisturized and stay comfortable.
Wear surgical masks: Seem a bit much? Not if you’re concerned about airborne pathogens floating in the air when you’re manhandling the screen off a cruddy iPad. If you’ve seen miniature powder storms erupt off speaker grills under your work lamp, you might want to consider this.
Keep hands away from your mouth and nose: It’s the oldest advice in the book. The farther germs are from your mucus membranes, the better.
Vaccinate: If you’re concerned about the flu knocking you down, go out and get vaccinated. It’s your best bet against the virus.
Vitamins and probiotics: This is as far as the lifestyle coaching goes; it never hurts to advocate a healthy diet. You can find more comprehensive advice all over the internet. These are the choices that’ll strengthen your immune system from the get-go, so if you do come down with something, you can fight it off faster. Some of the basics include getting your fill of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to help ward off illness. Get the proteins you need from meats and nuts. Eat yogurt for probiotics that lay the smackdown on bad-biotics. Eat leafy greens and lots of fiber. The list goes on and on. In the end, it’s your body. Take a professional’s word over ours, and again, be conscious of your food allergies.
Mobile Repair Techs, Be Sharp
This advice goes double for mobile repair techs. You’re repairing phones in people’s homes and public spaces, where you have less control of your environment. Have hand sanitizer and a supply of microfiber cloths at the ready. Use a work mat. Clean your vehicle. Dispose of trash regularly. Create additional precautions if you need to.
Hopefully by following these tips you’ll make it through the flu and cold seasons unscathed. If you do come down with something, that’s another article entirely. Pay attention to outbreaks in your area. Get the required rest and lay low for awhile. Make sure you don’t spread it to customers and coworkers.
The point is, do what you can to stay healthy, and go out there and fix some phones and tablets!