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Half of smartphone users don't clean device after taking it to the toilet

Half of smartphone users don’t always clean their device after taking it to the toilet with them, research has revealed. The poll, of 2,000 adults, found 60% admit to heading into the loo with their phone – but many don’t give it a clean afterwards in the same way they do with their hands.

Despite this, 57% then place their device on the kitchen counter, 47% pop it on the dining table, and 43% are then leaving the phone in their bed – potentially spreading germs. 

It also emerged three in 10 never disinfect their TV remotes – despite it being touched 5,475 times-a-year per person. But 49% admitted they have never thought about how germs are able to spread between people sharing household items.

While items which are rarely or never cleaned goes beyond electronic devices – including salt and pepper shakers, kettles, condiments, and light switches.

The research was commissioned by Dettol, which has teamed up with TV home expert and mum of four Sarah Beeny, to launch ‘GermWare’ – a collection of antibacterial items made from copper, including a TV remote control, games console controller and mobile phone case.

Sarah Beeny said: “With a large family of teenage boys at home, our TV remote gets quite the workout – and I really wasn’t aware of how easily germs can be spread by the ones you love.

“Based on my family’s track record of spreading germs, I’d need everything in my home to be covered in copper. Obviously, this can’t happen, and I very much doubt we’ll be giving up watching TV.

“That’s why I’ve teamed up with Dettol to show that while we may be spreading germs without even realising it, we don’t need to change what we love doing.” 

The study also found 69% would be more inclined to disinfect items in their homes if they could physically see germs or bacteria on the items people are sharing.

More than a third (36%) have used, and shared, the same hand towel at home for multiple uses, while 27% happily let pets clamber on furniture and bedding without disinfecting them, according to the OnePoll figures. While 13% even admitted to preparing food without washing their hands in preparation.

However, after being presented with germ-related facts, 33% of participants in the survey will think differently about how germs spread and 43% are more likely to disinfect the items they share more often.

David Shillcock, from Dettol, said: “It’s clear from the survey findings that the people we love, love spreading germs – perhaps more than we realise. The results show that germs don’t spread by themselves, people spread them, so when it comes to sharing lives together, our homes can be germier than we think.

“We know those germ-spreading behaviours are just a part of the everyday life that we share with the people we love, and we want to celebrate that. We made the copper ‘GermWare’ range to highlight some of the behaviours that can cause germs to spread. Of course, not everything can be made out of copper, but you can keep doing the things you love – spreading the love, not the germs.”


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