Don’t take your smartphone into the bathroom!

Taking your smartphone into the bathroom is something most people take for granted. A hygiene expert explains why you should never do that.

We listen to music on our smartphones while we shower, check the latest WhatsApp messages on the toilet, and click through the latest news while we brush our teeth: The smartphone doesn’t even seem to be missing from the bathroom. However, you should declare the quiet little toilet a no-go zone in the future, because it can get quite disgusting. Constanze Wendt, a specialist in hygiene and microbiology from the Medical Care Center in Heidelberg, explains to atechbook why this is so.

Bacteria and germs

In the bathroom, there are lots of water and dirt particles lurking around and spreading in the air. “In our bathroom are the germs and bacteria that are in our intestines and on our skin,” explains hygiene expert Constanze Wendt. If the smartphone is in the bathroom, exactly these bacteria can settle on the device. These can be bacteria such as E. coli, which originate from our intestines. “If you have E. coli on your hands, for example, and then reach for your cell phone, these bacteria are on the smartphone,” Wendt says.

Bacteria and germs can make us sick – so is it dangerous to take your smartphone into the bathroom? “We have ten times more bacteria on our skin than our body has cells,” Wendt knows. Therefore, he says, bacteria per se are not dangerous to us; in fact, they are part of our body.

Also interesting: Cleaning and disinfecting smartphones – 6 important tips!

Be careful what you touch

But every time we check our smartphone for new messages, we also touch the display – along with all the bacteria living on it. Especially if smartphone users don’t wash their hands and touch their phones after going to the bathroom, those bacteria also stick to the screen. “That’s not a health hazard, but it’s a disgust factor,” Wendt says. The risk doesn’t increase in public restrooms. However, he says, caution should be exercised in one restroom: The public toilet in the hospital. “Resistant germs can be found there,” the expert warns. This could then actually have serious health consequences for the body.

Read more from our colleagues at FITBOOK: Are there dangerous germs in water dispensers?

The problem with the smartphone in the bathroom is generally not the smartphone itself, but a lack of hygiene. “Washing your hands is the best way to fight germs and bacteria,” Wendt says. Therefore, as with many other life situations, the same should apply: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly! Then you can continue to touch your cell phone in the future without worrying about the disgust factor.