The importance of sanitising your mobile phone during the pandemic

Research has shown that the coronavirus can live on mobile phone screens for up to 28 days

The Klenz box, launched by Dubai entrepreneurs, sanitises mobile devices safely. Klenz / Instagram
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The pandemic has drilled into us the importance of washing our hands regularly, and spurred us all to clean the surfaces in our home with renewed vigour. But have we given enough thought to the cleanliness of the thing most of us use all day, every day – our phones?

Studies have shown that the average person touches their mobile phone as many as 2,617 times every day – that’s a lot of opportunity for germs to be transferred back and forth between our hands and the devices that are seemingly always in them.

And scientists have now revealed that, in certain environments, the coronavirus can survive on a mobile phone for as long as 28 days. In October, scientists at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness said the virus was "extremely robust", surviving for up to four weeks on smooth surfaces such as phone screens and plastic banknotes, when kept at room temperature, or 20°C.

The study, published in Virology Journal, also found that the virus lasted 10 days longer than influenza. "Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people," said Dr Larry Marshall, the chief executive of Australia's National Science Agency.

However, as research has shown that direct sunlight can kill the virus, all experiments were conducted in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light. "So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show," the study's lead researcher Shane Riddell said.

Unlike your hands and surfaces in the home, phones are a little trickier to clean with traditional methods, but it’s the impact of ultraviolet light, as mentioned by Riddell, that helped Dubai entrepreneurs Chris Wright and Annabel Jean Demana to come up with a safe solution for sanitising mobile and electronic devices.

The newly launched Klenz device promises to sanitise mobile devices and AirPod headphones using UVC rays, which have the shortest wavelength and are capable of removing 99 per cent of contamination in the air and on surfaces, according to the FDA. UVC rays are particularly good at destroying genetic material, whether in humans or viral particles, but if harnessed correctly and safely, they can be an extremely effective form of sterilisation. This method has been used since the 1870s, and is commonplace in hospitals, factories and on aeroplanes.

The Klenz will also charge your devices wirelessly as it sanitises them. It is also suitable for use with remote controls, wallets, keys and make-up brushes.

The Klenz comes in two different sizes, the Dh199 Klenz Lite, suitable for mobile phones and AirPods, or the bigger Klenz Pro, priced at Dh349. It is compatible to charge the latest Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi handsets.

"You can unwittingly spread germs by using your smart devices and waste all your hand scrubbing efforts. This is where Klenz comes in. The founders, Wright and Demana, noticed the futility of sanitising your hands to just pick up a dirty phone seconds after and the idea for sanitisation boxes was born," the company website reads.

“Keeping yourself free from germs was of course the top priority in this busy digital era we live in, we thought, why not give you more for your money. The UV Klenz boxes not only keep your essentials clean but they’ll charge them wirelessly too. We’re all about efficiency, speed and safety at Klenz.”

More information can be found at