Image source: Fitbit

Why a smartwatch might be the dirtiest piece of tech you own

A new study shows a smartwatch might be the dirtiest piece of consumer technology you own. In fact, the device may very well host more bacteria than a toilet seat!

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The research comes from mobile comparison service comparemymobile. The study pitted various pieces of tech against each other to see which hosts the most bacteria (total aerobic bacteria, Coliforms, Staphylococci and Enterobacteriacea). Swabs were taken from three cohorts of a range of items including smartwatches, phones, games controllers and laptops.

Surprisingly, it found that some of these were up to 30 times dirtier than a toilet seat! The worst culprits were smartphones, keyboards, controllers and smartwatches, as shown in the table below.

Why a smartwatch may be the dirtiest piece of tech you own

Bad news for wearable tech owners. Smartwatches were found to be dirtiest of all items tested in the study, harbouring a whopping 3,746% more bacteria than a typical toilet seat. Wow! They been found to be good breeding ground for large levels of aerobic bacteria and Staphylococci. This was both on the watch surface and strap.

For those not in the know Staphylococci is a bacteria that can cause a range of illness. This is anything from skin infections, boils, styes, abscesses, to food poisoning and even toxic shock syndrome.

Here are some of the gory images.

Why a smartwatch may be the dirtiest piece of tech you own

Why a smartwatch may be the dirtiest piece of tech you own

 “Our tests found that smartwatch owners should regularly be cleaning their tech, making sure to clean both the watch face and strap,” said Dan Clifford from comparemymobile.

“This is especially true if you use your wearable to track your fitness at the gym or when you run as this can cause them to get particularly dirty.”

We couldn’t agree more. At a time when we are all making sure to wash our hands more often, it might be a good time to reassess how often we clean every day items. A smartwatch is a good place to start.

Apple has recently updated its guidance on cleaning the Apple Watch. It now says it is okay to use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes on all its devices. You should not dip them into any cleaning agent and, of course, using bleach is a no no. Previously, the guidance was not to use any substance apart from water to clean your Apple product.

The full study from comparemymobile can be found on this link:

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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