Are you Wearing an Apple Watch, A Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung or other Smartwatch and wondering whether A virus such as Corona can live on it? should you disinfect it and how to do it the right way?
This article will help you with these questions and more…
One of the major threats to humanity these days is the coronavirus as it is spreading very quickly around the world.
The WHO has declared the Covid-19 as an epidemic and the organization is recommending to practice good hygiene to control the spread of this virus. You can control the spread of the Coronavirus by washing your hands with good soap and social distancing.
However, According to Debra Goff, who is an infectious disease specialist, said that “Any Solid Surface can be a transmitter for Covid-19… That includes your Apple Watch and your Fitbit”.
Disinfecting And Sterilizing Your Smartwatch From Viruses
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to disinfect your smartwatch from Viruses such as Corona and others. We will also answer some common questions as well. Let’s get into it.
What is Coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) or Covid-19?
Coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2) is the novel (New) coronavirus which has discovered for the first time. Coronavirus family is a family of viruses that have been around for a long time and it was first discovered in 1960. The viruses from this family have been affecting humans for many years and Mers & Sars were two viruses that affected humans in the last two decades.
The Covid-19 is the disease which is caused by the Coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2) and currently, there is no vaccine available in the market to cure this disease.
That’s why it is important to keep social distancing, regularly washing your hands after short intervals and also regularly disinfecting your gadgets to stop them from turning into fomite. Fomite is the material that can carry the infection.
For additional information regarding the Coronavirus, you should visit the CDC website.
Can coronavirus survive on your watch and passed on to another?
Corona Virus (Sars-Cov-2) is a new virus and researchers around the world are doing a lot of research to find the characteristic of this novel coronavirus.
Recently, researchers from the National Institute of Health, Princeton, and the University of California, Los Angeles, exposed different materials to the virus to learn its characteristics.
The researchers found that the Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces for up to days. According to the report, the coronavirus can survive on the cardboard for up to 24 hours.
The report also explains that the novel coronavirus can stay on the plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 2-3 days. The coronavirus can also survive in the air for up to 3 hours. These properties make this novel coronavirus highly contagious.
The Smartwatches or regular watches are made up of metal and plastics, and in the light of the above-mentioned research, the coronavirus can stay on your watch for days and turn it into fomite.
Is it safe to disinfect your watch?
Yes, if you properly follow the guidelines then it is completely safe to disinfect your watch. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said that people should clean “High-touch” surfaces such as “phones, keyboards, tablets, doorknobs” etc.
Infectious disease specialist, Debra Goff also said that “…because these devices are out in the exposed Air, imagine someone sneezing and it lands on your watch. I would recommend that it’s cleaned every day. You have no idea if the virus is on there”.
How to clean and disinfect it the right way?
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the Smartwatches, you can use various approaches to do it. Many companies such as Apple, Fitbit, and others recommend various methods to clean their devices.
Some of these methods are using the UV Light and alcohol wipes to disinfect the smartwatch.
We will discuss the complete process of disinfecting the smartwatch for major brands in the next few sections.
Can I use UV light for disinfecting my smartwatch?
Ultraviolet (UV) light is considered a great way to disinfect the smartwatch and other gadgets. It practically destroys the molecular bonds of the DNA of viruses and bacteria which hold them together.
There are three types of UV Rays, UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is considered the most effective against viruses and bacteria as it has the shortest wavelength and the highest energy which can easily annihilate the viruses and bacteria.
Professor Philip Tierno, Ph.D. and clinical professional in the Department of Pathology at New York University Langone Medical Center, believes in the effectiveness of UVC. He said, “This [UVC] light has a range of effectiveness, which interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria and other microbes”.
There are many UV Sanitation products available which you can use to disinfect your smartwatch. Each product comes with its own set of instructions on how to operate it.
What products I shouldn’t use for cleaning my watch?
When it comes to cleaning your smartwatch, you shouldn’t use abrasive materials, cleaning agents or bleach. You can check this list of products recommended by the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for Biocide Chemistries. The list includes the products which have proven to be effective against coronavirus.
What things I should avoid doing while cleaning my watch?
Not all Smartwatches are waterproof so you should use the products which are suitable for your watch. For example, if your watch isn’t waterproof then you shouldn’t use any liquid to clean your watch as it can potentially possibly damage your watch.
Similarly, experts also recommend using microfiber instead of abrasive cloth to clean your watches and other gadgets such as your smartphones.
How to sterilize An Apple watch?
The whole process of sterilizing the Apple Watch is pretty simple. Here’s how you can do it.
- Turn off your Apple Watch and make sure that it is removed from the charger.
- Remove the watch strap and put it on the side.
- To clean your Apple Watch, Apple recommends using any nonabrasive cloth such as Microfiber. You can also damp the cloth with fresh water to clean it.
- To sterilize the Apple watch, the company recommends using the 70% Isopropyl Alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting wipes. You should gently wipe the surface of the watch to disinfect it. You shouldn’t use any bleach or cleaning agent to disinfect the Apple watch.
- That’s it.
How to sterilize Fitbit?
Just like Apple Watch, you can also sterilize your Fitbit Smartwatches and gadgets. Here’s how you can do it.
- Turn off your Fitbit watch or device and make sure that it isn’t connected to the charger.
- Remove the straps.
- The company recommends using the toothbrush with rubbing alcohol to sterilize the Watch or device. Alternatively, you can use the 70% Isopropyl Alcohol wipe to sterilize your Fitbit watch or device.
- Make sure to dry it with cloth or tissue before charging the device.
- Also, make sure that you are not using any hard cloth as it can damage your watch. We would recommend you to use the microfiber cloth to clean it.
- That’s it.
How to Sterilize Garmin?
Here’s how you can sterilize your Garmin Smartwatch.
- Turn off your Garmin smartwatch and ensure that it is not connected to the charger.
- Now remove the straps
- The website recommends using the damped lint-free cloth for cleaning the website. You can also use the soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the debris. The website doesn’t suggest any method for sterilizing the watch but you can use the 70% Isopropyl Alcohol wipe to sterile your Garmin watch and then use the microfiber cloth to clean it.
- That’s it.
How to Sterilize Samsung Smartwatches?
The company recommends the following steps to clean and sterilize the Samsung watches.
- Turn off your Galaxy watch and make sure that it is not connected to the charger.
- Remove the straps.
- The company recommends using the freshwater to clean the Galaxy Watch and then wipe it with the little rubbing alcohol. You can also use the soft bristle toothbrush to clean the stains on the watch.
- Alternatively, you can use the 70% Isopropyl Alcohol wipe to sterilize the watch.
- Use any nonabrasive cloth such as microfiber cloth to dry the watch.
- That’s it.
How to Sterilize the Smartwatch straps?
The watch bands or straps can also get viruses and bacteria. Therefore, it is important to properly sterilize and clean them. Here’s how you can clean different types of straps.
- Silicon Straps – Rinse them in the freshwater and allow them to dry. Then use the rubbing alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe to sterilize the strap. Use any lint-free cloth to dry the strap.
- Leather Strap – Leather straps are usually used for formal occasions and it is not recommended to use for workout or sports. You can use the damped cloth to gently wipe the strap and then use the 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe to disinfect the strap. Use the cloth the dry the strap. If you regularly use the leather watch then it will develop the patina on it which is a natural process.
- Metal Straps – Dampen the cloth with fresh water to clean the strap and then use the 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe to disinfect the strap.
- Nylon Straps – Wash the strap in cold water and you can either use the mild soap to clean the strap or the 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe to disinfect the strap. Then dry the strap with the cloth.
That’s all folks. In this guide, we shared the different methods which you can use to disinfect our smartwatch from viruses. We also explain the sterilization process for the major brands but if your brand is not covered in this guide then don’t worry. You can always use the 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or UV Light to disinfect your smartwatch or fitness band. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section below. Also, regularly wash your hands and stay safe!