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Bacteria-riddled Smart Home Tech

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Study reveals shocking amount of germs on smart home devices, but there are ways to keep them clean and hygienic

According to a recent study by smart home product retailer Vivint, the devices we rely on for home automation are also covered in bacteria. The study involved swab tests on various parts of a smart home system, including a smart thermostat, remote, tablet, security camera, and doorbell. Results showed that the smart thermostat was the most bacteria-ridden component, with a shocking 32.5 million colony-forming units (CFUs), which is three times the amount of bacteria found in a typical kitchen sink. The smart remote had 12 times the amount of bacteria as a toothbrush holder. Vivint’s study highlights the need for regular cleaning of smart home devices to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.

The control panel had five times more germs than bacteria in a pet food bowl, while the doorbell had seven times more CFUs than a bathroom tap handle. Even the camera had four times the bacteria of a toilet flush handle. Yuck!

While the study was small, it’s clear that good smart device cleaning habits are a must. So, when was the last time you cleaned your smart home tech? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re wondering how to clean them, Vivint recommends wiping down touch screens with a microfiber cloth sprayed with glass cleaner, and cleaning smart remotes once a week with rubbing alcohol, a soap solution, or disinfectant wipes. And for security cameras, you can get away with cleaning them a couple of times a year.