Consumer Alert: Study finds 95% of watch wristbands contaminated with dangerous bacteria

Consumer Alert

The day's major News events, business reports, sports updates, Rochester area weather information and tomorrow's forecast are presented by the News10NBC Team.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A recent study published in the journal Advances in Infectious Diseases found that 95% of watch wristbands tested were contaminated with various types of dangerous bacteria. The study found that 85% were contaminated with the bacteria that causes staph infections, 60% had E. coli, and 30% carried the potentially deadly Pseudomonas.

“Pseudomonas, that nasty little single-celled organism causes meningitis, a brain infection, endocarditis, a heart infection, and otitis, an inner ear infection, and all three can kill you,” said News10NBC Consumer Investigative Reporter Deanna Dewberry.

Scientists say the reason our smart watches get so filthy is that we wear them to track our daily lives, from sleep to heart rate to exercise routines.

Dewberry chatted with AT&T tech expert Jason Komenski about the safest way to clean wearable tech like smartwatches.

“A lot of people think you just take out the disinfectant wipes and wipe it down, I’m gonna tell you right now. It’s a little bit above my paygrade but I’m gonna tell you right now do not put disinfectant wipes on your Apple Watch screen. It will bust it. These screens are very strong. Disinfectant wipes are not the best thing. You want to use alcohol wipes,” Komenski said.

Komenski recommends using alcohol wipes to clean the screen, crown, and sensors on the back of the watch. He suggests using a toothpick to wipe in and around the crown.

“Most importantly this on the back of your Apple Watch, this is the sensor. You wanna make sure that’s really clean. Wanna wipe that down as well. Then what you wanna do, you want to take what we call a microfiber cloth,” Komenski said.

After wiping down the watch with alcohol wipes, Komenski suggests using a microfiber cloth, like the kind used to clean glasses, to wipe it down clean.

When cleaning your watch, you can’t forget the band. The study found some of the highest levels of bacteria on watch bands.

A.I. assisted with the formatting of this story. Click here to see how WHEC News 10 uses A.I.