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The PPE Gap No One Is Thinking About

October 23, 2020

The PPE Gap No One Is Thinking About

We've Got PPE for Everything... Almost

When the year 2020 began, PPE was an acronym that was anonymous to most people around the world.  The year is not yet over, and already the term has been burned into our collective consciousness.  From masks to latex gloves to hand sanitizer to keyrings that allow you to open doors without touching them with your hands, Personal Protective Equipment is on more people’s minds and in more people’s possession than ever before.  

Despite this increased awareness, there is one item most Americans use at least once, if not multiple times per day, that is flying under the radar in terms of its germ carrying capability and people are not taking proper measures to combat it.  Studies have shown that you can be exposed to more bacteria on one of these than you would find on a urinal handle in a heavily used New York City bathroom.  What is this abominable object that you finger frequently?  Your credit card!


Of Course, Your Credit Card!

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  At the grocery store or the drive thru, the cashier may have on latex gloves or a point-of-sale machine that is covered with some sort of plastic, but that is to protect them, not you.  Your card is grabbed by the same gloves and inserted into the same plastic cover as the hundreds, if not thousands, of other cards that were used at that terminal before you.  If someone that is sick used that same machine with their card before you, their germs were left behind.  Even if they didn’t use that machine, but someone else used that machine after using their card in another terminal in a different location after that individual, their germs would be passed on to you and anyone else using that terminal.

Imagine this scenario.  Bob is feeling terrible and runs to the convenience store to pick up some aspirin for his fever and some sports drinks to stay hydrated, using his credit card to pay.  Susan uses her debit card in the same terminal at the convenience store right after Bob, then goes to the ATM at her bank to deposit a check, transferring the germs from Bob’s card to that ATM.  John uses that ATM to withdraw some cash, then uses his debit card to pay for some groceries at the supermarket.  Mary uses her credit card in that same terminal before using it again to pay for lunch.  You’re next in line after Mary and pick up Bob’s germs on your card when you pay for lunch, despite the fact you and Bob never crossed paths.Spreading Germs

When you realize how many contact points our credit cards and debit cards can touch in a given day or week, and how many other users have been in contact with those same areas, it’s easy to see how germs can spread to our cards without us realizing it.  It’s no wonder that credit cards were found to be dirtier than bills and coins despite the fact that our cards may never be handled by anyone else.  Many stores have materials to clean these card readers, but they definitely don’t use them between each customer, if they use them at all. 

So what can you do? 

It’s not like you can just stop using your cards to pay for the things you need throughout the day, and you shouldn’t have to.  The convenience of credit and debit cards makes them hard to live without.  

You can try to be diligent about cleaning your cards with wipes, spray sanitizer or UV lights, but each of those options have their drawbacks.  Wipes are done after one use, and you may not have one ready the next time you use your card.  You may not coat the card evenly or hit every surface with a spray bottle, and a couple sprays after every use can empty a small bottle pretty quickly.  UV lights are great but by the time you get the card home to put it in a UV sanitizer, it’s already touched your hands and your wallet and spread from there to other areas.


There's a Better Way

Thankfully, there is a solution.  The Tēko Credit Card Cleaner is a compact, portable solution that makes cleaning your card directly after use a breeze.  It is small enough to fit in your pocket or your purse, so you can take it with you wherever you use your cards.  The lid is designed with a silicone seal that prevents the cleaner from leaking out into your pants or bag, and keeps it from drying out so that it can last for a couple months of average use before needing to be refilled.

To clean your card with the Tēko, simply insert the card in its slot right after removing it from whatever payment terminal you happen to be using and pull it back out.  Your card is cleaned with a combination of 70% alcohol cleaning solution and gentle abrasion that wipes away dirt and grime. If you had to hand your card to a cashier, you can insert one side, flip the card around and insert the other to make sure the entire surface is clean in just seconds.  Now your card is cleaned before you even put it away!

The Tēko Credit Card Cleaner even comes with a handy stylus that allows you to use keypads and touchscreens without touching dirty surfaces with your fingers.  The stylus is stored in the container so it is clean and ready for use at all times.

Now that you know how dirty your credit cards can be, you may never use them again without thinking about it.  With the Tēko, you can rest assured that you can mitigate the risk of using your cards because you’ve got the PPE necessary to keep them clean on the go.

Also in News

The Dirtiest Thing You Touch Is Your Credit Card
The Dirtiest Thing You Touch Is Your Credit Card

September 29, 2020

In multiple studies, credit and debit cards were found to have worse germ scores than such unsanitary items as a urinal handle or the subway poles in New York City.  They also had had more different types of bacteria than cash and coins, which are generally thought to be “dirtier” due to the amount of people handling them.  You may not realize how many germs your card comes in contact with, even if it never leaves your hand.

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