Keep your hands to yourself.

By Lauren Phillips
July 09, 2020
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As we settle into our age of coronavirus, it feels like everything has changed, even in small ways. Masks and social distancing are everywhere; virtual house tours have replaced in-person ones for house-hunters. Gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes are now common in purses, pockets, and backpacks across the globe. People are cautiously venturing outside their homes after strict lockdowns and trying to stick to the most basic public health advisories: Don’t touch your face; wash your hands often; try to limit what you touch while out and about.

While all this advice is important, that last one—limiting what you touch—is especially challenging to remember while you’re out and about. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, picking up essentials at the pharmacy, or just spending time outdoors, you’re likely digging around in your pockets or bag for your phone, keys, water bottle, wallet, and more. Think about how many times you touch your phone in a day—and how many times you touch door handles, elevator buttons, gates, shopping carts, credit card pin pads, and more between touching your phone.

Bacteria and viral matter can easily transfer between and survive for hours on hard surfaces. If you touch a door handle and then touch your phone—as many of us phone-addicts do—it’s very possible to transfer COVID-19 (or other germs) to your phone, an item you touch all the time. (The same could happen with your wallet, keys, and more.)

The answer? Touch as little as possible, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and disinfect or clean items you touch regularly. Touching your possessions less often may sound like a challenge, but it can be easy—with the right tools.

With the spread of coronavirus, new products are popping up everywhere to help people stay safer (and touch less) while out and about. (Some pre-pandemic products help, too.) Whether they’re keeping your possessions reachable so you don’t have to dig through a full bag, making it so you can touch fewer surfaces, or just keeping items out of your hands and in handy pockets, turn to these smart, hands-free finds for a less germy (and more convenient) outing.

CleanKey

1

Keep your hands cleaner with this handy tool, which attaches to your key ring to help you open doors, push elevator or screen buttons, and more. The tool reduces the surfaces you touch and is easily disinfected, thanks to the predominantly copper make-up.

To buy: $25; getkeysmart.com.

bellroy.com

2

Boasting both fashion and utility, this compact sling bag has an accessible front compartment, so you can reach your phone, keys, and other essentials without having to touch everything in your bag. And because there’s no handle or strap you have to deal with, you can put it on and forget about it while you’re focusing on other tasks while still keeping everything within reach.

To buy: $99; bellroy.com.

3

If you’re going to keep your phone in your hand all the time, you might as well make it the only thing you’re touching during your errand-run. This pretty stick-on case attaches to the back of your phone case and can hold a credit card, debit card, ID, or transit pass in its two card slots. Simply put what you need in the case and reach it without touching your wallet, bag, or anything else when you need to pay.

To buy: $29; markandgraham.com.

nathansports.com

4

Heading out for a (socially distanced) walk or run doesn’t mean you have to leave your trusty hand sanitizer behind. Carry your cleanliness essentials (and keep your phone out of your germy hands) with this sleek belt, which sits firmly on the hips and has pockets for holding keys, your phone, and more without weighing you down or becoming cumbersome.

To buy: $20; nathansports.com.

dagnedover.com

5

If you just can’t seem to be able to put your phone down, try a sling, like this one, that keeps your phone close even when you don’t have pockets without you touching it or setting it down on counters, benches, and more while running errands. If you prefer to leave the house with just the essentials (and don’t want to sacrifice style), this leather pouch might be the hands-free find for you.

To buy: $115; dagnedover.com.