How to Clean a Cell Phone

On any given day, it’s a good idea to clean your mobile phone, but it’s especially important now as we work to immobilize the spread of COVID-19. Many of us carry our cell phones with us nearly everywhere, making them one of the dirtiest objects we come into contact with every day. According to Seattle Times journalist Bobby Caina Calvan, our cell phones harbor 18 times more bacteria than a restroom flush handle. Now consider the average person touches their face about 15 times an hour and it’s no surprise that viruses like COVID-19 spread at such a rampant pace.

The good news? Protecting yourself from the 25,127 bacteria per square inch on your mobile device is quite easy.

Safely Clean Mobile Phone

COVID-19 can survive on surfaces from nine hours up to two days, which means it’s time to get in the habit of cleaning your phone at least once a day. While you want to remove harmful bacteria from your phone, it’s crucial to use the right materials so you don’t cause the device to malfunction.

How to Clean iPhone

Apple offers recommended guidelines for cleaning your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. The tech company suggests using a soft, lint-free cloth and to avoid aerosol sprays, bleaches or abrasives. Because you want to prevent moisture from getting into any opening, don’t spray any cleaner directly on the device.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of alcohol-based cleaners with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol to kill harmful bacteria and germs. When it comes to using that practice on your cell phone, Apple says:

“Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, non-porous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”

Understand your Apple product warranty and follow Apple’s cleaning instructions for your device.

How to Clean Galaxy Phone

Similarly, Samsung recommends specific cleaning methods to ensure your Galaxy is cleaned without damage.

  • A lint-free, soft microfiber cleaning cloth is ideal for cleaning your phone. You may also use a camera lens cleaning cloth. These are gentle and will not damage your phone.
  • Gently wipe the front and back of your phone with the microfiber cloth. Do not apply too much pressure.
  • You should avoid getting excess moisture onto your phone; however, you may dampen the corner of the microfiber cloth with a small amount of distilled water.
  • You can also use a disinfectant, such as a hypochlorous acid-based solution (containing 50-80ppm) or an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol). Do not apply these liquid solutions directly to your phone; they should be carefully applied to a microfiber cloth instead.
  • Avoid using cans of compressed air, as they may damage the surface of your phone.
  • Do not use spray bleach on your phone.

Again, with the variety of cell phones on the market and different guidelines on how to clean each, be sure to check the website of your cell phone manufacturer to get it’s recommended cleaning instructions.