Why should you disinfect your phone? Well, first off - germs? Gross. Germs during a pandemic? Grosser.
Nowadays, keeping surfaces and yourself clean has never been more critical. Think about all the things you've touched throughout the day, and then how many times those same unwashed hands have touched your phone... Apparently, scientists at the University of Arizona found that your phone is dirtier than a toilet seat - ten times dirtier, in fact!
So, are you ready for some deep phone cleaning? See below for what not to use, what to use, dos and don'ts, and how often you should disinfect your phone.
What not to use to disinfect phones
Apple has warned that cleansers can erode an iPhone's screen fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coatings but has since updated its recommendations to allow some safe disinfects. Apple's list of products to avoid is still quite long, so double-check that your disinfectant of choice is phone-friendly before using it.
If you're looking for supplies to clean your phone, stay away from the following items:
- a bucket of water (contrary to
- makeup remover
- window cleaners
- compressed air
- aerosol sprays
- hydrogen peroxide
- wound cleaners
- antibacterial wipes that don't contain 70% alcohol (lower than 70% may not be disinfecting enough, while more than 70% can damage your phone's protective coating)
How to disinfect your phone
Apple has advised that it is safe to use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to disinfect your phone.
- Wash your hands with soap and dry them thoroughly.
- Remove your phone from your case or cover (screen protectors can stay attached).
- Unplug all cables and turn off your phone.
- Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth to remove general debris and smudges.
- Use 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect your phone. Use an alcohol wipe or spray the isopropyl alcohol onto a cloth (this prevents you from accidentally spraying the liquids into any openings)
- Wipe only the exterior of your phone. Avoid getting moisture in any openings of the phone, and never submerge your phone in water or cleaning agents.
- Wait for your phone and case to dry before reattaching them.
- Wash your hands with soap after disinfecting your phone.
Products to help you disinfect your phone
Smartphone UV Sanitisers & Wireless Chargers
These handy little gadgets can help you sanitise your phone with UV light while simultaneously charging your phone wirelessly.
Antibacterial Screen Protectors
Applying an antibacterial screen protector onto your phone can help discourage bacterial growth on the touch-screen glass.
Antibacterial Copper Film Coating
Copper filming can diminish the lifespan of bacteria on surfaces from days to minutes. With copper filming, you can cut film to your desired size and apply it to multiple surfaces such as mobile phones and door handles.
How often you should disinfect your phone
This depends on how often you're washing your hands and if you've come into contact with potential viruses and infected persons.
It's best to disinfect your phone at least once a day.
Here are some circumstances where you should probably disinfect your phone more regularly than once a day or right after the incident:
- You don't wash your hands often.
- You shook your hands with another person.
- Someone else has used or borrowed your phone.
- You set your phone down on a dirty surface.
- You were around someone who was coughing and sneezing a lot.
- You work as a medical professional and are frequently in contact with infected persons.
How to clean your phone cases and accessories
Phone cases and your accessories get dirty too!
To clean accessories like wireless chargers and cords, make sure they are disconnected from power before cleaning. Use an alcohol wipe or spray isopropyl alcohol onto a cloth to wipe down your accessories, making sure not to moisten connectors or ports. Example, when cleaning your phone charging cable, just concentrate on wiping the cord and avoid wiping and wetting the USB connector.
To disinfect your phone case, follow the same steps using an alcohol wipe or spray isopropyl alcohol onto a cloth. Make sure you remove your phone case from your phone before disinfecting it, and wait an hour after cleaning it to reattach it to your phone. This will prevent any unwanted moisture coming into contact with your phone.
If your phone case is particularly dirty or yellowing, you can clean it. Observe what material your phone case is made of and follow manufacturer care instructions if provided. These steps won't work for all phone cases so it's important to note what your phone case is specially made of.
For plastic, silicone, and rubber cases you can follow the following steps:
- Remove your phone from the case. Never attempt to clean your case with your phone still attached to it. Similarly, you should wait until your phone case is completely dry before reattaching it to your phone.
- Mix 1 cup of warm water and a drop of dish soap into a large bowl.
- Soak your case in the soapy solution and scrub the surface with a soft toothbrush.
- Rinse your case off and wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
- Let the case air dry for at least one hour before putting the case back on your phone. Even if your phone feels dry, there may still be moisture that could damage your phone if you decide to reattach them too early. Don't rush this part.
Phone & Accessories disinfection dos and don'ts recap
- Do unplug and turn your phone off before disinfecting.
- Do use disinfectant wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Do spray any cleaners onto a soft cloth, not directly onto your phone.
- Do sanitise your phone at least once per day.
- Don't use 100% alcohol cleaning products; they can damage your phone's protective coatings.
- Don't apply liquid or cleaner directly to your phone; apply them onto a cloth to avoid accidentally get moisture into your phone's openings.
- Don't submerge the phone in water or cleansers, and don't let any liquid get into your tech's ports. Water can accidentally get into your phone's interior and damage software or cause electric shocks.
- Don't use harmful chemicals like bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and abrasives.