How to Clean and Disinfect Your Phone


Is your phone making you sick? You'll want to know this -- and you'll want to know how to sanitize it.

Follow these easy steps to safely and effectively clean your phone.

How many times do you swipe your phone to unlock it?

Studies say on average… 150 times per day. A new Gallop Poll says we’re on our phones every hour. Surprised? I was. But it makes sense. With work, kids, connections, social media… it’s probably more than even that.

Imagine, then, what kinds of germs we transfer from our fingers to our phones, every day, 150 and more times?

Studies also prove that we take our phones … everywhere. Including the bathroom.

Why Does it Matter?

Here’s an example. In May, BuzzFeed surprised 20 random, unsuspecting people (so they couldn’t prepare their phones) and conducted an experiment with a microbiology lab at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

What happened? 100% of the phone cultures grew more than just bacteria.

Bacterial Results:

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis (not aureus)
  • Micrococcus
  • Streptococcus viridans
  • Moraxella
  • Bacillus

And those bacteria were considered less harmful than what else they found. What was really concerning was finding pathogens, potentially disease-causing strains of bacteria. Among them, superbugs like MRSA, E. coli, and fungus. (Visit BuzzFeed for more details on the experiment).

I can’t tell you how bad I want to sanitize my phone right now!

How to Clean it?

I’m sure, like me, you’re ready to soak that phone in bleach. But there is a method that will both sanitize and protect your phone.

Apple says that when you clean your phone, you need to avoid anything abrasive, including antibacterial wipes and direct liquid contact, and cautions, “Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, or abrasives to clean an iPhone. The front glass surfaces have an oleophobic coating. To remove fingerprints, wipe these surfaces with a soft, lint-free cloth. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal use, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and might scratch the glass.”

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items that might cause damage.
  • Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
  • Keep liquids away from the product.
  • Don’t get moisture into any openings.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives.
  • Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.

There are products that can safely and effectively sanitize your phone, including a PhoneSoap UV Charger that is showing most effective in eliminating germs and harmful bacteria.

You can also make your own diluted sanitizing spray with simple ingredients like; water, alcohol, a spray bottle and lint-free cloth. Direction below.

What to Do

Follow these steps to keep your phone clean:

  1. Do not take your phone into the bathroom.
  2. Wash your hands or use sanitizer frequently.
  3. Do not lay your phone down on every public surface.
  4. Sanitize your phone, every day (Dr. Oz says).

Make Your Own

Here’s what you need to make your own diluted alcohol sanitizing spray:

  • Bottled water
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 mini spray bottle
  • 1 microfiber or lint-free cloth
1. Fill a spray bottle halfway with distilled or bottled water.

It’s better to use bottled water as opposed to tap because you know it’s pure and there aren’t any particles or contaminants that can damage or scratch the screen.

2. Fill the other half of the bottle with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

70% isopropyl alcohol is less harsh and abrasive on your screen as opposed to 99% or 91% isopropyl alcohol.

3. Screw the cap back on and shake the bottle to mix the solution.

Be sure to shake the liquid before each use.

4. Lightly spray the solution on a microfiber or lint-free cloth.

Never spray the solution directly on your phone. Instead, spray the cloth once or twice — but don’t get it completely wet. You still want to use the solution sparingly.

Rub it all over your entire phone — especially those buttons!

The alcohol in the solution will allow it to dry pretty quickly, so you’ll be ready to pop your case back on or use your phone again in no time. Plus, the microfiber cloth will get all the greasy smudges off your screen so it looks shiny and perfect.

Important: This is for once-a-week disinfecting, not everyday cleaning.

Written by 

Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her family.

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