Smartphone Hygiene: How to Clean your Mobile Phones

Keep your Phones and Hands clean!

by: - Last updated on: March 26th, 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic upon us, personal hygiene has become a point of discussion, and it is something that needs to be taken more seriously than ever before. The ongoing situation has now spread globally and is affecting every individual, both personally and professionally. And, as per a few reports, the same is expected to prevail for the coming few weeks. While, at such times, experts are urging people to wash their hands as much as possible, it is customary to acknowledge the extent to which our mobile phones are exposed to pathogens (bacteria, viruses, microorganisms) and other gross matters. And the need to keep them clean is of more importance now than ever before.

How to Clean your Mobile Phone

In recent weeks, we have seen organizations asking their employees to avoid the commute to office and work from home instead. And as a result, we have seen different companies chip-in to contribute by offering their services for free or discounted tariffs to aid with productivity for those working remotely. However, irrespective of that, the one thing that everyone should have on top of their priority is to keep their hands clean. So, no matter if you are working from home and not stepping outside, you should still wash your hands every-now-and-then, according to experts.

Talking about keeping your hands clean, the other thing that a lot of people miss or ignore is mobile hygiene. So, besides washing your hands, you must also make it a practice to clean your belongings such as mobile phone, tablet, keyboard, laptop, etc. regularly. As researches suggest that, of the entire lot, your smartphones are essentially reservoirs to various pathogens, to an extent where they can affect your health adversely. Moreover, some also suggest that mobile phones can be much much dirtier than your toilets, and that, if you are sick, you should have them cleaned even more often. At this point, particularly, the SARS-CoV-2 can stay on surfaces for noticeably longer periods, which requires you to be on your toes when it comes to keeping the devices you often come in contact with more clean.

While modern-day mobile phones (or smartphones, as they call it) are built using different kinds of materials, such as plastic, metal, glass, or even glasstic (glass + plastic), for which, the manufacturers suggest ideal ways to clean, there are a few DOs and DONTs that users need to follow, to avoid messing up with their device. So, in this article, rather than going over each smartphone manufacturer’s guidelines on how to clean your smartphone, we will look at a more common approach that is simple and easy to perform.

Cleaning Phones: Things You Need

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Regular cloth (soft)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Disinfectant wipes (with 70% Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (70%)
  • Distilled Water
  • Regular Water
  • Soap (preferably Mild)

Steps to Clean Mobile Phone’s Case

  • Take the case off from your phone.
  • Since most cases can be cleaned with water, you can use a soap (mild) or liquid solution to apply on the case and clean all its edges and cutouts. After this, rinse with water thoroughly and let it dry.
  • If, however, you have a leather/fabric case, you can dip a regular cloth in hot water and squeeze it completely (leaving it moist, and not wet), and then gently rub the case and let it dry.

Steps to Clean Mobile Phone

While cleaning a mobile phone case is pretty straightforward, the same is not true for the mobile phone. This is mostly because, to a large extent, the process depends on whether your device is water-resistant (IP67 or later – more on IP rating here) or not. So, here are a few different ways to clean your phone (with minimum resources). However, before beginning with the cleaning process, make sure you turn off your phone completely, and if you decide to use an isopropyl rubbing alcohol, ensure that it contains only 70% alcohol and not more than that. Also, do note that you should avoid using hand sanitizers as a replacement for isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

1. Cleaning the Back

  • If you have a phone with water-resistance or your phone has a plastic back, take a regular cloth and dip it in a solution of soap (mild) and regular water. Squeeze out the cloth and rub it gently on your phone’s back and sides, making sure the solution does not seep through the ports.
  • While the soap and regular water method offers a much cleaner result, if your phone is not water-resistant, we recommend you use a microfibre cloth and dip a little amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol on it. Once done, you can then rub it on the back and the sides, ensuring it does not get into the ports. However, if the back of the phone is made of glass, you should avoid using isopropyl rubbing alcohol as it can damage the oleophobic coating in some instances.

2. Cleaning the Front

  • Irrespective of what phone you have, you can either use the disinfectant wipes to go about cleaning the display. While you do this, make sure you don’t apply a lot of pressure.
  • If, however, you do not have disinfectant wipes at your home, you can create a cleaning solution with isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. For this, make sure you don’t go overboard with alcohol, and use two parts distilled water and one part isopropyl alcohol. Once done, dip a regular cloth in the solution and use it to gently clean your phone’s screen.
  • Further, since most displays come with oleophobic coating these days and you don’t want to risk damaging this coating, you can also use water. Simply dampen a cloth in regular water and squeeze out excess water. Now, use it to clean the screen carefully without putting much pressure.

While the methods mentioned above should suffice with cleaning, we recommend to not overdo during the process. Most importantly, avoid touching face after using your mobile phone or any other device that you are always on and off with and wash your hands frequently.

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