How to Safely and Effectively Clean Your Phone Screen

BBC News

Serious question: When was the last time you really, truly cleaned your phone?

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re all trying to do our part to help avoid further spread of the deadly virus. One of the most effective ways to do that is to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to leave.

While many states in the U.S., as well as other countries, have already secured these kinds of limitations, we can spend our time occupying ourselves at home. And while we can do that by binge-watching Netflix or counting the ceiling tiles, we have a much more productive way to spend the time: Disinfecting your phone.

At a time like this, we all want to take a look at our cleanliness. Washing our hands more frequently is a great place to start, but there are lots of items that germs like to breed on. One of the items with the most bacteria? Your phone.

It makes sense. A lot of us admitably use our phones during the majority of the day, let alone while we’re sitting on the toilet. It’s no wonder they’re covered with more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona.

Some of these bacteria are microbes that can make us sick, including Staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas.

That doesn’t necessarily mean if you have those germs on your phone that you’re going to come down with an illness, but it’s still important to keep it clean. “As long as those germs don’t get into an opening in your body, you’re okay,” says Karen WeiRu Lin, MD, assistant dean of global health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “But most people hold their phones really close to their faces.”

Thus, it’s very important—especially at a time like this—to keep your phones as clean as possible.

So how do you disinfect your phone, you ask?

First, you’ll need to turn off your phone completely. Don’t worry, it’s only for a few minutes.

Then, you’ll need to get yourself some bleach-free disinfectant wipes; Lysol or Clorox brands are the best kinds and won’t damage your phone, pending you take into account the next few steps. What will damage your phone? Bleach.

“Do not use harsh or hospital-grade disinfectant wipes,” Rajeev Fernando, MD, an infectious disease expert in Southampton, New York.

Since you’re only cleaning something small, you don’t need all of the liquid in these wipes, however, so you’ll want to squeeze some of the excess liquid out. This will help the drips to not get inside the crevices and cause your phone to shut down in the process. Wipe down the phone with the wipe.

Then, use a damp microfiber cloth or lint-free cloth and wipe your phone down again.

Voila! Your phone has now been disinfected. Be sure to repeat this process every few days to ensure you’re not coming into contact with icky bacteria.

For a step-by-step visual instruction of how to clean your phone, check out the video below!

How often do you disinfect your phone?