Covid-19 Tips: How to Properly Clean & Disinfect Your Cell Phone

March 28, 2020

Amid COVID-19 pandemic concerns, health officials have listed precautions people can take to slow the spread of the virus and everyday germs. Hygienic practices such as washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds and social distancing are just a few of the basics that are plastered all over social media and the news.

Nevertheless, one bacteria-harboring device we often forget about is our beloved cell phones. We often carry them on us throughout the entire day from the home to the office to even the bathroom. According the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for several days. With hygiene being of upmost importance to slow the spread of the coronavirus, now is the perfect time to learn how to disinfect your mobile devices.

The best way to safely clean your phone is to wipe your cell phone down with a damp and lint-free microfiber cloth or lens cloth. Apple has also said that it is safe to use Clorox/Lysol disinfecting wipes or 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe as an alternative. You can also use 70% isopropyl alcohol on a microfiber cloth but don't put the alcohol solution directly on your smartphone, lightly put it on a microfiber cloth first then wipe it down. A cleansing wipe can be used on the exterior surfaces of your cell phone, such as the screen and case. Avoid the orifices such as the headphone and charger port. When cleaning, it is best to turn off your device first and remove any casing. Wipe down the case and cell phone separately to assure a comprehensive clean. Once dry (about 5 minutes), you can place your cell phone back in its newly disinfected case.

Not every cleaning product or method can be used.Do not use: window cleaners, household cleaners, rubbing alcohol, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, vodka, ammonia or abrasives. Do not submerge your cell phone in a cleaning agent and avoid spraying cleaning fluids directly to your cell phone as this can damage your cell phone. Be sure to frequently wash your hands and limit the surfaces your cell phone touches in order to reduce the amount of exposure to bacteria and other germs.

While sanitizing your cell phone is not something you should lose sleep over, routinely cleaning your phone can reduce your risk of contracting germs. Depending on your phone habits and how often you place your phone down on varying surfaces, it is best to clean your phone at least once a day. If someone coughs or sneezes near your cell phone, you will want to wipe it down then as well. 

Written by Brenda Galeano