Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Smartphone

May 16, 2017

As you can imagine, smartphones are host to all kinds of bacteria that inevitably gets transferred to your hands and face. They are handled by potentially multiple people several times a day, lie out on heavily trafficked surfaces, and even travel with us into the bathroom. Add to that the fact that these touchscreen phones are typically handled with less-than-clean hands, and it’s a wonder that we aren’t all infected with disease 90% of the time.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can effectively sterilize your phone without exposing to water or chemical damage. Here are the dos and don’ts that you should know when it comes to cleaning your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone.

Do use a screen protector.

First things first—it’s always a good idea to place a thin, clear screen protector directly on your phone screen’s surface to protect it from dust, dirt, scratches, and any cleaning agents you will use on your phone. Ideally, you’ll do this immediately after taking your phone out of the box, but if that time has passed, then you can still always do so after a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of your phone’s screen. Just be sure to find a screen protector made specifically for your phone. It may be well worth it to purchase a few in case you do not place it correctly the first time. Otherwise, you can opt to have a professional place it for you.

Do use a microfiber cloth.

A microfiber cloth is truly your best friend when it comes to cleaning your smartphone. It will take care of the majority of your cleaning needs. Wipe a completely dry cloth over your phone to remove any dust or oil, or dampen the cloth very slightly with some distilled water for more cleaning power. (Read below for more info on using cleaning agents with your microfiber cloth.) Keep in mind here that you’ll need to replace your microfiber cloth once it becomes overly saturated with the oils it has picked up over the months.

Don’t use any paper based wipes.

It’s best not to use paper towels, facial tissues, and other paper based wipes on your phone, as they could scratch the screen surface.

Do use liquids very sparingly.

You should definitely approach using cleaning agents on your phone with caution. Again, a microfiber cloth can take care of most of your cleaning needs. When you feel that sterilizing your phone is absolutely necessary, fill a small spray bottle with equal parts distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol, and then spray your microfiber cloth once or twice. Then, gently wipe the microfiber cloth across your phone’s surface. This is best done with a clear screen protector already installed on your phone.

Don’t use any household cleaners or spray disinfectants.

Household cleaning products like Windex, 409, and Clorox can take the protective oleophobic coating of your phone’s screen right off, not to mention corrode the metal parts of your phone. Avoid using these types of cleaners, instead using the cleaning agents discussed above.