How to Clean Your Phone and Keep COVID-19 Away

Just a quick experiment: name all the dirty items you can find in your house. Chances are, you’d say “Toilet!” right off the bat. Those answers weren’t entirely wrong, but what you probably forgot to add was your smartphone. Then you’ll probably say, “No it’s not!” while you try to remember if you ever learned how to clean your phone from the moment you bought it.

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That’s a lot of assumptions, you’re probably thinking right now. But the truth is your smartphone is indeed one of the dirtiest items you use everyday. In fact, health experts found that your phone is ten times dirtier[1] than your toilet seat. To make it sound even more gross, your smartphone houses 17,000 bacterial microbes. Now that’s something to think about.

And to kick it up a notch, it turns out that the COVID-19 virus can stay on top of your phone screen for up to four days[2]. This is why it’s important to know how to sanitize your phone properly. It will help you maintain good hygiene and keep away deadly viruses like COVID-19. So to get you started, here are some tips on how to clean your phone the right way.

How COVID-19 Can Live on Your Phone

How to Clean Your Phone - how virus lives on your phone

Despite it being classified as a global pandemic, COVID-19 is easy to avoid—just maintain proper hygiene. The reason health experts are telling you to stay away from sick people is because the coronavirus travels via the tiny droplets from sneezes and coughs. It can reach as far as two meters and when the droplets land on humans, they’ll get infected instantly.

But when these droplets land on surfaces, your phone screen for example, the coronavirus can stay for up to four days at room temperature. This is because glass has been found to harbor viral bacteria the longest. And what are phone screens made of? Glass. Since we touch our phones 2,600 times a day on average[3], we can contract COVID-19 from our filthy phones.

Read more: 8 Phone Protection Tips to Keep Your Device in Good Condition

9 Simple Tips on How to Clean Your Phone

1. Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe your phone.

How to Clean Your Phone - microfiber cloth

Every smartphone care kit should have a soft microfiber cloth for cleaning purposes. These are relatively cheap and you can find them on every phone accessory shop nationwide. Or if you recently bought new glasses, the lens cloth that came with it could also work. Don’t use materials like tissue paper and towels to avoid leaving a scratch on your phone.

2. Use a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water.

Dampen that microfiber cloth with the ultimate cleaning solution: rubbing alcohol and water. Using water alone isn’t enough to kill these viruses. You’ll need the virus-killing powers of your trusty rubbing alcohol. You can use your alcohol straight up, or you can make a cleaning solution consisting of 60% alcohol and 40% water. Now that’s how to disinfect a phone.

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3. Use alcohol-based wipes to wipe your phone.

How to Clean Your Phone - Wet wipes

According to Apple’s latest advisory[4], you can safely disinfect your iPhone with 70% isopropyl alcohol-based wet wipes. But obviously, don’t use wet wipes that are way too wet because you’ll end up with a slippery phone. Not really an ideal thing when you’re a clumsy phone user. For Android phones, you can go ahead and use these types of wipes, too.

4. Make sure to wipe the phone screen gently and thoroughly.

You can choose to wipe your phone in a circular pattern, or just wipe your phone as you see fit. Just be gentle about it and at the same time, don’t miss any corners of your phone screen. While you’re at it, wipe the back and the sides of your smartphone. If your phone has a physical fingerprint scanner, wipe it carefully as well. Don’t press too hard when wiping.

Read more: My Phone Got Damaged. What Should I Do?

5. Avoid exposing your phone’s openings to moisture.

Don’t overdo it by wiping your phone’s charging port, speaker, and other vital openings your smartphone has. A good rule of thumb on how to sanitize your phone is to keep these openings damp and dry. Don’t introduce moisture to avoid getting water inside your phone. Unless you have a gadget protection plan, protect these openings from any form of water damage.

6. Don’t use strong chemicals and compressed air.

Also, don’t go overboard with your smartphone disinfecting operation. You might think using cleaning materials like detergents, solvents, and compressed air is a surefire way to kill viruses, but the chemicals from these materials could also damage your phone. Plus, compressed air will probably wreck your phone to bits. Just stick to alcohol-based cleaning solutions.

7. Don’t forget to clean your phone case as well.

How to Clean Your Phone - phone case

If your smartphone itself is dirty, consider your phone case equally dirty. And since you’re using a phone case, you’re likely to touch it more than your phone screen. So it’s only logical to wipe your phone case as well using the same cleaning materials you used for your phone to kill viruses. Make sure to wipe off the dust particles accumulated on the edges of your phone case.

Read more: 13 Must-Have Phone Accessories to Improve Your Mobile Experience

8. Wipe your phone at least twice a day.

Now that you know how to clean your phone properly, always remember to do it at least twice a day. It’s a process that won’t take a huge chunk of your day and it’s relatively easy to do. There’s no excuse for you to not clean your phone more than once. As a suggestion, schedule it in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed.

9. Try using high-tech phone sanitizers.

How to Clean Your Phone - PhoneSoap Go
Photo from

If you’re looking for a more sci-fi option on how to disinfect your phone, try using a phone sanitizer. It’s like a small tanning bed for your phone that will sanitize it using UV light rays. A good example is the PhoneSoap Go[5] that also functions as a power bank. Just put your phone inside and wait ten minutes for the phone sanitizer to do its thing.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, these tips will help you build a habit of cleaning your phone on a regular basis. Not only will it help you avoid the dangers of contracting deadly viruses, like coronavirus but it will also help you maintain a healthier lifestyle in general. And all you have to do is learn how to clean your phone the proper way. It’s not as tedious as cleaning your car, but it’s equally as important.

These smartphone cleaning tips wouldn’t work if you’re not maintaining proper hygiene. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to remove all traces of viruses. Practice social distancing, improve your immune system, eat healthy food items, and drink water religiously. For more COVID-19 tips, check out these articles below.

Read more COVID-19 Tips

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