Keeping Your Phone Clean from Viruses, Bacteria, and Fungi


How to Clean Your Phone Properly

After nearly a year of living in the COVID pandemic, it is easy to feel fatigued with all of the safety protocols that are now part of our everyday lives. Even as vaccine rollout begins, it is vital to stay alert and continue following all public health guidelines. One cleaning task that may fall to the wayside first but should be prioritized: cleaning your phone!

Our cell phones often feel like extensions of our hands. There are few things in a day that we touch more than our phones. The average person touches their phone over 2,600 times per day, and that number rises to over 5,000 times for heavy phone users. While we wash our hands multiple times per day, it is a good idea to clean our phones daily as well. In addition to COVID-19, other viruses, bacteria, and fungi, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, and Streptococcus, are frequently found on phones and phone cases. One study found bacteria on 92 percent of phones tested, including 16 percent of phones that carried E. coli. Another study showed that some phones carry more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

Learning the do the dos and don’ts of cleaning your phone is critical in ensuring that you remove as many germs as possible but do not damage your phone in the process. We have put together a list of our top dos and don’ts for cleaning your phone, which can help ensure that you stay healthy. Remember, it is recommended to disinfect your phone at least once per day.

Do: Unplug your phone and turn it off before cleaning. 

This is safer for your phone but will also help you see spots that you missed.Also, be sure to let your phone air dry for at least five minutes before touching it and turning it back on again. This will give the cleaner time to fully do its job and kill germs.

Do: Clean all parts of your phone.

This includes the charging port, case, headphones, and even charger. When cleaning around your charging port, be sure to not get any moisture inside. While phone manufacturers often do not recommend compressed air for cleaning charging ports, many people report positive results when using short bursts of compressed air from a distance. 

Don’t: Use bleach, Windex, or other strong cleaners. 

Never use bleach on your phone! Bleach is not a safe cleaner for phones and may break down the protective coating on your phone’s screen. Windex also contains chemicals that are likely too strong and potentially damaging to your phone. Hand sanitizer may be tempting to apply to your cell phone, but like the others, it has the potential to tarnish the protective coating.

Do: Use a cleaner with at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. 

This includes disinfecting wipes with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, which are proven to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi from phones. While some regular cleaning wipes are safe to use, it is always best to buy gentle wipes specifically made for electronic devices (it will indicate this on the package). Also, do not use rubbing alcohol or 100 percent alcohol on your phone since that high of a concentrate can damage your screen’s protective coating.

Don’t: Put cleaner directly on your phone. 

It is never a good idea to apply cleaner directly to your phone or to submerge your phone in liquid cleaners. Apply the cleaner on a soft cloth first, then gently apply it to your phone in circular motions. If the cleaning cloth is too wet, wring it out or wait until some of the cleaner evaporates.

Do: Consider using soap and water if you do not have any cleaner. 

Again, be sure to apply the soapy water lightly to a cloth first to avoid water damage to your phone. This can be a good idea if you are concerned about alcohol-based cleaners breaking down your screen’s protective coating.

Don’t: Use rough material or fabrics to clean your phone. 

These types of materials are more likely to damage your phone. While paper towels may feel soft, their tiny rough fibres can harm your phone with microscopic scratches. Clorox and Lysol wipes are a no-go too, as they are made of a rougher material as well as containing chemicals that may damage the screen. Microfiber cloths or cotton balls work best to leave your phone clean without any scratches. 

Do: Consider buying an ultraviolet light sanitizer. 

UV lights are great ways to sanitize your phone while having the assurance that every area is sanitized. Many UV light devices kill up to 99 percent of germs on your phone and charge it at the same time. However, be sure any UV lights you use for your phone are specifically made for cleaning phones.

We recommend the UV Mobile Sanitizer Box from STUDIO Yaletown.

UV Mobile Sanitizer from STUDIO Yaletown
UV Mobile Sanitizer Box – STUDIO Yaletown

Don’t: Always have your phone in your hand everywhere you go. 

Avoid always having your phone out of your pocket or purse. This is especially important if you will be in high germ areas such as on public transportation, in the supermarket, or in elevators. By limiting exposure to high-risk areas, your phone will collect fewer germs and your cleaning efforts will go a long way. Important note: this includes taking your phone to the bathroom with you.

Do: Research what is best for your specific phone. 

Consult your phone manufacturer or case manufacturer for specific details regarding the best way to clean your phone and phone case. Each phone and case is made with different materials and the manufacturer might have extra tips to ensure that you do not damage your phone while cleaning it.

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of cleaning your phone, it is vital to make it part of your daily routine. Try adding cleaning your phone as part of your morning or nighttime routine so you never forget. With COVID-19 and other viruses on the rise, it is a critical time to make sure the device you are touching thousands of times per day is clean and germ-free. Cleaning your phone is about cleanliness and health, and fortunately, it is an easy task to complete daily!

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