Why And How You Should Be Sanitizing Your Phone

Sanitizing your phone probably wasn’t much of a concern from the very moment you owned a smartphone. That is, until a year ago when our collective lives changed due to the pandemic. We wash our hands more frequently, we take showers more regularly, and we diligently clean our belongings. We are sure many of you have thought about cleaning your phone but are unsure how to go about doing it. It is, after all, an expensive yet fragile device that is highly susceptible to damage. In this article, we will show you how to sanitize your phone effectively.

Why You Should Sanitize Your Phone

cleaning a smartphone how to sanitize phone
Credit: Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Think there is nothing wrong with not cleaning your phone? Well, think again. Research has shown that the average smartphone is covered by more than 25,000 bacteria per square inch. That’s way more than a ‘supposedly dirty’ toilet seat, which only has about 1,200 bacteria per square inch on average. Our phone is home to health-harming bacteria such as E.coli, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus among many other germs. Wonder how many times we touch our phone daily? Around 2,600 times a day on average. Go figure.

Simply put, our phones are G-R-O-S-S, and yet, we can’t help touching them all day and night. And now with the additional threat of the highly-infectious coronavirus ever so present, it is about time we take our phone hygiene more seriously to protect ourselves. After all, these devices constitute “high-touch surfaces”.

How To Clean And Sanitize Your Phone

person cleaning a smartphone how to sanitize phone
Credit: cottonbro from Pexels

Thankfully, cleaning your phone is quick and easy, and everyone can do it on their own. There isn’t a definitive guide that you must follow on how to sanitize your phone, but here are the general steps.

Power Off Your Phone And Remove The Case (If Any)

Before you begin the cleaning process, always remember to switch your phone off and make sure it is unplugged from any power sources to avoid any risk of damaging the internals. Take your phone case off and don’t forget to clean it separately while you’re at it. If possible, clean it with the likes of dish soap, baking soda, or vinegar. At the very least, give it a good wipe down.

Wipe Your Phone With A Microfibre Cloth

Get a soft, clean, lint-free microfibre cloth and wipe the exterior of your phone. This will remove any existing dirt and germs from the surface, which is an important first step. A microfibre cloth does this better than any other normal cloth or paper towel as the fibres have more surface area to trap even the smallest dirt particles. It also does a good job of absorbing grease.

Clean Your Phone With Suitable Alcohol Solution

Generally, you should use a disinfectant solution that contains at least 70% alcohol, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes alcohol-based disinfectant wipes or sprays, diluted rubbing alcohol, or even alcohol pads used by doctors. Consider using wipes instead of sprays to avoid the risk of liquid damage.

Apple recommends gently wiping the hard, nonporous surfaces of your iPhone (or any Apple product) using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes. Similarly, Samsung suggests using disinfectants such as a hypochlorous acid-based solution (containing 50-80ppm) or an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol).

Knowing what you shouldn’t use to sanitize your phone is just as important as knowing what you should use. And here are some of the products to avoid if you don’t want to cry over a spoiled phone: all-purpose household cleaners, bleach, makeup remover, soap, vinegar, and wound cleaners.

Air Dry Your Phone Before Giving It Another Wipe  

Let your phone air dry for a minimum of five minutes. Then, wipe away any leftover moisture with a clean microfibre cloth or paper towel. Well done! You have now learnt how to sanitize your phone and have a much cleaner phone on hand. Give yourself a pat on the back.

How Often Should You Sanitize Your Phone?

phone sanitiser how to sanitize phone
Credit: Samsung.com

Now that you know exactly how to sanitize your phone, the next question is, how frequently should you do so? While there isn’t a general rule of thumb, you should consider deep-cleaning your phone at least once a week or once every other week if possible. Having said that, it is best practice to give your phone a quick wipe down with a microfibre cloth on a daily.

The good news is there exist phone sanitizers that use ultraviolet (UV) light to kill off bacteria living on the surface of your phone. Debates on their actual effectiveness aside, these phone sanitizers can be useful add-ons to your sanitizing and cleaning routine. Samsung has even made a UV Steriliser which doubles up as a wireless charger.

How To Maintain Good Phone Hygiene

Knowing how to sanitize your phone is only one part of the equation. You should also maintain the cleanliness of your phone at all times to keep bacteria and germs to the minimum. Below are just some recommendations and tips that you can follow.

  • Always wash your hands after eating before touching your phone.
  • Leave your phone out of the bathroom.
  • Try not to place your phone on the surface of the table when eating out.
  • Try not to put your phone on any surface other than inside your pocket or your bag while you’re outdoors.
  • Use speakerphone while talking on the phone whenever possible.
  • Keep your phone to yourself as much as possible and not in the hands of other people.

Keep Your Phone Clean, Keep Yourself Healthy

person wiping a smartphone
Credit: Mildred Rios from Pixabay

Our phone is our most personal and intimate belonging. It is also the dirtiest. Hence, keeping it clean will directly or indirectly affect our general health. You should treat your phone as an extension of your own body, especially now more than ever. And knowing how to sanitize your phone is a good first step!

From the outside to the inside, learn how you can clean the storage on your iPhone too!

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