If you haven’t heard the news, the average smartphone carries 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. How would your cell phone hold up in a test? Fortunately, even if you would’ve failed the toilet test, it doesn’t need to be a permanent situation. Learning how to disinfect your phone is the way to go.
If you’re wondering how to disinfect your phone, you can sterilize that germ factory in a few simple steps. When you’re ready to turn your funky health hazard into a safe, hygienic smartphone, read on.
Things to Avoid
You may already have the tools necessary to sanitize your phone, in your cabinets. It’s not a difficult process, though some caution is warranted.
First, never use the following items to clean your phone. They may damage your screen, case, or the sensitive electronics inside.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Abrasive cleaning powders
- Compressed air
Be careful with compressed air. It’s great for blowing dust out of those hard to reach places. You may even have a bottle laying around that you use with your laptop or PC.
Unfortunately, if you use it on your cell phone, there’s a good chance you’ll be calling for some expert smartphone repair. The reason? It will damage your phone’s delicate speakers and pinhole microphones.
It’s also necessary to avoid excess moisture when you clean. Even with today’s waterproof phones, it’s possible to force fluid into their cases while you work. Once inside, the fluid will cause irreparable damage which most phone plans don’t cover.
In addition, smartphone screens have something called an oleophobic coating. It’s used by phone manufacturers to help repel the natural oils on human hands. The result is a touch screen with increased sensitivity and longer life.
The effectiveness of the coating diminishes with time, but the cleaning chemical may remove it altogether. Cleaning chemicals will also destroy screen protectors. Some react with the plastic while others affect the binding agent.
How to Disinfect Your Phone With Alcohol
Did you know that fecal matter hides on 1 out of 6 smartphones? If that doesn’t gross you out, we have something else for you to consider. Take a look at these everyday items that carry fewer germs than your phone:
- The soles of the average shoe
- The average public toilet
- The average kitchen counters
- The average dog’s eating bowl
- The average school door handle
Don’t go throwing away your phone just yet. You probably already have the tools you need to remedy the problem, stashed away in a drawer. And, no, it’s not cell phone disinfectant wipes, or antibacterial phone wipes, or anything like that.
What you need is a trusty bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Do you remember? It’s that mud brown rectangular bottle your mom always used to clean your cuts when you were young.
If you don’t have one, you can pick one up at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Look for 70% isopropyl alcohol. It’s made from either propene or acetone and dangerous to ingest, so don’t go drinking the stuff.
You’ll also need cotton swabs, wooden toothpicks, and a microfiber cloth. Be sure the cloth is clean and lint-free.
You’ll also need water. Distilled water works best because it doesn’t include the minerals or chemicals that leave streaks. You’ll also need a small plastic spray bottle.
Turn off your phone. Remove earbuds, chargers, and anything else plugged into your phone. If you have dust plugs, you can insert them into the holes on your phone now.
If you don’t have them, be cautious not to squirt your solution directly in the holes during your cleaning.
If you have a case or cover, remove it now. Set it aside. We’ll clean it before we finish.
Now it’s time to mix your alcohol solution. Pour ½ cup distilled water into your spray bottle. Follow it up with ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol.
Shake up the solution.
Spray the solution on your microfiber cloth. You want it to be damp but not wet.
Don’t ever spray the phone directly. You might inadvertently spray the mixture directly into an opening. Newer phones have tiny, easy-to-miss holes.
The water also condenses to droplets that can drip into your cable ports.
Wipe down your entire phone, front, and back, with your microfiber cloth.
Clean around the crevices and cracks with a toothpick to get rid of gunk buildup. Focus on camera lenses, buttons, ports, and microphone holes.
After you finish, dip a cotton swab into your solution and roll it on your microfiber cloth. You want it moist, not soaking wet. Use it to rub the areas on which you used the toothpick. Then wipe the entire phone again with your microfiber cloth.
Now let your phone dry. It’ll take between 2-7 minutes depending on your climate. After it dries, your screen may need an extra wipe with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to get rid of any streaks.
Repeat the process once a week. If you have children, we recommend that you purchase alcohol swabs. Use them nightly to wipe down your phone’s buttons and screen.
Cleaning Your Case
Silicone and plastic cases are much easier to clean than the phones themselves. That’s a good thing because they hold more bacteria than your cell phone’s screen. The rest of the body of your phone is protected with the case, so it’s sanitary.
To clean, fill a bowl with 3 cups of warm water. Tap water works just fine for the case. Add a few drops of dishwashing soap, but no more.
When you add too much soap, it leaves a film. After you put the case back on, you transfer that film to the screen. It’s a pain to remove.
Now use a lint-free cloth to scrub the case inside and out. You can use a soft sponge also, so long as the sponge is fresh from the wrapper. Used sponges, on the other hand, carry fecal matter and E. coli.
Remove the cover when you finish and let it dry. Now you’re all ready to go!
Now that you know how to disinfect your phone, don’t waste any time. Go give it a good scrubbing while you’re still motivated. Just don’t get too excited and drop your phone in the water while you’re cleaning.
If that does happen to you, dry it out in a bag full of dry rice or call your local mobile device repair service. So long and good luck!