How to disinfect your phone
Smartphones are notorious for the number of germs and bacteria that they carry. We touch them after we use money, grab door handles or railings of public buildings, and even while on the toilet. And then we promptly touch our phones again right after thoroughly washing our hands. That’s the problem. The solution? We have to clean our phones too. Here are a few ways to do it:
Option 1: Sanitize your phone with a home-made solution
Now, since we’re aiming to kill germs here, we’ll need something more serious than just your regular microfiber cloth, although that would be needed too. The main issue with cleaning your phone with any sort of solution is that it can strip the oleophobic coating on the glass surfaces. This coating is meant to reduce the fingerprints on your phone so while it’s not vital, it’s better left intact. Most modern phones have it not only on their displays but on the back as well.
During normal times, we’d advise against using alcohol-based solutions on your phone. But with all that’s going on right now with the coronavirus, we’d understand if some people want to take more drastic measures, even if that means more smudges on their screens in the future.
Most cleaning products you’d use on windows and countertops are still way too strong to use on your phone, but you can make something more suitable yourself.
Vinegar and water solution
Vinegar alone is too harsh so you should mix it with at least as much water. Nothing complicated here:
- Mix one part white vinegar with one part water.
- Put a small amount of the resulting mix on a microfiber cloth (or another soft cloth), ideally with a spray bottle for even distribution.
- Proceed with cleaning the surfaces of your phone without applying too much pressure.
Rubbing alcohol and water solution
This is for those of you that are extra paranoid. Depending on what type of isoprophyl alcohol you've got, you'll need to add some water (distilled, ideally):
- Mix the alcohol and the water in a 70:30 ratio if you have 99% alcohol, if you have 70% alcohol, use it directly.
- Apply sparsely to the cloth (never directly on the screen), again, using a spray bottle.
- Gently clean the device.
Option 2: Clean your phone with wet wipes
If you don’t feel like mixing and wetting cloths yourself, you can take advantage of some products that have done that for you. Not just your regular wet wipes, however, those are too strong for your phone as well. There are, however, ones made especially for disinfecting phones, tablets and other sensitive equipment. Just recently, Apple made a change to its customer support page. If before it was recommending using only a dry cloth, now the recommended cleaning options for iPhones include "a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes".
Option 3: Disinfect your phone using UV light
This is probably the best method to disinfect a phone and other electronics but unfortunately, not everyone has easy access to a UV light. Luckily, germophobes have been around long before the coronavirus and companies have answered their prayers for an easy to use phone sanitizer.
Meet the PhoneSoap 3, your one-stop shop for phone disinfection
You can (and should) also disinfect your phone’s case, which, if you’re using one, should be your first priority when it comes to disinfecting.
The downside is the price. PhoneSoap 3 costs $80, which is steep for a device that only has one very niche function, but if you see yourself using it even after the current panic is over, then it’s worth the investment.
Of course, you can find similar products from other brands or just get a standalone UV light and hold it above each side of your phone for 10 minutes. Your choice.