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Your phone needs cleaning, too: How to properly disinfect your device after spending time outside

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 19, 2021 4:16 pm

Disinfecting has become a big habit in the middle of the pandemic to keep people safe and healthy from COVID-19. Let's talk about sanitizing an object we bring and use everywhere: smartphones.

Not to be a germophobe, but your phone can be a filth magnet—you pick it up after coming into contact with high-touch surfaces outside like door handles, tables, grocery cart handles, etc. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus can last from hours to several days on surfaces and objects so It's a good practice to disinfect your phone once you get home. 

However, cleaning your smartphone isn't as simple as spritzing it directly with sanitizer because some components may get damaged in the process. Tech site CNET says using alcohol directly may strip coatings that keep oil and water from getting into your screen and ports.

Cleaning with an alcohol-based solution

Your safest bet is to use disinfectant wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize your phone. If you don't have any wipes on you, you can try mixing half a cup of 70% isopropyl alcohol with half a cup of distilled water. Spray this solution on a microfiber cloth then gently wipe down the front and back of your phone.

Pro tip: never use rubbing alcohol, household cleaners with bleach, hand sanitizer, dish soap, hand soap, makeup remover, and vinegar to disinfect your phone. These solutions can wear away protective coatings, leaving your phone more prone to scratches.

Using UV lights

If you think the whole cleaning process above is a lot of work or if it's something you can't do on a regular basis, you can opt for a UV sanitizer instead.

Image from Phonesoap.

This device bathes your gadget in UV-C, which has been said to be able to eliminate microscopic pathogens like the COVID-19 virus. Disinfecting usually takes around a few minutes.

You can also sanitize other gadgets like earphones or objects like keys as often as you'd like with a UV sanitizer.