Most of us are guilty of bringing our phones into the bathroom with us. The problem is germs from the bathroom end up on your phone when you do that, just like they do in every other place you bring your phone. Your phone needs to be cleaned regularly, and we’re here to tell you exactly how to do it.
Maybe this seems like a silly chore if your phone isn’t visibly dirty, but you bathe yourself regularly and your phone deserves the same treatment.
Below are five steps you can follow to make that little bit of effort to clean your phone. For just a few minutes of your time and not very much money, you can keep your phone sanitary and shiny. A clean phone means less direct germ contact, which means a healthier you.
1. Get cleaning supplies
You have a few options of ways to clean your phone: you can buy products specifically made for that purpose or you can make your own. Screen wipes make for a great way to rub down your smartphone screen, which is the part of your phone you touch the most. These wipes remove germs, thanks to the solution they contain, and smudges.
You can use screen wipes on the body of your phone, too, and use them on tablets and computers just as easily. We like the ZEISS Mobile screen wipes, which you can get on Amazon in counts of 30, 60, or 120, all for less than $20.
Another option is getting a UV light sanitizer, also available at Amazon, like the PhoneSoap 3. UV light sanitizers can be pricey, but they clean your phone while they charge it. So you can remove all of the germs and gunk your phone has accumulated throughout the day while you sleep, or while you leave it as you do other tasks in your home.
UV light sanitizers cost more, but they save you time. So they might be a worthwhile investment if you want a clean phone, but you tend to be a little lazy.
But maybe you’d like to make your own cleaning solution using what you have around the house or what you can get locally. For a home cleaner, you just need distilled water, isopropyl alcohol 70%, a spray bottle, cotton swabs and a microfiber or lens cleaning cloth (we like MightyMicroCloth eyeglass cleaning cloths).
We’ll tell you how to mix up your home cleaning solution in step 3. For now, just get the supplies, and get ready to…
2. Remove your phone’s case and accessories
To really clean your phone, you don’t want to just wipe down what’s visible. You want to be able to reach all the nooks and crannies.
Remove your case to see what we mean. There, you’ll find all sorts of dust and gunk that’s started to settle in. Take of your phone’s case and unplug any cords and headphones. Unplugging will let you clean ports (carefully, of course), and more easily clean your phone accessories too (these and your case get dirty too, after all).
3. Prepare your cleaner, and start cleaning!
For most of your purchasable phone cleaners, at this point you can start using them on your naked phone. Use new screen wipes to also clean your empty case so your phone has a clean place to go back to, as well as your headphones and cords. Put your empty case and phone accessories that fit in your UV sanitizer, too, for similar reasons.
To make your home cleaner, mix one part distilled water with one part isopropyl alcohol in your spray bottle. You can mix things in a bowl, too, but a spray bottle will help you get the right amount of liquid and you can store it for later use.
Spray your mixture on your microfiber cloth — NOT on your phone. You never want rogue drops to sneak into open phone ports, so liquid goes on cloth and cotton swabs ONLY!
Wipe your phone with your now damp microfiber cloth, respraying your cloth as needed. Make sure you spray anew and wipe down your empty phone case and accessories as well.
Your phone case can be submerged in water and you can use soap on it, depending on its material, but your electronic accessories shouldn’t be. Don’t forget to wash your microfiber cloth in the laundry before you use it again.
4. Don’t forget the small spaces!
Headphones and earbuds often have little holes that can get filthy, and phones can build up crud around ports and speakers. Make sure you clean these, in addition to wiping down the big, obvious spots. This is what you can use cotton swabs for, using just a touch of your home cleaner or the corner of a screen wipe.
Make sure cleaning solution doesn’t get inside the phone and clean around holes, not in them. If liquid does get in, hold your phone so gravity will encourage the liquid to travel down and out. Don’t put anything in the port or hole for a day or so, so liquid doesn’t get trapped inside.
Use your cotton swabs in your empty phone case corners, too, and target the phone camera windows so your lenses can stay clean when you put the case back on. The little places matter when it comes to sanitation and once they’re sparkling, you can reassemble your phone and enjoy how clean it is!
5. Once it’s clean, keep it clean
You can’t keep your phone clean forever, but you can reduce the need to clean it all the time by being more careful where you take it. Start leaving it outside the bathroom when you’re home and keep it in a bag or pocket when you’re out and about.
Similarly, if you know you’re going someplace with a lot of dirt, like a county fair or a baseball field, think about putting your phone in a plastic bag and try to reduce how often you pull it out.
To keep dirt dust out of your phone, try getting dust plugs, pieces of silicone and plastic that plug into your phone’s ports and keep things from getting into them when they’re not being used. Remember to use a new microfiber cloth every so often and keep yourself stocked with screen wipes so you can’t go too long between cleanings.
Cleaning your phone is just part of maintaining it, so it serves you better and you stay healthier. Hopefully our steps above inspired you to clean your smartphone regularly, and gave you easy ways to do it. A clean phone is a better phone, so ditch the dirt and get to cleaning today!