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How to disinfect your smartphone

Reduce your risk of coronavirus with these steps

by Marc Saltzman, AARP, Updated April 10, 2020 | Comments: 0

How to Clean Your Phone

En español | While you should be heeding the call to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face to reduce the odds of catching or spreading the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also is urging individuals to regularly clean high-touch surfaces.

Along with door handles and countertops, high-touch surfaces include our technology: computer keyboards, e-readers, mice, tablets like an iPad, TV remotes and, of course, your smartphone.

It’s estimated we touch our phones an average of 2,617 times a day, says dscout, a Chicago-based market research firm. That includes every flick, scroll, pinch, swipe or tap.

Because the CDC says the virus can live on glass and plastic surfaces for up to three days, it’s critical to keep your phone as clean as possible. Not to mention that health care experts say a typical phone is up to 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Ewww.

The following is a simple walk-through on how to properly clean your phone — and what to avoid doing so you don’t damage it.

Step-by-step instructions

You can clean your devices, such as touchscreen smartphones, in several ways. Most of the advice that major manufacturers like Apple and Samsung give can be summarized as follows:

1. Turn off the device before you clean it and make sure it’s unplugged from the wall. This way, you’re avoiding a potential short circuit, you can better see the surface you’re cleaning and you won’t accidentally call or text someone.

If the phone is in a case, remove it first and wipe down the case, too.

2. Use a lint-free microfiber cloth, such as a lens cloth for your eyeglasses or sunglasses, to gently wipe the screen down with fluid (see step 3.) Do not use a tissue or paper towel because both can leave a residue on the screen or worse — they might scratch away the screen’s protective coating.

3. Use a small amount of spray with 70 percent ethanol or isopropyl alcohol or use warm, soapy water to wipe down the phone from top to bottom while holding it on its sides. Then wipe down the sides and back, too, while being careful not to get any fluid into ports such as the charging port or headphone jack.

Even if your phone is waterproof, it’s recommended never to submerge it.

4. Alternatively, use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox disinfectant wipes to effectively clean your phone. Phone makers say to avoid using products like bleach, hand sanitizer and products such as Lysol sprays because those can damage the screen.

Additional tips

A few other thoughts on keeping your phone and other tech clean:

• A phone case not only protects your device from accidental drops, but viruses do not live as long on the back of silicone or leather cases compared to an all-glass or plastic phone back. Still, phone cases need to be cleaned with nonabrasive sprays or wipes to help you keep the back of your phone virus free.

• A screen protector is a good idea to reduce the odds of scratches or cracks on a smartphone screen. It also can guard the screen from acidic sprays or wipes, which can damage the glass.

You can buy these online. They’re relatively affordable, usually $5 to $10 for a pack of three, and come with instructions on how to apply them to avoid air bubbles.

• Several good YouTube videos on how to properly clean your phone are online now. If you’re a visual learner, this is highly recommended. You can pause the instructions, too, to follow along closely at your pace.

• The process to clean your smartphone is identical for e-readers and tablets. As you wipe down the screen with a little bit of fluid and a microfiber cloth, make sure no moisture gets into the charging or headphone ports.

This story, originally published on March 23, 2020, has been updated with the AARP Top Tips video.

Marc Saltzman has been a freelance technology journalist for 25 years. His podcast, Tech It Out, aims to break down geek speak into street speak.

How to disinfect your smartphone

Like it or not, our smartphones harbor plenty of germs, yet many of us fail to clean them properly. You can probably remember the last time you cleaned your hands, but what about objects including your smartphone that you touch many times throughout the day? In short, your smartphone could well be hampering your efforts to keep clean , re-distributing germs back onto your hands. With coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreading rapidly, ensuring you do everything to protect yourself and others is more important than ever.

However, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers are known to be effective against enveloped viruses such as COVID-19 (as opposed to non-enveloped viruses such as norovirus – the infamous winter vomiting bug, which is tougher to kill), there is one big issue with using alcohol-based sanitizers and cleaners on your smartphone – you could actually damage it.

For example, Apple iPhone’s come with a finger-print resistant oleophobic coatings that resists finger prints. Apple states on its cleaning advice page that that coating can be diminished if you use abrasives or cleaning products on the screen and that includes alcohol and many cleaning wipes too. It might evaporate relatively quickly, but over time that damage can still occur.

Watering the alcohol down is also unwise. You still run the risk of damaging your smartphone and more importantly, lower alcohol content can mean the solution is ineffective against coronavirus. You should avoid using cleaning wipes too as these can be abrasive. Even using a microfiber cloth with alcohol isn’t enough – the alcohol is the problem.

Use a screen protector

How to disinfect your smartphone

Using a screen protector means you don’t need to worry about alcohol-based hand sanitizer damaging . [+] your smartphone

So, what can you use? Well, you have several options. The best advise is not to leave your screen or smartphone unprotected in the first place. By using a screen protector, you will not only prevent against scratches, but can then use normal hand sanitiser spread thinly onto a microfiber cloth to clean your screen and the rest of your smartphone quickly and without damaging it.

How to disinfect your smartphone

Yep, you read that right: There are 10 times more germs on our smartphones than on a toilet seat. So unless you’re regularly cleaning your lil’ portable germ box, you’re not really doing that good a job of protecting yourself from getting sick. In fact, we should all be making a habit out of cleaning that damn thing, with or without the new coronavirus outbreak as motivation.

Apple offers a very detailed cleaning guideline for iPhones, as does Google for Pixels. Samsung, though, doesn’t offer much for its Galaxy phones. But, it’s safe to assume that they all can be cleaned in the same way because their surfaces share similar features: glass screens and/or casings with oil-repellent (oleophobic) coating, and some degree of water resistance.

That means two things: It’s okay to clean your phone with a damp cloth and you should stick with mild cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the glass coating. So, unless you have a fancy UV light to sanitize your phone, here’s how you can get it done the old-fashioned way.

What you need

1. Two lint-free cloths

Avoid using paper towels as the rough surface might wear down the glass coating and scratch your screen over time.

2. Mild hand soap

Oleophobic coatings are sensitive. Avoid household cleaning products and abrasive solutions. If you really, really want to, you can use disinfectant wipes at your own risk — although Apple would probably caution you against that.

3. Water

To mix with your soap.

4. Toothpick or Q-tip (optional)

In case you want to clean your SIM-card holder.

How to do it

1. Make sure you know exactly how water-resistant your phone is. That way you can be mindful about how much water you’re using. It’s better to err on the side of caution and just use a damp towel, though. Here’s a list of phones, from the least to most water-resistant:

Safe with spraying water (IP53 rating): Pixel

Safe with 1-meter immersion for up to 30 minutes (IP67 rating): iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XR; Pixel 2

Safe with 1.5-meter immersion for up to 30 minutes (IP68 rating): iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max; Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S8, S8+, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, S10e, Note 8, Note 9, Note 10, Note 10+, Fold; Pixel 3, 4

2. Unplug any cables and turn your phone off. Remove any accessories. Be careful to not damage your phone — or worse, hurt yourself.

3. Mix hand soap with water. Use your best judgement to determine the soap-to-water ratio.

4. Dip one of the lint-free cloths into the soap solution. You want a damp cloth, so make sure you wring it to remove any excess water.

5. Wipe your phone with the damp cloth. Make sure you get the front, back, and the sides. Never dunk your phone into the solution, even if your phone is water-resistant.

6. Use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe your phone down. Again, avoid using paper towels if you can.

7. Optional: Remove your SIM-card holder. Might as well get that cleaned, too.

8. Dip a Q-tip into the soap solution. Squeeze it dry with your finger tips.

9. Use the Q-tip to gently clean the tray. Use a toothpick to get to the nooks and crannies, if you need it.

10. Wipe the tray down with a dry cloth. Then stick it back into your phone — and voila, you’re done!

W ith the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., people are more concerned than ever with staying clean and germ-free. People know, too, that their smartphones and other devices can carry more than a few germs, making it important to clean those gadgets every now and again.

But how should you be cleaning your smartphone or tablet? And how worried should you be about catching or spreading a virus like COVID-19 via your trusty smartphone in the first place? Here’s what the experts say.

Disinfecting wipes are fine, mostly

Studies have shown everything from staph to e. Coli can thrive on your smartphone’s glass screen. COVID-19, meanwhile, can survive on surfaces for anywhere from a few hours to over a week, depending on conditions.

If you’re in the mood to kill those germs, some alcohol can’t hurt. At least, it can’t hurt now, as companies like Apple have recently changed their position on using alcohol-based wipes and similar disinfecting products on their devices.

In Apple’s case, it still recommends using a slightly damp lint-free cloth to wipe your device clean. But it has changed its previous advice to avoid disinfectants — instead of warning against harsh chemicals, claiming the products may strip the oil-repellent “oleophobic” coating on your phone, Apple now says those problematic wipes are in the clear.

“Using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your iPhone,” Apple says on its updated support page. “Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents.”

Apple says you can use the same disinfectant products on the “hard, nonporous surfaces” of your Apple device, though you shouldn’t use them on anything made of fabric or leather. Other chemicals, like chlorine and bleach, are too harsh and could damage your screen. The recommendation to avoid other cleaning products, like Purell or compressed air, still applies. (All this advice applies more or less equally to gadgets from other companies, too.)

Could cleaning products still damage your phone, even with approval from the manufacturer? Yes, but only if you’re obsessively scrubbing your screen with them — so remember to chill out with all that wiping.

Wash your hands, not your smartphone

Experts say that keeping your phone clean won’t matter much if you’re not practicing good hygiene in other ways. So remember to wash your hands regularly, don’t touch your face, and so on.

“For sure, if you’re worried about your phone, you can sanitize your phone,” says Dr. Donald Schaffner, professor at Rutgers University’s Department of Food Science and co-host of Risky or Not, a podcast about “everyday risks from germs.” “But more importantly, stay away from sick people, and wash and sanitize your hands. Those are probably going to do a lot more to reduce your risk than sanitizing your phone.”

Schaffner also says the chance of catching a virus like COVID-19 from your phone is minimal compared to the risk of being near someone who is already infected with the disease. But it can’t hurt to keep your phone clean, he says. “If you’ve got a hundred [bacteria] on your finger and you stuck your finger in a moist area like your nose, well now you’ve got a dry surface transferring to a wet surface,” says Schaffner. “And you’re probably going to be pretty efficient at transferring those hundred organisms you’ve got on your finger into your nose.”

You don’t need a UV light

Should you invest in one of those cool UV phone sanitizers you’ve probably in your Instagram ads? Probably not. UV light has been effective against some other viruses, but we don’t yet know how it might affected COVID-19. And these gadgets are pretty expensive considering that cheap alcohol wipes do the job just fine. “If you think it’s cool and want to buy one, go for it,” says Schaffner. “But please don’t buy one because you think it’s better than other technology.”

Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 07:54 AM MYT

NEW YORK, Oct 13 — While everyone has likely heard that a smartphone screen can potentially harbour more germs than a toilet bowl, a recent Australian study showed that, under certain conditions, the new coronavirus can survive for 28 days on a smartphone.

It is therefore highly recommended to clean it at least once a day. It takes just a few seconds and can prevent you from becoming sick.

After months of pandemic, everyone has understood that hand-washing was key to avoid spreading or contracting Covid-19.

Our hands have to be thoroughly washed, several times a day, but we shouldn’t forget the object that we touch the most during the day — our smartphone.

To clean your smartphone you’ll need a damp cloth (with a tiny bit of soap if possible).

Gently rub the cloth, not to scratch the screen. After that, you’ll also need a second cloth, a dry one, to finish up the task.

However, cleaning your cell phone does not mean only taking care of its screen. You will have to remove its protection and also wash it thoroughly. The whole device has to be cleaned, the front and back as well as the edges.

However, make sure never to use cleaning products designed for the home, and never put it under a tap. Not a single drop of water should enter the device.

This operation should be repeated regularly, at least once a day during the pandemic. — AFP-Relaxnews

How to disinfect your smartphone

How to disinfect your smartphone? You need to understand that your phone is an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses and that is why it is always important to clean it regularly. You may be concerned about coronavirus or just common flu germs but keeping your personal hygiene and disinfecting surfaces are the easiest preventive measures that will help lower your overall risk of getting ill. Frequent hand washing is one of the most important precautions against the coronavirus and not only. As per experts, cleaning a cell phone is a much more effective preventive measure than wearing a face mask.

Why is it important to disinfect your smartphone?

How to disinfect your smartphone

Many people do not realize why it is important to disinfect their cell phones. Believe it or not, but smartphones are among the dirtiest items a person owns. We touch them hundreds of times a day, some people even bring their phones to the toilet. You do not need the COVID – 19 pandemic warning to clean your phone as most people know that a smartphone is a serious source of germs and bacteria. These phones are often held up to our eyes, nose and lips and those are the key points where viruses, including the coronavirus, infect the human body. Viruses survive very well on different surfaces so it is our duty to protect ourselves and family members to the best of our abilities.

We have explained the importance of washing your hands with soap and water and disinfect them with sanitizer. Regular cleaning and disinfecting the areas that you touch frequently will prevent the virus from getting into your hands and then into your body when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

When do you have to disinfect your smartphone?

How to disinfect your smartphone

It is strongly recommended to clean and disinfect your smartphone after visiting public places. If possible, clean the device at least 3-4 times a day – immediately after you arrive to work, before lunch and after it, after returning home. In addition, it is recommended that you touch the smartphone as little as possible to minimize risks. Do not share your smartphone with other people and of course, do not use other people’s devices. Make sure you disinfect the smartphones of your children as well.

Do not forget that you should wash your hands as often as possible as they are constantly in contact with a variety of things. When you touch the device you expose yourself to anything that is on its surface so it is better to minimize the risk and just clean the phone.

How to disinfect your smartphone properly?

How to disinfect your smartphone

Smartphone manufacturers advise not to use harsh chemicals, bleach, abrasive cleaners, and pressurized air. You should not spray your device directly with a cleaning spray. Despite the fact that many models are water resistant, it is not advisable to hold them under running water. You can take out the device from the case and wash the case with soap and water. Before disinfecting your smartphone, disconnect it from the charger. For security, you can tape all the connectors with tape.

Use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and wet a lint-free cloth. Wipe all hard and nonporous surfaces – display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Wipe down the case of your smartphone entirely and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Do not use rubbing alcohol on fabric or leather surfaces.

You can use an alcohol-based disinfectant spray but again, do not spray the device directly. Spray a soft lint-free cloth, wipe down the back and sides of your device and let it dry.

Another option is using antibacterial disinfecting wipes that come presoaked in a cleaning solution containing about 70% isopropyl alcohol.

How to disinfect your smartphone

Basic precautions like washing your hands properly and avoiding touching your face will help reduce the risk of getting ill from a wide range of diseases, including coronavirus. Disinfect your smartphone regularly and avoiding touching it with dirty hands because you may transfer bacteria and other microbes onto it.

ICYDK, your phone is covered with germs. These products can help you clean it without damaging your device.

We have some bad news about your smartphone : It’s disgusting.

“Cell phones are one of the dirtiest things we encounter daily,” Charles Gerba, PhD, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona who is often referred to by his nickname, Dr. Germ, tells Health. Need proof? In 2017, researchers from his university studied germs on the cell phones of high school students and found that their devices carried 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Yikes.

“Very rarely do people clean their phones, [so] germs and bacteria continue to build up and accumulate, including E. coli, influenza, and MRSA, just to name a few,” Gerba explains. This is gross, but it’s even grosser when you think about how much time you spend tapping, swiping, and pressing your cheek against that thing—according to a 2015 survey by Deloitte, the average American checks her phone an amazing 47 times a day.

But the real issue isn’t just that phones are super germy; it’s that they’re the ideal vehicles for spreading germs to other people.

“Many phones have touch screens, and germs are easily spread from your phone to your hands and face, increasing the chance of infections,” says Gerba. “We’re in constant contact with them, and they spend a lot of time near our face and mouth.”

Good thing it’s easier than you think to quickly disinfect your device on the go. Gerba recommends cleaning your smartphone at least once a day, or more often if you’ve been passing it around to your friends. It’s also essential to practice good general hygiene habits, such as not taking your phone into the bathroom (seriously, don’t do it) and washing hands frequently.

Here, the best phone-cleaning products to keep on hand—and use often!—this cold and flu season.

Phones are dirtier than toilet seats. It is no surprise since it is the one thing that Singaporeans are always glued! People often tend to bring their phones everywhere with them. How to best disinfect your phone? There are many ways and tools you can utilize to clean your phones. If you are not already doing that, then there is no better time to start than now! As you can know, today, preparing for the specific global spread of this virus dubbed COVID-19, is one of the most pro-social things we should do to possible disruptions of this kind.

You need to wipe down your phone daily and give it a thorough cleaning as and when you can. Before you disinfect your phone and phone case, make sure that you did power off the phone and let it cool.

How to disinfect your smartphone

Note when cleaning the phone:

NEVER use detergents/house cleaners, compressed air bottles, aerosol aerosols, Harsh solvents (acetone, benzene, toluene), bleach, ammonia, abrasive powder, hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide).

From the iPhone 7 and other kinds of new iPhone, on the iPhone screen has an oleophobic oil-proof, anti-fingerprint coating. Cleaning products and abrasive materials (alcohol, alcohol-based hand cleaners) will reduce the surface and could scratch your iPhone.

Use distilled water because some hard water areas can scratch the phone.

Step 1:

Take your phone out of its case. If materials are safe-to-wash like TPU or silicone and hard plastic, you have to give the case a good rinse in warm water and let it air dry. If your lovely case material is leather or any luxury materials, try looking for cleaners specific to your equipment. The maker of your case will have cleaning guidelines on their website or in the box the case came in.

Step 2:

You were using the felt-tipped swabs in thePhone Cleaning Kit (or Q-Tips, if you have got the time to carve the tips to points) to gently swabaround the earpiece, speaker grills, and some various ports on your phone.

Step 3:

Be more careful when swabbing theUSB-C/Lightning portnot to leave any fibers behind and dislodge any pieces inside the port. If a swab does not fit in your USB-C or Lightning port, you try using any small brush included in your Phone Cleaning Kit.

Step 4:

Take aZeiss Mobile Screen Wipe, thenwipe downthe screen and body of the phone. When the Zeiss Wipe doesn’t have the harsh chemicals, Lysol or Clorox wipes can, its evaporative pre-moistened solution need to be still enough to remove the top layer of grime and germs from your phone.

Step 5:

If any streaks remain after using the Zeiss wipe, try using a microfiber cloth (non-embroidered kitchen towel) towipe the screenclear of stripes.

Step 6:

When the phone and case are both completely dry, re-apply your claim to your phone.

If you don’t regularly use your headphone port or tend to get more dirt and lint in your ports than usual — consider investing in a set ofdust plugs to help keep your port bright and disinfect when not charging. If you would like to cut down on grime accumulated on your screen/case when you use your phone, please put your phone down for a few minutes and wash your grimy hands before you get back to browsing Reddit. Even a quick wipe of your hands with hand sanitizer may majorly cut down the oily, hot, germ-filled streaks on your screen.

How to disinfect your smartphone

About phone cases:

Your phone cases also collect dust germs. If you own a silicone or rubber phone case, soak it in a mixture of warm water and soap. You should remove the case after a few minutes and dry it with a microfibre cloth. For stubborn stains, dampen the corner of the material with rubbing alcohol and go over the stains again.

I am wondering how to disinfect leather phone cases? Pour a tiny bit of hand soap onto a damp microfibre cloth and run it in a circular motion on your case. You can take it a step further and use saddle soap instead of hand soap. It will go a long way in maintaining the original shine and condition of the leather phone case.

Why should you wipe your phone with glass cloth?

Glass towels are made from microfiber cloth commonly, often used in hospitals. This fabric is easy to clean and has excellent moisture resistance, especially since this fabric has excellent antibacterial.

They are capable of removing 99% of bacteria, compared to other standard fabrics that can remove up to 30% of bacteria. Using a Microfiber cloth to disinfect your smartphone will help you get rid of bacteria on your phone.

We have said it time and time again, but washing your hands is one of the best ways to stay germ-free during cold and flu season. Make sure that you are using plenty of warm, soapy water and rinsing for at least about 20 seconds. You can sing “Happy Birthday” twice at that time.

Using hand sanitizer is also a good idea. Doing so, you can keep your phone cleaner.

Clorox wipes will safely disinfect your phone, but there are lots of common cleaners that you should never, ever use.

How to disinfect your smartphone

Make sure you’re cleaning your phone the right way.

If the possibility of coronavirus living on your most frequently touched surfaces (like Amazon packages , clothes or shoes ) for more than a few days gives you any degree of anxiety, you’re not alone in your thinking. Though surfaces aren’t considered the primary way that the coronavirus transmits , in general, any germ that’s on your phone or case can potentially transfer to your fingers and face.

Early studies showed that RNA of the novel coronavirus may be able to survive on some surfaces — including your beloved phone — for nine days or even longer , but so far there’s insufficient evidence to determine if the virus can infect you after that amount of time.

As coronavirus cases surge across the country and the planet, knowing how to correctly wash your hands as well as wearing a face covering will help lower your risk. Cleaning your phone more often is a good idea regardless, but what’s the correct way to remove the gunk without damaging your device?

Read on for our tips on the best ways to disinfect your phone and to remove fingerprint smudges, sand and lint from the ports and tenacious makeup from the screen (hint: never with makeup remover). We’ll also tell you which cleaning products to avoid and how to care for phones rated for water resistance.

CNET Coronavirus Update

Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.

Disinfect your phone: Wipes, not pure alcohol

If you touch your phone after touching a public door handle or grocery cart, you may immediately think to clean it with rubbing alcohol. Don’t. Straight alcohol can strip the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings that keep oil and water from damaging your display and other ports.

Some websites suggest creating a mix of alcohol and water yourself, but it’s crucial to get the concentration right. Get it wrong and you could damage your phone. The safest bet is to use disinfectant wipes that contain 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean your phone screen.

Drop the window cleaner and counter spray, now.

In the past, we were instructed to not use disinfectant wipes on our phone screens, but now Apple says it’s OK to use Clorox Wipes and others with similar concentrations.

AT&T’s revised cleaning guidelines suggest that you “spray a nonabrasive or alcohol-based (70% isopropyl) disinfectant directly on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down your device while it is powered down and unplugged.” An earlier version of the company’s post suggested using paper towels, which are far too abrasive (see below). After we reached out, AT&T changed its post to reflect the soft cloth. Samsung has also said you can create an alcohol-based solution of 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, applied with a microfiber cloth.

Another option for day-to-day cleaning is investing in a UV light, such as PhoneSoap. This UV light company claims to kill 99.99% of germs and banishes bacteria. As far as we know, it hasn’t been tested in relation to this strain of coronavirus.

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How to clean fingerprint smudges from your screen

Fingerprint smudges are hard to prevent because your skin constantly produces oils. That means that every time you pick up your phone, it’s bound to get fingerprints all over it.

The safest and most effective way to clean your screen is with a microfiber cloth. If the screen is in desperate need of cleaning, use distilled water to dampen the microfiber cloth and then wipe down your screen — avoid squirting the water directly on the screen. This method can be used on the back and sides of your phone, too.

You can also try a microfiber screen cleaner sticker, which you stick to the back of your phone and can pop off when you need to give it a wipe-down.

Check out Samsung’s tips on cleaning your phone, too.