The Proper Way to Clean Your Phone

The AP has some tips, including what not to do
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 13, 2020 12:57 PM CDT
How to Clean Your Germy Phone
Pedestrian uses her phone while wearing a face mask in Herald Square, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

You're washing your hands countless times a day to try to ward off the coronavirus. You should also wash that extension of your hand and breeding ground for germs—your phone, per the AP. Tests done by scientists show that the virus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The CDC recommends cleaning all "high-touch" surfaces daily, including phones, keyboards, and tablet computers. But cleaning your phone improperly can damage it. You want to avoid getting moisture inside it or scratching the surface. Don't spray cleaners directly on the phone, don't dunk it in cleaning solutions, don't spray it with compressed-air devices used to clean keyboards, and avoid rubbing it with abrasive materials. Here is AP's how-to:

  • Start by turning off the phone and unplugging all cables. Your phone shouldn't be charging as you clean.
  • You can use Clorox wipes or wipes with 70% alcohol to wipe down your phone. Apple, which has cautioned against using household cleaners on its phones, says to do that “gently.” AT&T has further recommended wringing out disinfectant wipes before using them on a phone.
  • You can also use soft cloths to clean the phone, like a microfiber cleaning cloth or the cloths used to clean your glasses. Google says you can dip the cloth in soap and water, as long as you're careful not to get moisture in the phone. AT&T says paper towels work, too. You can spray them with disinfectant. Again, don't spray the phone itself.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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