The smartphone is one of the dirtiest objects we use every day: here's how to clean and sanitize it from viruses and bacteria without damaging it
Often, hygiene does not rhyme with cleaning the phone, in fact, priority is given to clothing, the home and the objects we are used to using, forgetting the accessory that more than any other in the world we use in terms of frequency and consistency. The mobile phone is one of those few who do not give the right attention in terms of cleaning, who do not know a before and after in which to use it, thanks to a spasmodic and all-encompassing use that has been accompanying the routine even of the less young for years.
An American study dating back to 2017 showed, through the analysis of germs present on the cell phones of a sample of high school students, that ten times more bacteria were present than in the toilet seats. For this reason, we have drawn up a mini vademecum to be able to safely disinfect your mobile phone and, why not, use these tips also applied to other electronic devices such as PCs and tablets, even more so that, after the enlargement of the audience that works in smart working, it is customary to use them 24 hours a day within your own home.
- How to clean your phone screen: what not to do
- How to clean your cellphone
- Tips for defending and cleaning your mobile
How to clean your phone screen: what not to do
So how do you clean a phone? Given the importance of hygiene, especially in this period, before reviewing the advice on how and which product to use, it is good to explain what not to do in order not to create damage, even permanent, to the mobile phone display. It goes without saying that, in case you need to clean the back or a plastic part, the measures will be less than the glass part. Once the film has been removed from the device, avoid using window cleaning products. Maybe it can be good for a particularly dirty corner of the phone, but you shouldn't use it as a general habit. Degreasing the glass of the device too much can make it easier for scratches to come out, as many devices (such as the iPhone XR) have a protective coating that resists oil and water, and can wear out over time.
- Household products: also no to other types of products used for the kitchen or for the house in general. It is no coincidence that each product is recommended for one surface rather than another. The product may not be strong enough to eliminate the protective components, but better not to use a generic and perhaps aggressive one, as Apple suggests.
- Paper napkins: the cloth supplied at the time of purchase or the one inside the glasses holder must replace the habit of proceeding with the paper towel to disinfect the mobile phone. The reason? You risk scratching the screen.
- Compressed air: the power of the air shot should be well balanced with respect to the delicacy of the part to be cleaned. It could be done, but with due precautions to avoid damaging any more delicate parts. In any case, do it only with the approval of a technician or a person who knows the relationship between the applied force and the resistance of the part in question.
- Make-up removers: A cosmetic product designed to be applied to the dermis may not be suitable for a mobile phone screen. In addition, halos or stains could be created, better to avoid.
- Disinfectant wipes: unless they are specific wipes created to meet this need, it is better not to use them. The reason is similar to many other products not recommended: alcohol – or other substances – could eliminate the oleophobic (repellent for fats and oils) and hydrophobic (water repellent) coating.
Finally, a general rule is not to pour products directly on the display but, in the case of a substance that does not cause damage, pour a small amount on a microfiber cloth to be applied on the part to be cleaned.
How to clean your cellphone
First of all, it is good to specify that cleaning is not synonymous with disinfecting. A device, even if clean and shiny, could be infected with a virus that can remain there ready to transfer to a living being (human or not) to continue its life. In both cases, both for cleaning and disinfection, first you need to turn off the mobile phone and remove any attached accessories, covers or other. You can use a microfiber cloth of those already supplied at the time of purchase or another available at home. All you have to do is place it on the mobile phone display and, being careful not to place your nails, gently clean with circular movements to remove halos, lint and more. In this way, as mentioned, we proceed with a simple cleaning, and do not disinfect the mobile phone. Finally, another tip for cleaning: if you notice on the display some grains of sand, fluff or hair, (but especially sand), before wiping the cloth remove them by applying a piece of scotch tape (or paper tape, the one used by the workers of white color), gently pulling it off.
How to disinfect your iPhone or Samsung mobile phone
So how to sanitize a mobile phone in a profound way? The most important advice is to consult the manual of the device in question or visit the website of the parent company: a product that could be suitable for a mobile phone, may not be suitable for another. Furthermore, it is always good not to rely 100% on the testimonies of any acquaintances who are used to clean it against the trend and who have never found damage. It is necessary to inquire about the respective official channels that know at least the components used so as not to have to wait for time or in the worst cases reinvest in the purchase of the damaged product. If you have an iPhone, Apple recommends using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfectant wipes (recommending a specific brand, Clorox) to gently wipe the exterior surfaces. In addition, it recommends preventing moisture from penetrating into the openings.
In the event that liquid enters the Apple product, an Apple Authorized Service Center or Apple Store should be asked for help as soon as possible. You should also know that the Apple warranty or the AppleCare Protection Plan does not cover liquid damage, however additional rights may be included under consumer protection laws. You can go directly to an Apple Store or book an appointment at the Genius Bar (only available in certain areas of some countries).
Samsung, on the other hand, recommends moistening the corner of a soft and well-cleaned cloth with a small amount of disinfectant or distilled water, for example using disinfectants such as hypochlorous acid or alcohol-based products and then proceed with a gentle cleaning avoiding rubbing or applying too much pressure. The advice provided by the company is intended exclusively for glass, metal and ceramic surfaces, and is not suitable for soft parts or accessories, i.e. those made of leather, rubber or plastic.
How to clean the phone cover
The situation is different if you have to think about how to clean the phone cover. Since this is a less delicate part, you can also use products applied directly to the surface or by immersing it in a container, using brushes, sponges or other to remove traces of dirt. Better not to use excessively degreasing or too aggressive products (they can cause the cover to lose color); yes to alcohol, vinegar and hand soaps.
Tips for defending and cleaning your mobile
Not only the display, but also – and especially – the headphone and charger inputs can contain dust and dirt, as well as the internal housing. In this case, only regular cleaning can help. With cotton swabs and toothpicks, even the most difficult points can be reached. If you come into contact with sand or earth because you spend a lot of time outdoors, you could also think about protecting the headphone and charger inputs with special covers. In addition to purely a matter of hygiene, the golden rule for good maintenance is to defend the display – the weakest point – through tempered glass that can be purchased on Amazon, from your retailer or at the flea markets. If this is not enough, you can also opt for a case to be added to the tempered glass, in this way, in the event of a fall, not only the display is protected, but the entire body of the phone. There are commercially available sizes and models for cases and films adaptable to every type and taste.
Disinfect the mobile with UV
As mentioned, cleaning a surface is not the same as disinfecting it. If you want to disinfect your mobile phone, in addition to the methods described which may vary from one device to another, you can also use a special ultra violet ray tool created specifically for this need. Ultraviolet lights, in fact, can kill bacteria by sanitizing a phone quickly and easily, it's just a matter of waiting a few minutes and that's it. You can buy the product on Amazon, it looks similar to a mini tanning bed. Once placed on the instrument, after a few minutes you will be able to use the mobile phone completely free from any viruses.