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Guide: How to clean your phone

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Updated March 17, 2020

Good hand hygiene is super important, of course. What about the devices you use the most? Keeping your phone clean can be just as important and we'll give you tips on how to do it well.

Before you get started

  • Turn off your phone

  • Disconnect it from any handsfree or charger cables

  • Take your phone case off

Clean your phone screen

Today's mobiles all look fairly similar and are comprised of a large screen. The screen is the primary means of integrating all the elements of the phone and with you tapping it all the time, it can contain loads of bacteria, which is why you should focus intently on cleaning it.

  • Start with what the manufacturer recommends. Wipe it down with a damp wipe to remove any visible bits of dirt or dust.

  • Use a microfibre cloth and cleaning spray for electronics. Be sure to not spray the phone directly, but spray the cloth and wipe the phone screen with it. You can also do this for your phone's camera lens, even if there are special cleaning sprays out there made for that specifically. Do it as many time as needed!

  • If you have a screen-protector on your phone and it has been there for some time, it might be a good idea to swap it with a new one. This is partly because it can contain bacteria itself, but it can also trap dirt around the edges of the screen.

When it comes to screen-protectors it could be more worthwhile to use one made of glass, since they are not as prone to trapping dirt and bacteria when compared with their plastic counterparts. If you get small cracks in your glass screen-protector, you can always take it off when cleaning to avoid making those cracks even bigger.

Clean the phone speakers, microphone and charging port

  • When it comes to openings like the speakers, charging port and microphone, it's usually recommended that you take the phone out to a phone repair shop so that it can be done safely and swiftly. Don't use things like toothpicks or anything else that might damage the sensitive contact points.

  • If you want to try to clean the charging port or other small openings yourself, you can do so with a can of pressurised air. This isn't something that manufacturers recommend so you'd be doing this at your own risk (and for that reason it's recommended to turn your phone off). Follow the instructions on the can and only spray small, short bursts over the area you wish to clean.

Cleaning your phone on your own

  • If you have a case on your phone, clean it as thoroughly as the rest of your phone. Be careful when applying cleaning solutions to things like leather or soft plastic, as these can be damaged more easily by chemicals than the phone screen itself.

  • Wipe all sides of the phone with a damp wipe and be careful when doing so around the small open areas of the phone.

  • Use a disinfectant on a piece of microfibre fabric to dry off the whole phone. Of course you should be as careful doing this as you would be with a damp cloth.

How to clean the camera lens

Unfortunately, lens protection isn't something most phones come with. It's therefore wise to keep the camera lens of your phone clean, both for removing bacteria and to take sharper pictures.

  • Use a microfibre cloth and wipe the lens carefully.

  • Spray the cloth with some cleaning solution and wipe again very carefully.

  • Dry off the lens with the dry part of the microfibre cloth.

What NOT to do

This may seem obvious to some, but there are of course several things one should not do when cleaning their phone.

  • Use industrial or strong chemicals.

  • Spray cleaning solutions directly on the phone.

  • Leave the case on when cleaning your phone.

  • Use boiling water to kill the bacteria.

Things to think about to keep your phone clean

  • Think about where you place your phone. The tap in the bathroom by the toilet might be a smooth choice, but definitely not the most hygienic.

  • Use handsfree controls as much as you can so you avoid placing the phone on or near your face

  • Don't lend your phone to others. If someone in the vicinity needs to use the phone for a call, use the speakerphone option instead.

Last but not least, it's a given that you should always practice good hand hygiene, regardless of how clean your phone is.

More tips and advice on how to protect yourself from illness

In order to make it easier for you to find great content on the theme of protection from illnesses, we've created a collection page for all of the related stories and content we've made on this topic. The page is updated on an on-going basis and here we'll gather guides and tips we hope will be of use and helpful to you in these flu-ridden times.

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