How to disinfect your phone safely

phone in hands disinfect

The coronavirus pandemic has heightened public awareness around hygiene and the spread of germs. Naturally, this has led to questions on how to disinfect your phone — a device that sees a significant amount of exposure to germs.

After all, we frequently touch our phones while shopping and out in the world.

So can you clean your smartphone safely? What chemicals should you use?

Here is some advice from a variety of sources.

What should I use to disinfect my phone?

When it comes to safe chemicals to disinfect your phone, Apple recommends using 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes. You should avoid bleach, since this can damage your device.

Meanwhile, Samsung suggests using a hypochlorous acid-based (50-80ppm) or alcohol-based (over 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) product to disinfect your phone.

Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher for the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky also weighed in on the best ways to sanitise your phone earlier this year.

Yamout recommends 70%-80% isopropyl alcohol, since it’s considered the least harmful disinfectant for the oleophobic coating on phones.

The CDC also recommends using at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens.

How to clean your smartphone safely

The safest way to clean your smartphone with disinfectant is to use a microfibre cloth. You can apply the disinfectant solution to the cloth and wipe down the surface of your device.

You should also make sure to remove your cover and clean both the device itself and the cover.

Avoid getting liquid inside any ports on your smartphone, especially if it’s not waterproof.

Yamout also suggests letting disinfectant sit on the surface of your phone for one minute before wiping it away. This gives it a chance to properly kill germs since the sanitising effect is not instant.

When should I disinfect my phone?

You should disinfect your phone whenever you return home from errands or work.

You should also disinfect it during the day, such as if you are at work, when someone else handles your device.

This applies mostly to the coronavirus pandemic, when people are encouraged to be extra vigilant about hygiene.

However, you can also apply this routine during times like flu season if you are immuno-compromised or need to avoid getting sick.

Feature image: freestocks on Unsplash

Megan Ellis, Editor
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