How to Safely Sanitize Phones and Tablets
In this day and age, it’s more of a concern than ever to keep your phone or tablet clean and sanitized. Our phones travel everywhere with us and end up touching—directly or indirectly—most of the things our hands touch, yet get washed far less frequently.
If you’ve ever browsed Instagram for a few minutes while on the toilet (and let’s face it, who hasn’t), take a minute to think about the germs on that phone. That’s not to mention other certain bugs going around at the moment.
Not to worry—we’ve gathered a few of the best tips on how to sanitize phones, tablets, and other devices.
Dangers of Having a Dirty Touch Screen
Your phone is “a portable petri dish,” according to one professor.
Germs like to hop from one surface to another, and the oft-touched hard glass and metal of our devices are prime targets. Some sources say that coronavirus can survive on a surface for as long as nine days, giving the virus ample time to spread.
Most everyone carries a smartphone with them, from grocery clerks to delivery drivers to healthcare workers, so the spread of germs can be drastically increased by those pesky devices, which makes keeping them clean all the more vital.
What is the Best Way to Sanitize Your Cell Phone or Tablet?
1. First things first: If it has to be germy, make it your germs
Keep your behavior in mind to keep your phone cleaner. Germs spread most effectively when multiple people handle the same item. That’s why checkout keypads, ATMs, and door handles are such germ hotbeds.
One of the easiest ways to keep your phone clean is not to let other people handle it. If you have to show Edward or Becky those new baby photos or a funny meme, don’t let them hold the phone, and keep your distance!
Likewise, keeping your phone off public surfaces will help avoid the spread of germs, either to or from your phone.
2. Wipe it down with a sanitizing wipe
Most phones can handle any standard household cleaner, although you do want to be careful not to damage the phone with harsh chemicals like alcohol.
Apple has stated that everyday Clorox wipes are just fine to use on iPhones (and we’d extend that to other makers, from anecdotal evidence).
If deteriorating the oleophobic screen coating on your phone is a concern for you, consider an easily-replaceable screen protector and case (SaharaCase’s ZeroDamage Glass is a great choice).
3. Soap it up
If you don’t have an alcohol pad, cleaning wipe, or other disinfectants around, it’s perfectly safe to use normal soap and water to clean your device.
There’s a misconception floating around out there that soap is not as effective at removing germs as a stronger chemical, but it’s simply not true in many cases.
As with other methods, make sure not to get the phone excessively wet (although more and more devices nowadays sport some degree of waterproofing).
4. Use the UV, Luke
Most of us know UV light kills germs. But did you know that there are gadgets out there that use UV light to kill germs on your phone? Some of the science is still out on these devices, but they certainly can’t do any harm (except to your wallet). For the cleanest of clean-freaks out there, this is an option.
5. What not to do
Along with our recommendations on how to sanitize your phone, there are some things you should not do.
- Don’t spray liquid cleaner directly on your device, as the liquid can seep into ports and seams and do serious damage. Instead, spray the cleaner on a lint-free cloth and gently rub onto the device.
- Don’t use paper towels to clean your device, as these are too abrasive and may end up scratching the screen.
- Try not to use hand sanitizer. While it might be okay now and then to rub a little hand sanitizer on a cloth to clean your phone, this substance may pose a more serious risk to your phone, as the gel-like qualities make it more likely to seep into open ports.
Part of the Clean Crew
We hope you’ve taken a few tips from this article on how to sanitize your phone and are now prepared to head out into the world a little cleaner. You, the people around you, and your phone deserve it.
If you’re concerned about damaging your phone with cleaning agents (a concern we wouldn’t discount), check out our store for a full range of easily-replaceable, highly affordable, premium screen protectors and cases will give you that inimitable combo of peace-of-mind and total cleanliness.