Your phone is dirty. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. According to a Seattle Times article, the average toilet seat has 1,201 bacteria per square inch. The average doorknob has 8,643 bacteria per square inch. Your phone has 25,127 bacteria per square inch. That’s right—your phone is roughly 20x dirtier than a toilet seat.

The worst part is that it’s an often-overlooked part of your hygiene. You wash your hands, but immediately reach for your phone to answer a text. When was the last time you disinfected your phone? Of course, it’s easier said than done. You can’t exactly dunk it in bleach, but you should also avoid Clorox and Lysol wipes, as these can damage the sensitive internal components.

Table of Contents
    How To Clean Your Phone To Prevent The Spread Of Bacteria image

    This article will show you how to clean your phone and help keep it as clean as the rest of your home. 

    Soap & Warm Water

    The majority of modern phones have water resistant qualities. While this doesn’t mean you should soak your phone, you can carefully rinse it in soap and warm water. Dampen it, soap its surfaces and wipe it down, then rise in warm water. Be wary of the headphone jack and any other breaks in the phone. Once you’ve finished, wipe it down and allow it to air dry.

    Soap & Warm Water image

    You should also keep your phone’s cover in mind. Most phone covers are removable and can easily be washed. Again, let the cover air dry and only place it back on your phone when all the moisture is gone.

    Phone Wipes

    There are various types of phone and electronic wipes is one good way to clean your phone of dirt, grime, fingerprints, and bacteria from your phone without the need for harsh chemicals or water.

    Phone Wipes image

    These can be purchased from most major stores (just look in the electronics section) or from Amazon. Take a look through what is available and choose the option that’s best for you. For the majority of people, these disposable wipes are the best choice.

    Rubbing Alcohol

    Rubbing alcohol may be harsh, but can still be used to clean your phones—just don’t put it directly on the phone. In fact, it’s better to make a water/rubbing alcohol solution of 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution and use that to wipe down the surface of the device. 

    Rubbing Alcohol image

    First wipe down one side, and then use a dry corner of the microfiber cloth to clean off any excess moisture before repeating the process on the other side of the phone.  

    UV Light

    The single best way for cleaning your phone (and other electronic devices) is to utilize UV light. This light kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses without the need for harsh chemicals. Best of all, it’s completely safe to use—the machines that disperse the light do not activate if a door is open, which means you will be completely protected while cleaning your phone.

    UV Light image

    The best option for using UV light to clean a phone is the HoMedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer. This machine will run you $80 on Amazon, but is small enough that you can pack it into a purse or backpack from on-the-go cleaning. It only takes 30 seconds per side to clean your phone of harmful bacteria and viruses, and you can expect up to 70 cycles per charge.

    Note: make sure to remove your case when using UV light to clean your phone. It’s a good idea to run both pieces through the cleaner separately.

    How Often Should You Clean Your Phone?

    Your phone is probably your most-used device. As a result, it should be cleaned often—at least once every other day, if not once per day. This is particularly true during the current coronavirus outbreak. You can get away with cleaning your phone less often if you do not go outside much, but if you make a trip to the grocery store or to a public area, it’s a good idea to give your phone a good cleaning when you get home.

    If you want to go the extra mile when cleaning your phone, it pays to pick up a phone cleaning kit for getting into those hard-to-reach places, like your headphone jack and crevices within the phone. These kits include brushes and cleaning heads for ensuring your phone is as clean as the day you removed it from the box. 

    Combine a cleaning kit like this with the cleaning practices laid out earlier in this guide and your phone will be germ-free.