How to Clean Your Bacteria-Covered Phone
Your smartphone is a hotbed of bacteria. Here's how to clean it.
Your phone comes into contact with loads of nasties: dirty fingertips as you type, text, and snap; money that floats around the bottom of your bag; and sweat (possibly not even your own) when you place it on the treadmill at the gym. And that could be all in the course of a couple of hours. To gross you out even more, experts say the bacteria found on smartphones can lead to things like pinkeye and diarrhea. Ready for a primer on how to clean your phone? We turned to Anna Moseley, a cleaning and organization expert behind AskAnnaMoseley.com for tips.
How to Clean Your Phone
1. Power down.
Unplug your phone and turn it off.
2. Run the case through the dishwasher.
If you have a case on your phone, pop it off and run it through the dishwasher about every month or so, Moseley says. Really blingy cases-like those covered in rhinestones and glitter-might end up damaged, so skip this step if you have one like that. But plastic cases should make it through no problem. "Just make sure you set it on the top rack-you don't want to melt it," Moseley says.
3. Wipe it down.
Grab a cleaning wipe that lists hydrogen peroxide on the package (it's key when you're really looking to kill bacteria, Moseley says). Then, go to town on your phone, wiping down the buttons, the front, the back, and every visible surface. "Hydrogen peroxide bubbles when it's killing stuff, and a lot of times when I clean off my phone, it gets so foamy and bubbly," Moseley says. "It means my phone's really gross."
4. Get into the cracks.
Dropped your phone and have yet to replace the screen? We've all been there. Pay extra-close attention to cleaning in and around the cracks since bacteria tend to squeeze into those spots. "If it's cracked, focus on cleaning the cracks really well with the hydrogen peroxide wipes," Moseley says. Or really get in there by dipping a cotton ball or a Q-tip straight into hydrogen peroxide. But be conservative. Since you're dealing with electronics, you don't want to introduce too much moisture. Go for damp rather than soaking wet.
5. Repeat once a week.
This wipe-down process should be part of your weekly routine. Speed that timeline up if something particularly gross happens, like if your phone drops on the ground or you set it on a table at a grimy dive bar.
6. Rub with a cloth as needed.
If you spot specks of dirt and oil or annoying fingerprints on your screen, wipe the phone down with a slightly damp lint-free cloth.