How to Clean Your Smartphone & Keep Your Device Germ-Free

Whether for work, socializing, or recreation, it’s unthinkable to imagine life today without a smartphone. The average American spends 5.4 hours on the phone every day. For those of us who use our phones as alarms, we rely on them literally as soon as we wake up. With so much daily smartphone use, it’s important to clean your smartphone regularly. And we’re not just talking about the screen. Don’t forget to clean all parts of your smartphone including the speaker and charging port.

Bacteria and viruses on phone surfaces can be potential threats to our health. So, here are a few tips on how to clean your smartphone and keep it germ-free. 

How to Clean & Disinfect Your Smartphone’s Main Surfaces

The goal when you clean your smartphone’s main surfaces—like the screen and the back—is to keep your device moisture-free and germ-free. This way, it won’t harbor molds and other microbial growth due to moisture. What’s more, these steps will protect your phone’s circuit board from any damage. 

 To properly clean your device:

  1. Unplug and turn off your phone. 
  2.  Wash your hands properly so you don’t transfer more germs from your hands to your phone.
  3. Use an antibacterial wipe or an alcohol-dampened microfiber cloth to clean your phone’s screen and back.
  4. Leave the alcohol on your phone’s surfaces for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean, soft microfiber cloth. 

If you’re going to use an alcohol-dampened microfiber cloth for step three, it’s very important that you use a 70% alcohol-based disinfectant. Any concentration lower will not be enough to kill the microbes.

On the other hand, alcohol with higher concentrations will evaporate easily and will not have enough contact time with the microbes to effectively kill them. Additionally, you should be aware that a high-percentage alcohol can also damage your phone’s protective coating.

If the thought of germs on your phone screen has you concerned, consider purchasing a glass screen protector with built-in antimicrobial properties.

How to Clean Your Smartphone Speaker

Did you know you can use handy items like a toothbrush or tape to clean your smartphone speaker? These cleaning methods are very simple and you may not even have to go to the store for supplies.

If you’re using a toothbrush:

  1. Switch off your phone. 
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush away the grime and dirt on the speaker port. Do this lightly so as not to damage your phone and speaker. 
  3. Wipe your phone with a disinfectant wipe or a microfiber cloth with 70% alcohol to make sure there are no loose dust particles. 
  4. Wipe clean with a dry microfiber cloth. 

If you’re using tape:

  1. Switch off your phone.
  2. Take a small piece of tape and roll it into a cylinder with the sticky side facing out. 
  3. Press the tape repeatedly onto the phone speaker to collect the accumulated dirt.
  4. Repeat steps two and three as needed. 

How to Clean Your Smartphone Charging Port

The best method to clean your phone’s charging port is with compressed air. Use the straw-like attachment to blast the air into your port and do it properly with these helpful tips:

  • Make sure you hold the can straight so you don’t blow any liquid into your charging port.
  • Hold your phone at an angle as compressed air that’s too direct can damage some delicate parts of your phone.
  • Use use short, controlled bursts of air and repeat as needed.

How to Clean Your Smartphone Microphone

There are several ways to dislodge debris and other dirt particles in your phone’s microphone. Take your pick between these tools:

  • A soft-bristled brush
  • Compressed air
  • Cleaning putty
  • A paintbrush

Just like in cleaning speakers or the charging port, dislodge the grime carefully and give your phone a shake afterward. For extra cleaning, wipe the area with a disinfectant wipe and dry with a microfiber cloth. 

How to Clean Your Smartphone Case

Finally, how can we forget the phone accessory that accompanies (or should) nearly every phone out there—the case. For everyday case cleaning, you can follow the same steps you did for cleaning your phone surfaces. But just be aware that dirt can also accumulate in the corners of your phone case.  

Here’s how to make sure your case is as clean as your phone:

  1. Remove your phone case.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly. 
  3. Wash the case with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Keep Your Smartphone Germ-free

Aside from a regular cleaning routine, being mindful when handling your phone will keep it clean and germ-free. 

Avoid having your phone out on the dining room table and wait to scroll until after you eat. This is so you don’t transfer germs from your phone to your food or drinks. Also, you don’t want to get food on your phone. Food could cause damage and may encourage the growth of some bacteria. 

Then, if you want to take your phone hygiene up a notch, you can invest in a phone sanitizer that will keep harmful bacteria at bay. 

We all use our phones constantly, and it’s impossible to keep them completely sterile. However, a regular cleaning routine is enough to keep your phone in tip-top shape and safe to use daily.