How to disinfect and clean your phone

iPhone disinfection alcohol pad

Smartphones are notoriously dirty. Studies show a typical cell phone can have more bacteria on its surface than a toilet. Preventing the spread of infection has taken on new importance with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 sweeping the globe. Disinfecting your iPhone is an important preventive measure to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria and viruses that linger on your mobile device. Proper hand washing may be the first line of defense, but a clean phone can be just as important.

After all, our smartphones are touched constantly during the day, and even held up to our faces when making a call. There are several ways to safely disinfect your iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device. The key to preventing scratches and removing dirt is to use a lint-free microfiber cloth. Products such as the 3M Microfiber Cleaning Cloth are themselves washable and will remove grime while protecting the screen and other surfaces of the iPhone.

When it comes to cleaning the iPhone with liquid, use caution. First of all, never use any harsh cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, solvents, window cleaners, or household cleaners. These can damage the surfaces of a smartphone permanently.

Don't submerge the device in liquid, and make sure to avoid getting liquid in any openings. It helps to dampen the microfiber cloth before wiping the iPhone, instead of spraying the iPhone directly with liquid. And don't forget to unplug your mobile devices from any power cords or headphones before cleaning.

Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)

Wiping with a microfiber cloth alone will not disinfect. To kill viruses and bacteria a solution of 70% Isopropyl Alcohol is recommended. For cleaning on the go, products such as pre-packaged Alcohol Pads can be used to wipe off germs. Wipe all of the exterior surfaces of the iPhone gently with alcohol to disinfect.

Disinfectant Wipes

Products such as Lysol Disinfecting Wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are safe to use directly on the iPhone. These pre-moistened towelettes are a convenient way to disinfect other hard surfaces as well, such as desks and keyboards.

UV Light Sanitizers

For those seeking the ultimate in iPhone disinfection, the PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer is one of many similar products on the market. These devices can charge your smartphone while the device is being sanitized by a bath of UV light from all directions. Some UV sanitizers are rechargeable for maximum portability.

For more information on specific iPhone models, see the official Apple Support Document Cleaning your iPhone.