Coronavirus: How to clean and disinfect your phone
Disinfectant wipes are now declared safe to use on phone screens, but there are still hazardous chemicals you need to avoid when cleaning your phone.
The novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19 may be able to survive on some surfaces for up to nine days, studies have found, and that may include your beloved phone.
This is the device you handle constantly and often press to the side of your face, which means that any bacteria, virus or other germs that makes its way onto your phone or case could easily transfer to your skin.
Washing your hands the right way can help keep you and your loved ones from passing the virus, but what about cleaning your phone? The good news is that disinfecting your electronic device has officially become easier. Earlier this week, Apple said on its website that you can safely clean your iPhone with disinfectant wipes, like Clorox sheets.
There are still cleaning agents and techniques to avoid, however. While you might initially see good results, these harsher methods can eventually damage the screen (or possibly the internal components) that you’re working so hard to protect.
This article will tell you which products to avoid, and the best ways to disinfect your phone and clean off fingerprint smudges, sand and lint from the ports and tenacious makeup off the screen (hint: never with makeup remover). Also, you will be informed on how to care for phones rated for water-resistance.
And here are nine more practical tips you can use to help limit your exposure to coronavirus.
Disinfect your phone: Wipes, not pure alcohol
If you touch your phone after touching a public door handle or grocery cart, you may immediately think to clean it with rubbing alcohol. Don’t. Straight alcohol can strip the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings that keep oil and water from damaging your display and other ports.
Some websites suggest creating a mix of alcohol and water yourself, but it’s crucial to get the concentration right. Get it wrong and you could damage your phone. The safest bet is to use disinfectant wipes that contain 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean your phone screen.
In the past, we were instructed to not use disinfectant wipes on our phone screens, but now Apple says it’s OK to use Clorox Wipes and others with similar concentrations. Samsung hasn’t commented on whether it’s safe to use disinfectant wipes on its phones.
AT&T’s recently revised cleaning guidelines suggest that you “spray a nonabrasive or alcohol-based (70% isopropyl) disinfectant directly on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down your device while it is powered down and unplugged.” An earlier version of the company’s post suggested using paper towels, which are far too abrasive. After we reached out, AT&T has since changed its post to reflect the soft cloth.
Another option for day-to-day cleaning is investing in a UV light, such as PhoneSoap. This UV light company claims to kill 99.99% of germs and banishes bacteria. As far as we know, it hasn’t been tested in relation to this strain of coronavirus.
How to clean fingerprint smudges from your screen
Fingerprint smudges are hard to prevent because your skin constantly produces oils. That means that every time you pick up your phone, it’s bound to get fingerprints all over it.
The safest and most effective way to clean your screen is with a microfiber cloth. If the screen is in desperate need of cleaning, use distilled water to dampen the microfiber cloth and then wipe down your screen — avoid squirting the water directly on the screen. This method can be used on the back and sides of your phone, too.
You can also try a microfiber screen cleaner sticker, which you stick to the back of your phone and can pop off when you need to give it a wipe-down.
The story was compiled by Sid Chudasama from CIO East Africa
Remove makeup safely
When you have a full face of makeup and need to make a call, guess what that foundation is about to stick to? That’s right, your phone screen. And while you may use makeup remover to take off your makeup every night, you shouldn’t use it as a screen cleaner due to some chemicals that could be lurking in the ingredients. Organics.org explains the chemicals that could be in your makeup remover.