I have always wondered about the importance of cleaning your cell phone, yet still found countless excuses not to clean my own. It takes too much time, the cover is hard to get off, and my personal favorite, it really can’t be THAT dirty.

After countless instances of pulling my phone away from my face to find a thin layer of my makeup on my phone, or a sweaty cheek print after leaving the gym, I decided that maybe my phone isn’t as clean as I thought it might be and decided to look into it.

The Dirty Truth

I’m horrified to tell you that I was correct. Phones are disgusting. I came across a study on The Ministry of Health conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine that tested phones for germs and stated:

“Lab tests of phones have found staphylococci, e-coli and MRSA bacteria, flu viruses, pink-eye and 27- to 42- thousand times the amount of fecal-related bacteria that is allowed in one ½ cup of drinking water.”

What is even scarier is the ease of which these germs transfer to your hands, and inevitably your mouth, eyes, and everywhere else. GROSS. The good news is there are plenty of ways to prevent this bacteria playground from forming and growing.

How-To- DIY Style

What you’ll need: A lint-free microfiber cloth, Q-tips, isopropyl alcohol, and water.

  1. Take off your phone cover and screen protector if you have them. There is no cheating in this cleaning game, and these phone accessories should be cleaned too.
  2. Dilute the alcohol to roughly 60% water and 40% alcohol.
  3. Dampen your cloth with the solution and wipe down your entire phone. For smaller areas dampen a Q-tip and wipe those areas. Do use caution to not overly soak your Q-tip and cloth, or use too much force reaching areas. It could mush water inside the phone and cause irreversible damage to components inside the phone.

Things to keep in mind: Don’t put any liquid directly on your phone. Water damage can and will happen and can be even more of a headache. Window and other glass cleaner contains harsh chemicals that can damage your touch screen, and using a paper towel instead of a lint-free microfiber cloth can scratch the surface.

How-To- Lazy (and poorer) Man’s Way

There are some products out there to make this process a little less painful. Wireless Wipes are pre-packaged, scented, cleaning wipes designed for your phone. At around $3 per pouch it’s not bad.

How-To- The Cream of the Cleaning Crop

For those germaphobes that I have officially terrified to no end, I introduce you to the Phone Soap Charger. This $60 device uses UV-C light to destroy bacteria on your device, while also charging it! It even gets those nasty germs that have become resilient to chemicals and other cleaning methods.

Preventing the Problem

While cleaning your phone is absolutely something you should be doing, there are things you can do to keep germs off your phone from the get-go. Keep your hands clean, wash them frequently. DO NOT bring your phone into a bathroom, or a gym. Try to refrain from sharing your phone with other people. Susie may want to talk on your phone, but she doesn’t want your face germs, I PROMISE.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


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