The coronavirus pandemic has presumably made us all experts in proper hand-washing techniques (20 seconds; scrub your whole palm, wrists and thumb; soap up outside the faucet, sing “Happy Birthday” twice; never touch your face/anything). But all that scrubbing is for naught if you don’t also frequently disinfect your cell phone, which some studies show could carry as much as 25,127 bacteria per square inch — and that’s without a pandemic.
If you wash your hands without also cleaning your phone, which you touch all the time after opening doors, gripping shopping cart handles, etc., you’re still at risk for picking up contaminated droplets. Every time you bring your phone back into your home, you need to clean it. Here’s how to do it:
1. Wipe it (both sides!) with a Clorox wipe. This might wear down the oleophobic coating on your touchscreen, which helps fight fingerprints, but it’s still a good method if you don’t have other options. Plus the oleophobic coating wears down naturally anyway.
2. Make a cleaning solution using distilled water and isopropyl alcohol of at least 60%. Wipe with a microfiber cloth.
3. Purchase a smartphone UV sanitizer, like this one from PhoneSoap.
4. Buy iKlear spray or wipes — these protect the aforementioned oleophobic coating, and will help keep your phone virus-free.
Generally, try not to touch your phone when you’re outside. Invest in headphones so you can chat without putting your phone up close to your face. Let it stay in your pocket or bag when you’re at a grocery store or pharmacy so you’re not tempted to check it. Taking a break from the constant stream of notifications will not only keep your phone clean, it will also keep you healthy.