From cleaning wipes to UV light, here’s our advice when it comes to cleaning your smartphone
It comes as no surprise to learn that smartphones aren’t exactly the cleanest things in the world. Some studies have even suggested that our mobiles carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
Considering just how attached we are to our phones (touching them 2617 times a day on average) it’s probably a good idea to clean them from time to time. But what’s the best way to do this? Fret not: we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.
Before we begin, a word of warning: following anything besides the manufacturers’ advice for cleaning your phone – which we include below – may void the warranty and potentially damage your phone. As such, we remind you that you try any other methods at your own risk.
Here are our best tips when it comes to cleaning your smartphone.
How to clean your smartphone: What the manufacturers say
According to Apple, the best way to clean your iPhone is to use a soft, slightly damp lint-free microfibre cloth. If this doesn’t do the trick, dampen the cloth with warm soapy water (without applying water directly to the phone).
Be warned, however, that these guidelines differ between generations of iPhone, so avoid using soap on anything older than an iPhone 11. Also avoid applying cleansing products such as antibacterial wipes to your iPhone screen as this will degrade the oleophobic coating, and always be careful around openings in the phone such the charging port.
Similarly, Samsung suggests using a damp cloth on phones such as the Galaxy Note 8 and warns against any cleaning solutions. For Google’s Pixel phones, however, using cleaning wipes or household soap when needed is fine, although a dry or damp cloth should suffice in most circumstances.
Simple, but is it enough? A 2013 study in the American Journal of Infection Control showed that using a damp microfibre cloth proved just as effective as bleach wipes or alcohol swabs in removing MRSA from a contaminated hospital iPad. Although reassuring, this is no reason to become complacent. Just because a damp cloth can remove MRSA from a medical staff iPad, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will reliably and consistently rid your phone of flu or everyday germs.