Here’s How to Clean Your Phone, Because It’s a Total Germ Magnet

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

You’ve been taking all the necessary precautions: washing your hands, applying hand sanitizer like it’s your job and even wiping down the house with Lysol. We hate to break it to you, but you’re missing one crucial cleaning step. Your phone is covered in germs. In fact, researchers at the University of Arizona found that phones carry ten times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Um, ew.

Feeling the urge to sanitize immediately? Same. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Everyone at Work Sick? Here are 6 Amazon Items to Keep in Your Desk to Avoid Getting the Office Illness

1. Follow Apple’s Cleaning Guidelines

Until the coronavirus outbreak, Apple recommended cleaning your phone with a damp microfiber cloth (after unplugging your phone and turning it off, of course). Now the tech company is saying it’s OK to use disinfectant wipes, or wipes that contain 70 percent isopropyl alcohol—as long as you avoid getting moisture in any openings and don’t scrub the screen too hard.

2. Wipe Down The Case And Buttons Too

You’re probably most concerned about cleaning your phone’s screen, which you touch the most as you scroll through Instagram and text your group chat. But the case and buttons could be harboring just as many germs. Make sure that each and every inch of your phone gets a good wipe (even the credit card holder or PopSocket on the back), to ensure it’s completely disinfected.

3. Don’t Use Bleach, Aerosol Sprays Or Household Cleaners

Apple names these products as major no-nos when it comes to cleaning your most prized possession (admit it, your phone is your number one). Bleach, aerosol sprays and household cleaners (think Windex, multi-surface cleaner, etc.) could permanently damage your phone and stop it from working. Oh, and this should go without saying, but don’t even think about submerging your cell in any type of liquid in an attempt to disinfect it—nothing good will come of that.

4. Make Cleaning Your Phone A Habit

If you disinfect your phone once a month, it’s not going to do much good. According to a study from mobile company Dscout, the average person touches their phone 2,617 times per day. So even though you’re washing your hands extra diligently these days, your device is bound to pick up some nasty stuff along the way. “Cleaning your phone shouldn’t be something that you lose sleep over, but a regular sanitizing routine could reduce your risk of coming into contact with germs, especially during flu season,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab.

5. Consider A Smartphone Uv Sanitizer

Not super keen on the idea of wiping down your phone every night? Consider investing in a smartphone UV sanitizer. They use UVC technology to kill the germs and bacteria on the surface of your phone. You simply stick your phone inside the chamber, turn on the light and let the machine do the rest. Just be aware, there isn’t research yet as to whether these devices specifically kill COVID-19. That said, they’ve been shown to kill cold and flu viruses really effectively.

Shop Phone Sanitizing Products:

how to clean your phone 1

1. Care Touch Lens & Screen Cleaning Wipes (210 Count)

When you’re looking to wipe out germs, a traditional screen cleaner won’t cut it. These specially formulated wipes remove bacteria and germs in addition to dust and smudges—so you’re totally covered on all fronts.

how to clean your phone new

2. Nekrash Alcohol Detergent Wipes

OK, so these wipes contain 75 percent isopropyl alcohol instead of Apple’s recommended 70, but we’ll take what we can get considering disinfectant wipes are hard to come by these days.

$24 at Amazon

how to clean your phone 3

3. Homedics Uv-clean Phone Sanitizer

We don’t really trust ourselves to get every single spot, so this UV phone sanitizer sounds pretty ideal. Simply zip your phone inside, turn it on and the two UV-C germicidal LED lights will kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria on your gadget in just one minute.

how to clean your phone 4

4. Phonesoap 3 Smartphone Uv Sanitizer

Just like the HoMedics sanitizer above, but it charges your phone while it sanitizes. And it looks super chic while doing it. Heads up, this PhoneSoap style is backordered at the moment, so these sanitizers won’t ship until May 8.

purewow author
Kara Cuzzone

Assistant Commerce Editor

From 2019 to 2021 Kara Cuzzone held the role of Assistant Commerce Editor covering sales and deals across beauty, fashion, home and wellness.
read full bio