Siri, am I doing this right?


I’ve always been a bit of a germophobe (see: compulsive removal of hotel duvet and throw pillows immediately upon arrival), but the current pandemic has inspired a new kind of diligence (obsession?) when it comes to my daily disinfecting habits. While I once treated my hands to a quick sanitizer spritz after pumping gas or running errands, I now give just about everything I own a sanitizer bath any time I leave the house, including my car keys and credit cards. (No word from Discover on whether or not slathering my card in hand sanitizer is going to ruin the chip function, but so far, I haven’t had any issues.) The one thing I can’t just dump in a vat of hand sanitizer is my cell phone. And that's also the thing that most desperately needs to be disinfected regularly. Here’s how to clean your cell phone.

Why You Should Clean Your Cell Phone Every Day

Coronavirus or not, you should be cleaning your phone at least once per day. We’re constantly transferring germs back and forth between our hands and our phones, as well as all of the surfaces we encounter on any given day. Now consider the fact that, unless you’re using Bluetooth, your face is also touching your phone, and all of its germs, each time you take a call. You wouldn’t press your cheek to a gas pump or rest your forehead on the buggy handle at the Pig, but if you’re not disinfecting your phone daily, you might as well be. Sick.

Given the current COVID crisis, however, you should consider cleaning your phone multiple times per day, particularly if you aren’t as diligent about regular hand-washing and especially if you’re in contact with a number of people or taking your phone to a variety of public places.

How to Clean Your Cell Phone

There are a number of ways you can tackle phone germs, depending on what kind of phone you have.

Apple approves of disinfecting your device with 70-percent isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, but advises against using bleach or allowing moisture into any of the phone’s openings.

If you don’t have wipes, you can use a microfiber cloth (make sure it’s washed beforehand) and a mixture of 60% water-40% alcohol; just be sure to dry phone surfaces immediately after disinfecting.

If you have a screen protector, you may be able to get away with using other disinfectants, like window cleaners; but if you don’t have a screen protector, stay away from those, as abrasive chemicals can wear away at your phone’s screen coating and could affect its function.

My personal favorite method of cleaning my phone is using pre-moistened towelettes from Well-Kept. Designed by an Atlanta, Georgia, entrepreneur especially for screens and electronics, the wipes come in packs of 15 and are just the right size for throwing in your work tote or keeping in your car. The $6 packs also come in a variety of colorful designs, many of which give back to non-profits, so you can fight germs and support a good cause at the same time. Best of all, while they’re great for your phone, you can use them on a variety of electronics; I also use them to disinfect my laptop keyboard—another hotbed for germs.

So whether you're a flip-phone faithful or you've got the latest, greatest thing on the market, take a few minutes each day to disinfect your device: Germs, after all, don't discriminate.

Add this to the list of things we didn't know needed cleaning.