How to clean your smartphone


Do you REALLY need to clean your smartphone? You might as well ask if you really need to wash your hands. These days, our phones are constant companions – and that means they can get mighty grubby. But whether you’ve got an Android or iPhone, we’ll show you how to keep it clean! 


If you’re anything like us, you take your phone everywhere – and we mean everywhere. Even in the ‘smallest room in the house’, we’re forever putting our grubby fingers all over our phones’ lovely glass screens. 

And of course, where there are grubby fingers, there are germs. Indeed, one alarming story recently suggested your phone could harbour ten times more bacteria than the average toilet seat!

This, clearly, will not do. Not only is it a health hazard, it’s also, well, just gross.

The truth is, we’d all benefit from a little smartphone spring cleaning – and so, here’s the best way to do it. 


Cleaning the screen


When it comes to cleaning your phone, the first thing to do is turn it off and wipe the screen down.

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise – but there are a few things you may not be aware of.

First of all, it’s important to choose the right cleaning liquid. For light dirt and grime, you can probably get away with a little water, but this will do nothing about bacteria. You could purchase a specific smartphone cleaning solution – but you can whip up something just as good for yourself at home.

One option is to mix equal portions of white vinegar and distilled or bottled water. Alternatively, you can make a solution of about two-thirds water to one-third rubbing alcohol.

Next up, it’s important to use the right kind of cloth to wipe the phone down. Anything too abrasive can damage the screen.

Whatever you use, we’d certainly recommend against using any kind of pre-moistened wipe or similar, unless they’re explicitly designed for use on smartphone screens. These often contain chemicals which can damage the screen’s smear-resistant ‘oleophobic’ coating, and the wipe itself can sometimes cause scratches or abrasions. 

For this purpose, we’d recommend using a ‘microfibre’ cloth, of the kind you might use to clean a pair of glasses.

Moisten the cloth slightly with your cleaning solution, then simply rub the screen repeatedly to remove the accumulated dirt and grime. You shouldn’t have to use much force: a simple buffing motion is all it takes. 

Once you’ve cleaned the screen, it’s also important to clean the cloth itself, so it’s ready to use next time. Just soak it in a mixture of soap and water, rinse it thoroughly and leave it to air dry. 


Going deeper


Wiping down the screen should be enough in most cases – but if your phone’s really dirty, you may want to get into the various nooks and crannies of its casing to give it a proper clean. 

Here, as with the screen, it’s important to choose the right tools for the job. 

Generally speaking, a cotton bud is the perfect tool here. Simply moisten the end with the same cleaning solution used for the screen and give it a good swipe around the phone’s edges, battery casing and anywhere else it might need a clean. 

For narrower gaps and edges, though, you may need something a little more precise. We’d recommend using a wooden toothpick to clear grime from troublesome nooks and crannies – this is firm enough to get the dirt out, but soft enough not to scratch the phone itself. 




Finally, if there are any accessories you handle a lot, be sure to give that a quick clean too. 

Headphones are a common magnet for grime, and as you’ll be inserting them into your body, you probably want to keep them as clean as possible! A wipedown with a cloth and a bit of warm soapy water should be all they need – but do make sure to let them dry thoroughly before using them again.

Likewise, you may also want to give your phone’s case a quick clean, if you use one. For most plastic cases, soapy water is fine – again making sure to let the case dry before you pop your phone back in. 


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