Keep it Coronavirus-free: how to clean your mobile phone

by in Tips May 8, 2020

Keep it coronavirus-free: how to clean your mobile phone
You may be washing your hands, but there is a risk of contaminating them again with your phone. Time for a wipe

Elle Hunt
Lena Ciric, as told to Elle Hunt

Mon 23 Mar 2020

Woman wiping mobile phone

Ordinarily it’s a good idea to clean your phone every now and then. However, because coronavirus is so contagious and we know it can survive on surfaces for two or three days, it’s wise to clean it more frequently.

We take our phones everywhere, and we’re constantly touching them. You might wash your hands after you’ve been out but then contaminate them straight away with your phone, as you haven’t cleaned it.

Apple advises you to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes. The alcohol quickly evaporates from the surface of your phone and kills all the microbes. Don’t use Dettol wipes, or any other type that needs to be left on the surface for a certain period in order to work, because this will interfere with the phone’s functioning.

You can also just use soap and water. Clearly don’t put your phone under running water, even if it’s water-resistant. Moisten a cloth or a paper towel with washing-up liquid or hand soap – something that foams, with a detergent in it. Wipe it over the phone, then wipe that off with a cloth or paper towel moistened with water. You might have to do that a couple of times to get rid of the soapy bits. Then dry it – that will do the trick.

Dr Lena Ciric is a microbiologist at UCL

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