How to Clean a Phone Screen

As you go through your daily routine, you will touch shopping carts, gym equipment, door handles, elevator buttons, stair railings, and many other public surfaces. Then, you’ll type a text or scroll endlessly through Instagram on your phone.

Did you wash your hands after everything you touched? You most likely didn’t, so that means your cell phone screen is crawling with all the germs and bacteria that were on those railings and buttons. Studies have shown that our phones can be carrying up to 18x more bacteria than in a public restroom—gross! It’s important to disinfect our phones so the bacteria don’t cause us to get sick, or worse, we bring germs home and infect our loved ones.   

Disinfecting vs. Cleaning 

Cleaning our phone screen simply means we are wiping away the visible grime. On the other hand, disinfecting and sanitizing uses chemicals or UV-C light to actively kill germs. While both are important, disinfecting will help protect you from the harmful illnesses that are lurking on your phone. Remember to clean your phone before disinfecting it so bacteria and viruses can’t hide underneath the dirt and organic matter.  

8 steps to disinfect your phone screen

8 Steps to Disinfect Your Phone 

1. Remove the phone case and accessories. 

First, wash your hands. Then, remove your phone case. This will ensure that you can clean every nook and cranny. Dirt and bacteria can hide behind your phone case, so disinfecting the case and the phone will leave you with a device that’s cleaner than the day you purchased it.  

2. Grab a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. 

Dip the cotton swab into isopropyl rubbing alcohol and clean the metal hardware on your phone, not the glass screen. Repeated use of the alcohol can damage screens. Gently wipe the side buttons and near the ports until completely disinfected.

3. Let the device air dry. 

Let your phone air dry for about five minutes, as this will give the alcohol enough time to kill the bacteria.   

4. Clear smudges with PhoneSoap Shine. 

Take a look at your phone screen. Is it covered with dirt, grease, fingerprints, and smudges? Not only does that grime buildup feel gross, but it also can cause acne and other skin irritants when you hold your phone close to your face.  

Many newer phones are designed to have an oleophobic coating on the glass screen to protect the device from oil damage. Prolonged cleanings using alcohol wipes can degrade the screen, which leaves the glass subject to exposure.

PhoneSoap Shine is a water-based cleanser that is free of alcohol and other harsh chemicals, so you can wipe away smudges and grease without causing harm to your expensive phone. It also comes with a microfiber pad attached to the bottle, so you don’t have to worry about misplaced cleaning cloths.  

PhoneSoap effectively and quickly disinfects your phone

5. Disinfect your phone with PhoneSoap. 

Using a PhoneSoap device is the best way to quickly disinfect your phone without causing damage. PhoneSoap devices can kill 99.99% of bacteria and viruses*, while alcohol wipes and PhoneSoap competitors can kill only 99.9%. With UV-C lights on the top and bottom of the chamber, there’s no need to flip the phone, either. The PhoneSoap Pro can disinfect in 5 minutes,** which is a great option for households that have a lot of phones to clean or for the tech-savvy people who can’t wait 10 minutes. 

6. Charge your phone with PhoneSoap. 

What’s the use of a disinfected phone when its battery is dead? While your device is in the PhoneSoap, feed your personal charging cord through the port and plug it into the USB-C outlet on the back of the product. It will continue to charge your device long after the disinfection cycle ends—perfect for when you go to sleep. You can wake up to a disinfected and fully charged phone. PhoneSoap devices are compatible with all phone types and charging ports. 

7. Disinfect your case and other items with PhoneSoap. 

Think of all the bacteria that could be lurking on the inside of your phone case. What about in the pop socket? Yuck! Luckily, you can disinfect a lot more than just phones. The PhoneSoap Pro can fit your Air Pods, credit cards, keys, eyeglasses, jewelry, and much more. Sometimes it can be too much of a hassle to wipe down our glasses or necklaces with wipes, but PhoneSoap makes it easy to quickly disinfect our belongings without any mess or headache.  

8. Be consistent with your sanitizing 

Even after disinfecting your phone, remember that it will get dirty again. Experts recommend that you disinfect your phone at least twice a week to keep disease-causing germs at bay. However, if you’re constantly using your phone at the grocery store, on the bus, and while in the restroom (hey, we’re not judging), then you can disinfect it at the end of every day.  

How Long Can the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces? 

Surface 

Hours 

Plastered Wall 

36 

Formica (Laminate Material on Countertops) 

36 

Plastic 

72 

Stainless Steel 

72 

Glass (Phone Screens) 

96 

Source: World Health Organization 

 

Germs that can live on your phone

What Other Germs Can Live on Your Phone Screen? 

It’s disgusting, but not everyone washes their hands right after coughing and sneezing or using the restroom. Those disease-causing droplets can land on public surfaces, like shopping carts and subway handles. We touch those surfaces and then type on our phones with now-dirty hands. Those germs can cause harmful illnesses to ourselves and our loved ones. Here are some of the most common bacteria that have been found on phones: 

Virus/Bacteria 

Sickness, Symptoms Caused 

Streptococcus 

 Strep Throat, Pneumonia, Meningitis, Sepsis 

Staphylococcus  

Folliculitis, Ear Infections, MRSA 

Corynebacterium 

Diphtheria, Skin Infections, Pneumonia, Endocarditis 

E. Coli 

Gastrointestinal Illness, Urinary Tract Infections, and Meningitis 

Common Cold and Influenza 

Fever, Chills, Aches, Vomiting, Cough, etc. 

 

Disinfecting your phone screen is just as important as washing your hands. Making it a habit to disinfect your phone at least twice a week will preserve the life of your device and help protect you from illnesses that you could contract in public spaces. 

*Testing was conducted in a laboratory setting on actual phones, Apple watch, headphones, credit cards, and keys with a variety of pathogens, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Coronavirus 229E. Real-world results may vary depending on size, shape, and material of phone or phone case.

**PhoneSoap Pro has been tested by an independent, third-party laboratory to be 99.9% effective against SARS-CoV2. This test was performed on a plaque assay. PhoneSoap Pro has also been tested to be 99.99% effective against salmonella on iPhones and Otter cases containing iPhones. Finally, PhoneSoap Pro has been tested to be 99.99% effective against human coronavirus, strain 229E, ATCC VR-740.

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