Health And Wellness

The Best Way To Disinfect Your Phone & Keep Yourself Safe From A Coronavirus Outbreak

Photo: getty
The Best Way To Disinfect Your Phone & Keep Yourself Safe From A Coronavirus Outbreak

Phones are everyday essentials. We take them to work, the gym, dinner, and even the bathroom. Unlike other necessities like homes and cars, it seems that no one normalizes having a clean phone.

Have you ever wondered whether or not your phone was clean?

By now, most of us know that germs are microscopic organisms that can’t be seen by the human eye unless under a microscope. There could be billions of germs running rapidly on your phone right now, and you wouldn’t even know.

On average, there are “25,000 germs per square inch” on a smartphone. That’s pretty freighting! That means our toilets are cleaner than our phones.

And with Coronavirus quickly moving from an outbreak to a pandemic, it's the perfect time to learn how to clean a phone screen, all while protecting ourselves against illness.

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When you think about it, it’s not hard to believe that phones are so dirty. Phones are in our hands all day long getting contaminated by germs. Maybe your phone is frequently falling on the ground or being held by your sweating hands in between reps at the gym. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the times we expose our phone to germs.

The more and more you touch your phone, the more bacteria you introduce to the surface. This only further infects your phone.

Are you doomed to have a dirty phone for the rest of your life? Think again! You can, in fact, disinfect your phone.

Just like anything else you clean, disinfecting your phone once isn’t going to keep it germ-free forever. You have continuously practice phone cleaning techniques to keep the germs at bay.

And no, that doesn't mean just grabbing rubbing alcohol, Clorox, or Windex to clean your phone. Those harsh chemical cleaners run the risk of damaging your phone, especially your screen. (After I learned how abrasive disinfecting wipes were to the surface of my phone, I had to stop using them altogether.)

There’s more than one way to disinfect your phone. The safest and most effective option is to use a UV light. The light “interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria and other microbes,” thus killing the bacteria. While the light is disinfecting the phone, it isn't damaging the screen coating.

Not everyone can afford to spend upwards of $50 or more on a UV light sanitizing case or kit or a phone, so a cost-effective alternative is to make your own DIY phone disinfecting solution. 

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Materials needed for the solution:

  • 70 percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Distilled water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle

Each item is effective in disinfecting your phone. The 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is strong enough to kill the bacteria, without being too harsh on the screen. Don’t choose alcohol above 70 percent, because the higher the percentage, the more damaging it will be to your screen.

Unlike regular water, distilled water is free of impurities. That makes it cleaner. But if you can’t find distilled water, regular water will get the job done.

Microfiber cloths are really good at moisture-wicking and wiping germs away. And the spray bottle is what you use to store and apply the solution to your phone. 

The first step is adding the liquids to the spray bottle, then shaking them up. Spray it onto your phone and use a microfiber cloth to remove the excess solution. Be careful not to drench your phone in water, as that will cause water damage and keep your phone from working properly.

This disinfecting process shouldn't be done more than once a week.

But when you’re in between disinfecting days, try practicing these habits to limit your phone’s exposure to bacteria:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before using your phone.
  • Don’t use your phone in the bathroom.
  • Limit who you let touch your phone.
  • Keep your phone away from food, especially raw meat.
  • Get a phone armband for when you workout.

While it can be scary to think of becoming infected with Coronavirus, the truth is, as long as we are vigilant about disinfecting our everyday-use items, we will be just fine.

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Tamara Sanon is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.