A few tips on how to best clean your iPhone to keep it germ free and not harm the screen

No Germ Zone
Credit: ML Jensen

As a self-proclaimed “germaphobe” I’m wary of public bathrooms and, yet, strangely I don’t think twice about using a friend’s phone. I like to think of my own iPhone as a bacteria-free safety zone, but how many door handles do I touch a day before checking my text or email messages?

According to a recent study, the average handheld phone carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than a flush handle in the men’s bathroom. I can only imagine the journey of tiny microbes of bacteria from surface, to phone, to hand, and to mouth. Gross

For health and sanitation purposes, as well to protect my phone from stains caused by makeup, food, oils and lotions, I now make it a practice to clean my phone. While it might be tempting, it’s best to stay away from using household cleaners.

Fluids such as window cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, or ammonia can erode the oleophobic coating on the iPhone 3GS, 4 or 5. This coating repels oil, but will diminish over time with normal usage. So, for serious sanitizing it’s worth investing in antibacterial wipes or sprays designed especially for computer devices.

To effectively clean an iPhone you can perform the following steps:

Step 1: Make sure your iPhone is turned off and disconnected from any cables. To turn it off, press and hold the “Sleep/Wake” button on the iPhone and slide the on-screen red slider

Step 2: Remove the phone from any third-party case.

Step 3: If you are using a cloth, dampen the corner of the cloth with water or device friendly cleaning fluid. Be mindful never to apply any fluid directly onto the phone. Otherwise, take the anti-bacterial wipe, and gently wipe the surface of the phone in circular motion. Be especially careful not to get any moisture into the phone’s openings.

Step 4: Dry the iPhone with a lint-free or micro-fiber cloth.

Step 5: Don’t forget the case! The case has been collecting as much bacteria as the iPhone itself. You can even use an additional wipe, if necessary, to clean the phone’s cables.

You can perform this ritual once a week or everyday. While we can’t live in fear of germs and bacteria, a clean phone feels good to the touch and is one less place to worry about germs.

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