You take your smartphone everywhere with you—workplace, restaurants, public transport and even to the loo. So, the fact that your smartphones are home to a lot of germs and dirt may not really come as a surprise. Just in case you didn't know, studies have revealed that on an average, a smartphone carries 18 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
While you might spend a good amount of time scrubbing and sanitising your living spaces, or being mindful to wash hands before meals, phones, too, require cleaning; at least occasionally. When was the last time you gave that screen a nice wipe down, or opened the case to clear off dust particles. Besides playing host to disease-causing germs, dirty phones can also behave erratic. Now, that should get you moving.
Before cleaning your phone, unplug it from source of external power and turn off the device. Also remove the battery, if the phone design permits it. Your phone manufacturer may already have guidelines and cleaning tips, but here are a few more:
1. For the screen: Just like your refreshing tissues and fresh wipes, anti-microbial wipes are available for phone screens also. Too much of cleaning, and wiping with these tissues or paper towels, however, might create scratches. The best option is to stick to soft, microfibre cloth—the types of cleaning cloth that usually comes with your spectacles. Wet a corner of the cloth with distilled water and wipe gently up and down the screen. Use the dry corner to remove excess moisture. Take care not to allow water into speaker holes and other port openings. You could even seal these openings with a tape to prevent moisture from seeping in. If not water, you could even try a mixture of water and white vinegar to clean the screen—that is if you don't mind the odour of vinegar. Remember to leave the screen to dry well. At any point, if your phone gets soaked during cleaning, place it in a bowl of rice. This technique will absorb the water.
2. For crevices: Corners of your phone case, ports and jacks are places where dust settle quickly, and stay for long. While microfibre cloths are best suited for cleaning these areas, there is another tool found in our homes that works well in cleaning out the fine dust—cotton buds. Remove some cotton form the bud till it becomes thin. Use this thin edge to remove dust. If buds are not your thing, toothpicks, too, come handy to clear out these corners. But be careful with toothpicks. Do not apply too much pressure as that could cause damage to sensitive phone ports.
3. For earphones: You probably use your earphones all day. And each time you pull them out of your bag, you may not realise the amount of dirt and dust it carries. So, when you sit down to clean your phone, do not leave out your earphone buds. Cleaning them is no heavy-duty. You can use a gentle cleaner, like a mixture of soap and warm water. Mildly wet a microfibre cloth and wipe the earphone buds. Too much soap can clog the pores of the earphone, and too much moisture will mess up the wiring. If your earphones come with removable silicon covers, clean them separately.