How To Keep Your Smartphone Virus-Free And Clean Without Damaging It – Forbes
Like it or not, our smartphones harbor plenty of germs, yet many of us fail to clean them properly. You can probably remember the last time you cleaned your hands, but what about objects including your smartphone that you touch many times throughout the day? In short, your smartphone could well be hampering your efforts to keep clean , re-distributing germs back onto your hands. With coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreading rapidly, ensuring you do everything to protect yourself and others is more important than ever.
However, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers are known to be effective against enveloped viruses such as COVID-19 (as opposed to non-enveloped viruses such as norovirus – the infamous winter vomiting bug, which is tougher to kill), there is one big issue with using alcohol-based sanitizers and cleaners on your smartphone – you could actually damage it.
For example, Apple iPhone’s come with a finger-print resistant oleophobic coatings that resists finger prints. Apple states on its cleaning advice page that that coating can be diminished if you use abrasives or cleaning products on the screen and that includes alcohol and many cleaning wipes too. It might evaporate relatively quickly, but over time that damage can still occur.
Watering the alcohol down is also unwise. You still run the risk of damaging your smartphone and more importantly, lower alcohol content can mean the solution is ineffective against coronavirus. You should avoid using cleaning wipes too as these can be abrasive. Even using a microfiber cloth with alcohol isn’t enough – the alcohol is the problem.
Use a screen protector
Using a screen protector means you don’t need to worry about alcohol-based hand sanitizer damaging … [+]
So, what can you use? Well, you have several options. The best advise is not to leave your screen or smartphone unprotected in the first place. By using a screen protector, you will not only prevent against scratches, but can then use normal hand sanitiser spread thinly onto a microfiber cloth to clean your screen and the rest of your smartphone quickly and without damaging it.
Thin glass screen protectors such as this one, are easy to apply, last for months and are relatively cheap and don’t hinder the touch screen at all. If you need to clean any exposed areas at the edge of the protector, do so either with an alcohol-free cleaner or warm soapy water (which is recommended by Apple too) and a microfiber cloth. The key is to keep any areas that you touch clean.
Use alcohol-free sanitizers
Alcohol-free anti-viral sanitizers are a great option, but they’re nearly impossible to get hold of … [+]
Alcohol-free hand sanitisers (avoid household cleaners, even if they’re alcohol-free) should be fine to use on exposed screens, so long as they are effective against both viruses and bacteria. Many already list protection against Coronavirus and can continue to kill germs for many hours after application. They’re the quickest and easiest way to keep your smartphone virus and bacteria free and some come in handy foam form too.
Wash with soap
If you smartphone is waterproof you can use a damp cloth and a little warm soapy water to clean it, … [+]
With many disinfectants and santizer stocks hitting rock bottom, creating your own methods of keeping your gear clean is a hot topic. Most smartphones are waterproof and simple warm soapy water spread onto a towel can be very effective at removing germs, including coronavirus. The down side is that this is not something that’s easy to do away from home or during the morning commute.
Clearly, with a screen protector, it’s very easy to clean your smartphone using normal hand sanitizer, but you don’t need to go overboard. If you regularly commute or travel through crowded places in close proximity to others, a quick wipe with hand sanitizer after each commute is sufficient, which for most of us will be twice a day mixed with regular hand washing of course. For more information on how to protect yourself from Coronavirus, visit the WHO website.