How to Clean Your iPhone from Virus Droplets (2020 Guide)
Cleaning your phone from viruses and bacteria should be on your daily to-do list. For starters, your iPhone or Android is one of the items you touch most — and one of the most frequently overlooked. In other words, your phone can be a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and fungi — all great reasons to clean your phone during COVID-19.
So, how do you clean your phone from potential virus droplets and other contaminants? Washing your hands regularly may not be enough to keep commonly-touched surfaces clean. Here are a few tips for cleaning your iPhone screen and case during COVID-19 times.
Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice. It was written for informational purposes only. If you have questions about your health, please speak with your physician. See the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website for up-to-date information on the coronavirus pandemic.
How to Clean Your Phone from Virus Droplets
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions before you do anything.
- Use a case and a screen protector. We do not recommend cleaning your iPhone from viruses and bacteria without these accessories as your screen’s delicate technology may not withstand harsh chemicals. Having a case reduces the chances that moisture gets in your phone.
- Unplug your phone from a power source or any other device.
- Remove the case. Then, clean it with an isopropyl alcohol solution or wipes. Make sure that these contain no more than 70% alcohol.
- Clean your phone screen from viruses and bacteria by using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Wipe on non-pervious surfaces such as the screen protector. Do not spray cleaning materials directly on your phone and avoid getting it too wet. Make sure you avoid getting liquid in your phone as this could permanently damage your device.
- Gently wipe your phone dry with a cloth, again, avoiding openings where moisture could enter your device.
- Wipe the case dry. When both phone and cases are dry, put the case back on your device.
The Importance of Screen Protectors
The iPhone screen has its own protective coating and oil-wicking technology. Though this is not enough to prevent the spread of germs on your phone, it can be damaged by cleaning products. This is why it’s critical to use a screen protector — and why you should never use harsh chemicals like bleach on your device.
Of course, do not use harsh chemicals such as bleach to clean your device. Why should you have a screen protector? Your iPhone screen has its own protective coating and oil-wicking technology. Though this is not enough to prevent the spread of germs on your phone, it can also be damaged by cleaning products. We do not advise using cleaning products without a screen protector.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Phone
Don’t forget to clean it — especially if you are interacting with those who are at risk for COVID-19. The virus may live on hard surfaces for days.
- Do not get moisture in your phone’s openings. This may permanently damage your device.
- Clean without harsh chemicals, such as bleach.
- Don’t spray liquid directly onto your phone. Dab your screen and case with a damp towel instead.
- Do not use pure alcohol (make sure it’s 70% only) as this may cause damage.
Why Do I Need to Worry About Viruses on my iPhone?
Your germaphobe friend was right: Research suggests that your cell phone screen and case are filthy. One study puts forth that the average iPhone screen is seven times dirtier than a toilet. Published before the COVID-19 outbreak, it found a few (very scary) germs living on cell phones including:
- E. Coli, which can cause extreme diarrhea
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is typically transmitted in hospital settings
- Klebsiella sp, bacteria that cause (among many things) UTIs and pneumonia
- Staphylococcus aureus, which causes Staph infections
Even in pre-pandemic days, chances are, your phone was filthy. Today. it’s more important than ever to know how to clean your phone of viruses and bacteria.
How Likely Is It That A Phone Has Virus Droplets On It?
Even if you’re washing your hands regularly, COVID-19 experts warn that commonly-touched surfaces, like a cell phone screen, can be a breeding ground for germs. Though it is unlikely that your phone has coronavirus on it if you have not interacted with others, specifically those at risk for COVID-19, it is an excellent idea to keep your screen and case clear.
How Long Could a Virus Such as COVID-19 Live on My Phone?
Cleaning your iPhone was always important — even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC, WHO, and state-level governments are urging people to take preventative measures against getting the COVID-19 pandemic. This means more than just staying home and washing your hands: The government advises people to clean commonly touched surfaces. What do you touch more than your iPhone?
There are two ways that COVID-19 is transmitted: Though person-to-person contact and through inanimate objects that an infected person has touched. How long do germs live on surfaces? Research on the coronavirus specifically is contradictory:
- One study found that COVID-19 remains stable on hard surfaces, like metal and plastic, for 72 hours and on cardboard for 24 hours.
- A CDC report also found coronavirus DNA on the Princess Cruise ship 17 days after passengers had debarked.
One thing we know for certain: We all touch our iPhones a lot. The best course of action is to keep our favorite tech as virus and bacteria-free as possible.
How Often Should You Clean Your Phone?
It depends on your habits. In general, cleaning your device daily is a good idea.
The most significant source of danger is if someone were to cough or sneeze on your phone, leaving microscopic droplets. Those who work remotely, interact with new people, and maintain good hand washing and social distancing habits may not need to clean their phone too frequently.
However, an essential worker who comes into contact with many people, especially those at risk for COVID-19, may benefit from more than daily cleaning. Additionally, it is unlikely that your phone has traces of COVID-19 unless you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus.
In the meantime, keep cleaning your device and screen, along with other common touch points around the home. These may include door handles, other electronics, kitchen appliances, and so much more.