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The Best Ways to Keep Your Phone Germ-Free (Without UV)

Man cleaning phone screen.
Creative Family/Shutterstock.com

We’ve said it once and still stand by our statement: UV phone sanitizers aren’t the best way to get your phone clean. If these cleaning gadgets aren’t the best way to keep your phone germ-free, what is? Read on to see our tips and product recommendations to keep your device clean so that you stay healthy.

Do I Really Need to Sanitize My Phone?

The short answer is yes. You might have heard that our phones are some of the germiest surfaces we come across in our lives, but you may have thought that your phone can’t be that bad. However, you would be surprised.

It turns out our smartphones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. It’s gross, but it makes sense when you consider that we bring our phones just about everywhere we go. When you learn that most people check their phones nearly 50 times every day and often touch their faces without washing their hands afterward, the need to sanitize your phone becomes clear.

How Do I Get the Germs Off My Phone?

Woman is spraying alcohol, disinfectant spray on mobile phone.

So, how should you go about cleaning your phone to get rid of the germs that can cause everything from pimples to illnesses?

To start, you’ll turn off your phone and disconnect it from its charger. We also recommend taking your phone out of its case to get all those little spots that can be easy to miss. Then, you’ll start cleaning by following some simple steps:

  • Put on disposable gloves before starting if you would like to protect your hands from the cleaning solution.
  • Use disinfectant wipes, 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, or a soft, lint-free cloth that you’ve lightly sprayed with a solution that’s 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • Wipe down your device.
  • Avoid oversaturating your device and getting moisture in the ports as you clean it.
  • Let your smartphone air dry.

While your phone dries, you can also clean your phone case and phone accessories in the same way. Just be sure to let your case completely air dry before putting your phone back in it.

When you’re preparing to clean your phone, there’s an important consideration to keep in mind. Many smartphones have an oleophobic coating to keep fingerprints at bay, and alcohol can remove it.

However, having a screen protector can be a good solution. Not only does it protect your screen from everyday damage, but it’s also cheaper to replace than your smartphone’s screen if you start noticing fingerprints after sanitizing your phone.

What Products Should I Buy to Disinfect My Phone?

Mediprice Alcohol Prep Pads sit by the product's box.

As you might have guessed from looking at the cleaning routine for your smartphone, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to properly sanitize your phone. You just need one of the following:

Whether you use a wipe or a cloth that you dampen yourself is entirely up to you and your cleaning preferences. Additionally, wearing gloves while you clean is optional, but it can protect your skin from the drying alcohol or cleaner.

Is There Anything I Should Avoid When Cleaning My Phone?

You now know what you should do when sanitizing your phone, but what about the things you should avoid doing? Here are some quick tips to help you avoid damaging your smartphone while you wipe away the germs:

  • Avoid using bleach.
  • Don’t oversaturate your phone.
  • Keep moisture away from any openings and ports.
  • Don’t clean your phone without a screen protector.
  • Avoid spraying cleaner directly on your phone.

Also, you’ll want to follow any specific cleaning instructions if you have a phone case that’s made of materials like cloth or leather.

How Often Should I Sanitize My Phone?

At this point, you’re almost an expert on how to sanitize your phone. The only thing you still need to know is how often you need to clean it.

Experts recommend sanitizing your phone at least once a day. It might initially sound cumbersome, but it’s easy to do if you just set aside a few minutes after work or before bed. You can think of it as a quick way to keep your phone clean and your body healthy.

Shannon Flynn Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn is a freelance writer for Review Geek. This attorney turned writer has been creating content ranging from blogs to eBooks for nearly a decade. She has written on topics in several industries, including healthcare, retail, and law. However, she has a special interest in writing about tech products, including smart home devices, e-readers, Apple products, and Nintendo gaming. She also has a passion for trying out different apps and all things LEGO. Read Full Bio »