Cleaning your mobile is important for users to keep it safe from dirt and viruses. Since the Coronavirus spread, big health organizations such as NHS and WHO advised regular cleaning of your mobile handsets and other devices which you use daily. This is because though you sanitize your hands all you like, bacteria and viruses sitting on your phone may be transferred right back to those hands as soon as you check WhatsApp or Instagram.
A 2011 study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found one in six phones analysed showed traces of faecal matter. Also, you want your mobile to be free of nasties like Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter app. as well as Covid-19.
Remember cleaning your essential is very easy to transfer the virus onto your clean hands by touching something that someone with the virus has come into contact with or been in the vicinity of.
How to clean my mobile and keep it safe from viruses?
To clean your mobile you can apply the same substances you use to clean your hands, but some are more suitable than others. The current best advice is to moisten a lint-free cloth, the kind you might use to clean a pair of glasses, add some soap and give your phone and its case a thorough wipe down.
According to doctors soap and water are highly effective teams to kill viruses. But you cannot put soap and water to clean your mobile or any electrical device unless it is waterproof. So the best is Alcohol gels which you can use in small quantities. Take four to five drops of such gels in a cloth to clean your mobile.
Alcohol gels contain a high concentration of alcohol, ethanol, that kills viruses.
But also be careful if you wash your phone down with an alcohol-based solution, though. Wipes and gels with a very high concentration of alcohol can damage the oleophobic layer used to avoid obvious oily fingerprint smudges on your phone’s touchscreen.
Always use a phone screen protector. Some higher-end models have their own oleophobic coatings, but that cheap three-pack you bought from Amazon or eBay is likely little more than a thin sheet of plastic with an adhesive side.
All smartphone makers also recommend avoiding cleaning solutions that contain bleach or abrasives, and the use of any rough cloths. These may spoil the finish of a phone’s metal sides and cause micro-abrasions in glass that will dull its surface. We’re out to clean the phone, not ruin it.
The best option is UV virus-zapping
You can also go “high tech” if you want. Companies like PhoneSoap and Homedics make UV sanitisers for your phone. These are like little tanning beds that bathe them in ultraviolet light.
Even Samsung stores are now offering to sanitize your phone through a similar method for free in some locations.
Sunlight also inactivates coronavirus, which is where the concept of UV-based cleaning kits has come from. Note that this approach will only slowly inactivate the virus over time whereas soap and disinfectants do this almost immediately. There are also lots of other products on the market that claim to kill coronavirus but it is cheaper and easier to stick to good hygiene, hand-washing with soap and the use of disinfectant.
Note that UV phone cleaners are much more expensive than a bar of soap or a bottle of handwash.
Clean your mobile with soap and water
- Prepare a bowl of hot (but not boiling) soapy water. Don’t use anything other than household soap as it may damage the coating on your phone.
- Bring your phone to the water, and be sure to take it out of its case. Then turn your phone off before you begin to clean it.
- Do not submerge your phone, unless it’s IP68 water-resistant. Even then, experts recommend not submerging your phone entirely.
- Take a cloth and moisten it using soapy water.
- Gently rub the cloth around your phone ensuring you get to every area you can find. If you have a case, do the same for that.
- Ensure you don’t allow the water to get into any of the openings of the phone such as the charging port or speaker grille.
- Then wipe your phone down again with a clean microfibre cloth.
- Leave your phone to dry out fully before turning it back on again. Repeat this method as much as you need to.
Be careful with water around your phone
The Samsung Galaxy S20, iPhone 11, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, and many others, have been tested for water resistance. These particular models have an IP68 rating, which means they are designed to withstand immersion in fresh water at a depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes.
If at some point you have dropped your phones, you may have compromised the little rubber gaskets that keep water out of a phone’s insides. Keep water away from your phone’s sockets. The liquid can also seep through cracks in the display glass of damaged screens and cause problems worse than those your phone already has.
Some viruses can only survive for a very short period of time outside of the body because they are so dependent on nourishment or particular physiological conditions (e.g. HIV) whereas others can last longer. Research on the coronavirus suggests it can remain viable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel. This is all impacted by the environment.”
Finally, remember the culprit. Yes, your hands are the main way your mobile will get dirty. If you keep your hands clean, you’ll be keeping your mobile clean as well.
The World Health Organization says you should wash your hands for 20 seconds at a time, so follow that advice and you should also ensure your phone is kept clean. (with inputs from news sources)