The coronavirus pandemic pressured people to buy sanitizers in enormous amounts. Everyone is now trying to disinfect everything around them. It's certainly important to disinfect your phone as you carry it with you everywhere.
Phones are subjected to so many bacteria and harmful bodies. There is a good chance they contain viruses on their surfaces. Research has shown before that mobile phones can be much dirtier than things we normally avoid touching like toilet seats.
Of course, disinfecting your phone can be essential now but it is also a good habit to keep doing even after the pandemic is over. You need to do it in a proper way that does not damage the screen or the whole phone but kills harmful bodies that live on phone surfaces.
Soap can be one of the cheapest agents that can be used to disinfect your smartphone. Like you may already know, water alone can't be used to disinfect objects as it doesn't kill viruses and other harmful bodies.
However, water when mixed with some soap can do the job. Soap has substances that interact with the fat layers of the viruses and break them down. Despite that, soap is not the most practical solution to disinfect your phone.
Alcohol can be a better choice for cleaning your phone properly, but only when diluted the right way. A 70% isopropyl alcohol is what you should use to disinfect your phone, with the rest of the mixture as water.
You should avoid buying or preparing the wrong mixture as it may damage your phone. Alcohol gel can also be a choice but it would be hard to use. So, diluted liquid alcohol is a great choice to go with.
If you use Apple phone, then it is okay to use Clorox Wipes to disinfect it. Apple confirmed that just recently during the current coronavirus pandemic. Samsung confirmed that it's ok to use 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to disinfect its smartphones.
Using Clorox Wipes was not suggested by any other smartphone manufacturer. You can check your phone manufacturer website or search your manual. Google or search forums for confirmation whether you can use Clorox agent or wipes.
All smartphone manufacturers advise avoiding cleaning agents that contain bleach or abrasives. These agents can damage phone sides or the screen itself.
You need a piece of cloth or even better a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are better because they have larger surface area that can eliminate viruses on surfaces more efficiently. If you don't have a microfiber cloth then a normal one will do the work.
If you use soap and water, apply some soapy water on the cloth. Don't make it too wet to avoid leaking into phone ports and damaging them. If you use a disinfectant or alcohol then spray some on the cloth.
Start rubbing every side of the phone gently with the cloth and ensure you cover every part with it. Use another piece of cloth to dry the phone.
It's better to turn the phone off before cleaning. Clean it then leave it to dry before turning it on again. This is an extra step to keep your phone safe.
Higher-end phones may already have protective coatings. However, you should not use just any agent to disinfect your screen hoping that the screen protector will prevent damage.
The cheap screen protector you have bought is also nothing more than a plastic sheet in most of the cases. It is not usually made to withstand disinfectants mentioned above. You should always consult product specs to check.
Sunlight can destroy coronavirus and other viruses, and that is where the concept of UV cleaning devices came from. These devices work by focusing beams of ultraviolet light on the phone to kill viruses.
There are devices that are being sold by various companies like PhoneSoap and Homedics. You can search for them under the tag 'UV sanitizers'. If you don't own a device then you can check it at phone stores. Samsung is even offering the service for free at some stores.
Many high-end smartphones in recent years have had a water resistance rating. These include recent phones from the biggest manufacturers like the Samsung Galaxy S20, Apple iPhone 11 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro which all have IP68 rating.
The IP68 rating means the phone can be immersed in fresh water for 30 minutes and at a depth of a maximum of 1.5 meters. Whether your phone is water resistant or not, it is not the best practice to immerse your phone in water to disinfect it with alcohol or soap.
This is because everytime the phone hits something, the tiny preventive rubber gaskets move a bit. These rubber gaskets are supposed to prevent water from seeping into the phone.
So, it's possible for water to seep into your phone and damage it even if it was water resistant. Unfortunately, in this case the warranty won't cover you.
You should also make sure that no liquid seeps into phone ports regardless of what the water resistance rating is. If water seeps into a port, it can reach the display or the chip and brick your phone.
You should also try keeping your phone clean, even if you sanitize it everyday. Keeping your hand clean would be the best practice for this. It is advisable to wash your hands with soap regularly for 20 seconds. This is to eliminate the viruses before they land on your phone.
You should avoid using your phone when you feel your hand isn't clean. For example, if you hold things in public places like steel bars in metro and buses, you should avoid touching your phone before cleaning your hands and so on.