Coronavirus: How to clean your phone to avoid the virus

6 March 2020, 17:31

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Here's how to safely disinfect your phone from germs.

Coronavirus has been declared a global health emergency, so the world is talking all about hygiene right now. It has been advised that to kill the virus, which is transmitted through droplets in mucus or saliva, it's advisable to wash your hands for 20 seconds or more around the clock. Our hands might be squeaky clean but… what about our phones?

Research from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that one in six mobile phones are contaminated with fecal matter. Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Arizona found that mobile phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. And, according to the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronaviruses can remain on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days". Suddenly, people not washing their legs in the shower doesn't seem so bad…

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It's safe to say, phones carry a lot of bacteria but there are ways to keep it clean. So, before you start submerging it in bleach, or dousing it in hand sanitiser, let's explore how to clean your phone properly.

How to actually clean your phone
How to actually clean your phone. Picture: Getty Images

How to clean your phone from a virus:

1) Microfibre Cloths and Alcohol

Before you start the degerming process, turn your phone off and remove the case, and any accessories. Microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona Charles Gerba told Health that using a microfibre cloth with a mix of 60 percent water and 40 percent rubbing alcohol should do the trick.

Microfibre is recommended for cleaning glass because it won't scratch your device but it will still catch the dust. Just spritz – not too much, though – the germ-killing mixture onto the cloth and wipe down the phone. Make sure to avoid the port holes.


2) Cleaning Wipes

You can actually buy special phone cleaning wipes that will kill 99% of bacteria. Even better is you can bring them along with you. Simply wipe down your device and dispose.

3) UV Light

It's 2020, you don't even have to touch your phone to clean it anymore. Apparently, a special UV light can sanitise your device for you, eliminating 99.9% bacteria within six minutes.


Overall, it's always best to look at your phone manufacturers guide to cleaning. Both Samsung and Apple recommend using a "damp, lint-free cloth" and not using any kind of products on your phone.