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COVID-19 hygiene checklist: Here’s how to clean your smartphone

Hygiene is currently a priority on everyone’s corona-survivor list. Besides sanitisers and masks, one thing that we use the most is our smartphone, so it’s essential to know how to clean your smartphone.

While maintaining our precautionary measures, we forget that smartphones actually tops the list. Every time we make a phone call, there’s direct contact with a potentially infected object. Kenneth Mak, director of Medical Services from Singapore’s Ministry of Health stated that smartphones are one of the most subconscious mistakes we make in the process of contracting a virus.

Let’s add this to our anti-coronavirus manual and take smartphone hygiene seriously.

Always, clean your case first

The case carries bacteria and germs twice as much as your smartphone. Besides, depending on its fabric, it could be absorbent too, which is a big worry. We’d suggest temporarily switching to a high-quality rubber case for a while.

With a tiny bowl of warm soapy water, take a cloth, and start with wiping the case. After which, take a cotton earbud dipped in water and scrub into the nooks and corners of the case. This is to clear out all dirt that gathers over time. Do this on the inside and outside of the four corners. This way, you won’t have to worry about dirt and grime making the transition from the case to your phone once you’ve put it back on.

Do a quick set up

Clear your counter of all stains — oil, dirt, water, etc. Then lay down a clean absorbent towel or an unused handkerchief. This is also to avoid spillage of soapy water on your counter or clean any dirt that came off your smartphone.

What you need to be aware of

Start off by understanding the points of your smartphone you’re supposed to stay away from. These include the rim of your camera, speakers, and charging spots. You don’t want any soapy moisture getting there or remaining behind unless you turn your smartphone into a mini metal brick.

In case you’re wondering which soap to use, you’ll have to stay away from using glass-cleansing liquids even though you’ll be cleaning a glass screen. Doing this can cause permanent damage to your skin’s base layer, resulting in later wear and tear of your device. In fact, Apple has advised using minimal water or hand soap, considering the spacial layer they have that resists facial oils that transfer while on call.

how to clean your smartphone
Cleaning phones

The Process

Start by switching off your device. The cloth you’ll be using here is meant to be micro-fibre and lint-free, so that no residue is left behind. It’s the very same cloth we use to clean eyewear. Dab it in gentle warm hand-soap water and begin wiping.

Be sure of wiping strokes are in the same direction to avoid soap patches, which can be caused by odd strokes. Pay attention to the areas around the buttons of your phone, and don’t neglect the charging port, speaker holes, and other large openings. For these, you’ll want to use a toothpick or cotton swab to remove build-up.


When drying your smartphone, maintain the use of the same wipe stroke direction. Use a micro-fibre itself to wipe and clean up your smartphone. This is just to give the device a once-over, removing any rogue moisture and dirt buildup. Your phone is ready to be used now.

About Professional Phone-Care

Cleaning your smartphone is a bigger business than you actually thought. The tools of the trade are as important as the skill required. The best screen cleaning kits we found online are from Amazon Basics and Belkin, tech brands that understand the importance of smartphone hygiene in the long run. Also, be sure to use a lint-free microfibre cloth instead of cotton.

If you really need to get into corners, you can even use compound gel that’s used to clean keyboards, laptops, and cars. If you’re looking for a different kind of approach, we’ve found a smartphone sanitiser that’s great for getting rid of germs and dirt that our eye can’t spot. One might neglect the importance of tech cleanliness, but in the long run, you’ll be actually saving some money.

The Do’s

Using the right professional tools.

Being careful of your smartphone’s base material.

Cleaning your case before your smartphone.

The Don’ts

Do not clean around delicate corners — camera rims, charging points, home button rims.

Don’t use cotton to wipe your smartphone after cleaning or to dry.

Don’t use glass cleansing liquid to clean your smartphone.

All images: Courtesy Getty

COVID-19 hygiene checklist: Here’s how to clean your smartphone

Mikhail Gomes

Features Editor, Lifestyle Asia India & Contributor - Augustman

A watch aficionado, Mikhail also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.


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