Research studies have found cell phones to be dirtier than toilet seats, and it turns out the warm devices are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So how can you safely sterilize them to keep those nasty germs away from your face?
Last winter as our country was swept away by a flu epidemic, I was trying to seek an answer to that seemingly simple question. Popular Mechanics provided some great advice on how to clean cell phones and other electronic devices (Check out their article How to Clean Your 7 Favorite Gadgets), but I also decided to make an inquiry with customer service at HTC, the makers of the popular Android phones. They were stumped. The best recommendation a manager could provide was to use a soft rag. When I probed if isopropyl alcohol (or “rubbing alcohol”) is safe to use on the touch screens, she said “yes, but we can not recommend using any liquids because of the possibility of it getting inside of the phone.” Let’s sort this out a bit more.
Here are Maid in Chicago’s Top 10 Cell Phone Cleaning Tips:
1. Mix your own bottle of isopropyl alcohol solution. Popular Mechanics recommends using a 60/40 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. You can purchase a small-sized empty spray bottle at a drug store and mix your own solution.
2. Use a soft cleaning rag or T-shirt. We recommend micro fiber cleaning cloths or flour sack towels. (Please see our posts Everything you always wanted to know about microfiber cleaning cloths and Cleaning Cloths 101). Lightly dampen the cleaning cloth with the isopropyl alcohol solution.
3. Apply only gentle pressure with your cleaning cloth.
4. Use a Q-tip to clean those hard to reach areas such as in between buttons.
5. Do not use paper towels. They can scratch the touch screens.
6. Do not spray any cleaner directly on your phone. Apply the cleaner to the cleaning cloth instead.
7. Do not use glass cleaners such as Windex. They may contain ammonia which can damage your screen.
8. Do not use disposable disinfecting wipes. The popular brands such as Clorox and Lysol contain bleach, which is unsafe for use on screens of electronics devices.
9. If you prefer a disposable product, use alcohol swaps or alcohol wipes. These inexpensive, generic products, which contain 70% isopropyl alcohol, can be found at your local drug
pictured above: Curad Sterile Alcohol Swabs
10. Avoid using cleaning products which do not list the active ingredients. While it is probably safe to use lens cleaner, lens wipes, or cell phone wipes, the ingredients are often not listed on these products. It might be best to avoid them altogether.
- To schedule a cleaning or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit Maid in Chicago’s website maidinchicago.us and fill out our online form.