Germs on Keyboard

Image Credit: Sappymoosetree

Your cell phone is dirtier and more bacteria laden than you realize. Studies are finding that cell phones have more germs on them than toilet seats, and that up to 16% of all cell phones have poop on them. Eww. And we don’t think twice about placing our cell phones against our faces.

Instead of worrying about what, exactly, is living on your phone, take the time to clean it regularly and you won’t have to wonder any more.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for cleaning your cell phone. These tips can also be applied to most electronic devices (like your remote control, which is the most germ laden device you own).


To ensure you don’t grab the wrong product or cleaner, we’ll review the don’ts first.

Cleaning Your Phone

In order to clean your phone, you will need to gather a few items. Here’s what you’ll need.

Items to Gather:

  • Isopropyl alcohol or Disinfectant Wipes made for electronics
  • A Microfiber cloth (more than one if your phone is really dirty)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Can of air (optional)

To Clean Your Phone:

1. Mix the isopropyl alcohol with water to make a cleaning solution. You will want a ratio of 40 % alcohol, 60% water (or something similar). The point is to not use straight alcohol, or straight water. If you have disinfectant wipes made for electronics, you can also use those.

2. Spray the alcohol mixture onto the microfiber cloth. DO NOT apply the mixture to your cell phone directly. The cloth should be damp, but not wet. Wipe down the LCD, and any outside surfaces of the phone.

3. For hard to reach areas and crevices, dip a cotton swap into the cleaning solution, squeeze with a cloth to remove the excess moisture (again you want it damp, not wet), and clean those difficult areas. If crumbs or other crud is really stuck on there, try using a can of air to spray out any debris.

4. If your phone has buttons, use a cotton swab to clean around the buttons. It’s also a good time to clean around the charging port, as germs and other gunk can gather there too.

5. Allow your phone to dry thoroughly before using.

Other Tips

Use scotch tape to remove finger prints and other strange debris on your screen and phone. Note, this will not remove germs.

UV light is a great way to keep your phone clean, but is a more expensive solution. Some UV light solutions include a wand that you wave over your device, or a container that you put your device in to clean it. However, these solutions start at $50 on up, depending on the light.

Cleaning your phone, and other devices, ensures that you and anyone else who uses those devices, is safe from bacteria and other dangerous germs. Make it a habit to clean your phone at least monthly, and you’ll never worry about this problem again.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help others learn how to clean and maintain their technology. Email: [email protected].

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