As people grow more conscious about hand hygiene in the time of coronavirus, there's another potential germ carrier to keep in mind: your phone. Yes, you should sanitize your iPhone (or whatever model of phone you use), and it's pretty easy to do, according to healthcare and cleaning experts. Plus, you probably already have the necessary cleaning products on hand.
To be clear, phones can get pretty gross. "Just like any other object, a phone has an astronomical amount of bacteria on it and putting it directly on our face isn't the healthiest thing to do," Dr. Alain Michon, M.D., Medical Director at Ottawa Skin Clinic, tells Romper. And germs aren't the only thing that can hang out on your phone. "Cell phones are a hotspot for bacteria, facial oil, makeup, and other environmental pollutants to accumulate," Dr. Zain Husain, a dermatologist with NJ Dermatology and Aesthetics Center, tells Romper. But you can't toss your iPhone into the washing machine, so how are you supposed to clean it safely?
Recently, Apple announced that sanitizing wipes are OK to use on its products, which just might make cleaning your phone easier than ever. "Using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces," according to the Apple Support site.
And as it turns out, experts love this trick for keeping your phone sanitary. "Frequently sanitizing phones with alcohol-based towelettes or wipes can be helpful. I frequently use alcohol wipes or Lysol wipes in my office or at home to clean my phone," says Dr. Husain. Other healthcare experts support this idea. "Not only do these wipes help keep skin infections at bay, such as ringworm or other fungal infections that can be transferred by touch or person-to-person, but they can also assist with influenza and other illnesses," Todd Minars, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Minars Dermatology, tells Romper in an email. He recommends wiping the phone's entire surface and letting it dry. "That's a big caveat with these wipes (and disinfectant in general) is that they're most effective when they've been given an opportunity to dry naturally," says Dr. Minars. Just give everything a few seconds to dry, and your phone will be good to go.
In addition to using sanitizing wipes, here are some additional expert tips for keeping your phone as clean and microbe-free as possible. It's totally easy to clean the thing without damaging it or voiding that warranty.