How to clean and sanitize your Android phone properly without damaging it [Video]


Now seems about the best time to teach you how to properly clean and sanitize your Android smartphone, as the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus heightens our awareness of personal hygiene. While the best way to prevent the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses is still washing your hands vigorously, it’s not quite as obvious how best to clean your tech.

Considering just how much time you spend touching your Android phone, it too needs to be looked at. With that in mind, we’re going to show you a few ways to clean and sanitize your Android phone without damaging it or the display.

Think about it: If you have ever used your smartphone in the bathroom, then you might have introduced some potentially serious bacteria to the surface of your device.

According to a slightly outdated 2016 study, we touch our phones on average 2,600 times per day. The same study also claims that we pick up our devices 150 times during a 24-hour period.

Because smartphone use has only increased since then, it’s very likely that those figures are now even higher. So because of that, it, in means that our smartphones and tablets are highly prone to serious pathogens such as E.Coli and MRSA without factoring in the recent coronavirus epidemic — that is, if we don’t clean them correctly.

Google has some solid tips for Pixel owners, but the process can be repurposed for just about any Android smartphone out there. As each OEM uses a different display, we can’t guarantee if using alcohol-based screen wipes will damage it. Because of this, we suggest that you do not use any solutions with over 50% alcohol to ensure that your display is not damaged, or the oleophobic coating removed.

Things to avoid

  • Alcohol wipes and gels — anything over 50% alcohol will damage your display oleophobic coating.
  • Compressed air — most compressed or canned air can be flammable and may cause device issues. It can also leave a damaging solvent coating that can discolor or damage your device.
  • Water (on devices without IP ratings) — a small amount of water on an antimicrobial cloth will do no damage, but too much water can cause severe issues with your smartphone.

Things you might want

The easiest method of cleaning your Android phone and screen is to use an antimicrobial cleaning cloth. You can slightly dampen your cleaning cloth with lukewarm water and then gently wipe the display, bezels, and rear of your Android phone.

If you have a screen protector installed, you can wipe your display with disinfecting cleaning wipes. Alternatively, you can replace your screen protector regularly. The screen protector will ensure that your display is safe from any solutions that might damage the oleophobic coating or the phone itself.

Our recommended method, if you have a screen protector or not, is to use a specially formulated cleaning solution like from Whoosh. The company has been making cleaning solutions and microfiber cleaning cloths for tech for quite a while now, and the pocket packs are great value, easy to carry, safe for flights, and will ensure that your Android phone stays clean and germ-free.

If you use a cleaning solution, it’s important to spray just a small amount on to a microfiber or antimicrobial cloth before slowly rubbing and wiping your display free of any dirt, grime or fingerprints. If you have a cleaning cloth, it is important to wash it regularly in hot water only over 60°C or 140°F — then hang dry.

Another alternative is to use a UV smartphone cleaner. These contraptions are used by stores and refurbishing outlets to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on our smartphones. One of the most popular brands is undoubtedly PhoneSoap. At around $99 to $119, they are not cheap, but a couple of minutes inside will ensure that your Android phone is clean, sanitized, and safe to use.

You can find cheaper alternatives as low as $50 if you would prefer a more affordable option. If you have used a Whitestone Dome Glass, or screen protector that utilizes UV bonding for the adhesive, the UV light can also be used to sanitize your Android phone. You will have to manually adjust where the light has been applied, though, to ensure full coverage.

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