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Should you clean your phone during the coronavirus? Yes, and here’s how to do it the right way

Should you clean your phone during the coronavirus? Yes, and here’s how to do it the right way
[Photo: Prykhodov/iStock; CDC]

Someone with flu or COVID-19 touches a doorknob or counter. You come along and touch the doorknob or counter. Then you check your phone. Hours later, you’ve washed your hands, but the virus is still alive on your phone. You see the problem.

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If you’re a smartphone owner, than the new coronavirus outbreak and brutal flu season require some new habits. Here’s what to do:

Wash your hands before you touch your phone. You know, check your phone less and wash your hands more. This minor lifestyle change entirely bypasses the risk of accidentally transmitting a virus to yourself via your phone.

If that’s never gonna happen . . .

Get a phone case. A washable case that surrounds your phone makes it easy to clean: just toss it in the sink with your dishes once or twice a day, and wash.

Clean your phone. Apple updated its care instructions to say that wiping the hard surfaces of a phone with 70% isopropyl alcohol is fine, as long as no moisture gets into any openings, keys, or charging ports. No need to purchase wipes: The $1 rubbing alcohol that you purchase at the pharmacy is typically 70% isopropyl alcohol. Phone cleaning tips:

  • use only soft, lint-free cloth. Do not use paper towels, which can scratch.
  • unplug before you clean
  • do not spray the phone directly
  • avoid bleaches or other cleaning products

Phones, by the way, are notorious for being disgusting breeding grounds for germs, even in the best of circumstances. Here’s to hoping phone sanitation becomes a thing.

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