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What is one of the dirtiest items in your purse or pocket besides money?  Probably, your cell phone.  Stop for a minudirty cell phonete and think about where and when you used your cell phone.  We carry them everywhere, rushing to answer or check a text message with dirty hands.  We take it into the bathroom, kitchen and everywhere else.  If you have children you have probably given them your phone to distract them as you shop or drive the car.

One study found cell phones to be 18 times dirtier than toilet handles.  Another study found that 82% of cell phones tested positive for bacteria contamination and 16% had E.coli.

So, how do we clean our phones?

  • Check the directions in your owner’s manual for any specific cleaning instructions.
  • Power down the phone to help protect it as you clean.
  • You can wipe the screen clean with a microfiber cloth daily. This will help remove the dirt your hands left on the phone.cleaning cell phone
  • Use disposable cleaning electronic screens’ wipe but don’t use a regular cleaning wipe on your phone. If you don’t have an electronic screen wipe  use a soft cloth dampened with water.   To get the dirt out of the small corners and nooks use a cotton swab.
  • Dirt and grime can accumulate around the edges of your protective cover. Take the cover off weekly and use a disinfecting wipe on the inside and outside of the case.  Let it dry thoroughly before putting it back on your phone.
  • Wash your hands before using your phone which will prevent germs and dirt from getting on your phone.
  • Keep food and drink away from your phone.
  • Avoid using your phone in the bathroom. Droplets from flushing the toilet can land on your phone.

To avoid ruining the special coatings on some screens, never use any products containing harsh chemicals, like ammonia.

While you are cleaning try cleaning your computer and television remote too.  You can use a cleaning wipe on your keyboard or a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner.  Don’t spray directly onto your keyboard or laptop.  An air duster can help remove things stuck in your keyboard.  For the monitor just use a dry or dampened with clean water microfiber cloth to wipe away the dust and dirt.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Jenny Even, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/EFNEP, Ohio State University Extension

References:

American Cleaning Institute, (2013).  Cell Phone Cleaning.  Available at http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/clean_living/cell_phone_cleaning.aspx

Eley, A. (2014). Find out how to clean your cell phone and other dirty gadgets, Available at

http://www.today.com/home/find-out-how-clean-your-cell-phone-other-dirty-gadgets-2D79591843

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