Coronavirus: How do you keep your phone clean?

Apple says disinfectant wipes can be used after insisting for years it was a bad idea

We take phones into our hands hundreds – if not thousands – of times each day. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

We take phones into our hands hundreds – if not thousands – of times each day. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

 

We have become a nation of hand washers, almost obsessively scrubbing our hands as if we were heading into an operating theatre to perform open heart surgery.

People have stockpiled hand sanitiser, and when that ran out people have tried their hands at making their own using an array of more easily purchased products.

But all the hand washing counts for little unless we are as scrupulous with our phones.

They go with us everywhere. They are in the toilet, in our pockets and our bags. We take them into our hands hundreds – if not thousands – of times each day. And we bring them close to our mouths.

So how to we keep them clean? Washing in warm soapy water doesn’t work, for obvious reasons.

The good news is that earlier this week Apple changed its advice on how its phones can be cleaned. It now says disinfectant wipes can be used after insisting for years that it was a bad idea.

The new guidance on Apple’s support page says people can “gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces,” with 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol wipe.

It advises against using bleach.

“Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”

If you are planning to clean your phone, what you should do is unplug the device from any power source and turn it off. Take the cover or case off and clean it separately.

Mix 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol with water at a 50/50 ratio.

Spray a microfiber cloth with a little bit of the mixture. The cloth should be damp but never wet.

Wipe the phone, front and back and then when that is done get a dry cotton bud which should be used clean the fiddly areas like the microphone and camera

Allow your phone to air dry - maybe give it 15 minutes or so.

It is easier with a disinfectant wipe but make sure it doesn’t contain bleach or other abrasives.

Give it a vigorous wipe and get into to all the fiddly bits. Allow it to dry.

And then when you have all that done, wash your hands.

Again.