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Jim Rossman: Keeping your phone clean and germ-free has never been more important

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Published in Science & Technology News

I received an email from a subscriber: "Have you done any research on effective and appropriate ways to clean a mobile phone so as to prevent the phone from being a way to transmit COVID-19?

"I have an iPhone XS covered with an Otter Box and screen."

Well, first, thanks for being a subscriber. Newspapers need all the support we can get. I appreciate all of our readers, but I love subscribers just a little more.

OtterBox cases are known for providing all-over protection, but cases can get just as dirty as phones. You can clean your phone and OtterBox case with any disinfectant wipes you may have around the house.

It's not a bad idea to wipe your phone and case each day. You'll also want to clean them after a trip to the grocery store or any other outing. The same advice goes for other cases.

You should be just fine using a moist cloth or disinfectant wipe.

 

As for the phone itself, Apple says it's OK to use disinfectant wipes on iPhones, while Samsung says it's OK to use an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) on Galaxy devices. You should not pour liquid on your phone. Instead, moisten a soft cloth and use it to wipe down the phone.

If you do use a wipe from a company like Clorox or Lysol, wipe the entire case and phone and let them air-dry. Once they're dry, check the screen. Sometimes wipes can leave spots that can be cleaned using a soft cloth moistened with clean water or isopropyl alcohol.

If you don't have disinfectant wipes, you can use warm, soapy water, but even though most phones today have some level of water resistance, I'd recommend taking the phone out of the case first. Just moisten a soft cloth with soapy water and then wipe the phone and case.

Avoid getting water inside the charging ports or any other openings (speaker, microphone, SIM card).

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