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How to Clean a Dirty Cell Phone

Gauri Huddar
The surface of a cell phone is 18 times dirtier than a toilet handle! I didn't just make that up, it has been proven by a few students from the Stanford University. So, how often, if at all, do you clean your cell phone? Umm... Never thought of it, so don't even know how to clean a dirty cell phone? Go through this article and find out how to do just that.
Right from the moment we wake up, to the moment we fall asleep at the end of the day, we continuously use our cell phones! Which is a lot of usage for any gadget. If you pay attention to the way you handle your cell phone throughout the day, you will be amazed.
The amount and variety of surfaces that we touch before touching our cell phones without washing our hands every time, is cause for party for the bacteria breeding on the surface of our extremely unhygienic and disgusting phones.
The cell phone, I'm sure you have noticed, heats up if you use it for too long. And then we put it to our ears and have hour-long conversations. If you cast back your mind to school, you may vaguely remember being taught that certain conditions are very conducive for breeding of bacteria, heat being one of the major factors.
So as you gossip and giggle with your phone stuck to your ears, the bacteria are multiplying, and fast. When we are done, we wipe the sweat off the phone and put it away. Gross! You may seriously want to clean your cell phones. I'll tell you how to do it, if you don't already know.

Cleaning Your Cell Phone

Here is a simple step-by-step process for the best way to clean your cell phone.

Step 1

Switch off your cell phone, and disassemble it. This makes the cleaning work much easier. Separate the case, keypad, battery, faceplate, and whatever else you can, without damaging the phone or breaking it.

Step 2

Make sure that your battery has been removed before any moisture comes in contact with the cell phone.
If the moisture leaves any mark in the area marked by dotted lines where the battery is supposed to be, then your complaint will be dismissed as water damage, even if this happens within the warranty period. The warranty doesn't cover water damage, besides which it cannot be rectified. Make sure that you keep the area that is supposed to be dry, really dry.

Step 3

Take a cotton swab, microfiber cloth or some wireless wipes, distilled water and some rubbing alcohol. Dip the swab/ cloth in the alcohol and wipe the different parts of your disassembled cell phone. The swabs are used for cleaning the keypad, and the microfiber cloth and the wireless wipes are used to clean the screen of the cell phone.
Rubbing alcohol is useful for old hard plastic screen phones, whereas the distilled water is useful for the newer screens and metal trims on the phone, as well as the camera lens.

Step 4

Make sure that you wipe the camera lens off with a dry swab immediately, so that the water drying on it doesn't leave a residue on the lens. This works great for smartphones and blackberry phones. The disinfectants/ cleaning chemicals found around your house are too harsh for these phones, so do not use any of those chemicals.
Do not spray any chemical directly on the screen of your phone, else that will be the demise of your screen. You will have to replace it with a new one, which can be very expensive.

Step 5

Rub lightly so that the coating is not affected, and keep a little space from the edges so that the alcohol or distilled water doesn't seep inside the phone and damage it. When cleaning the inside, make use of dry swabs, and in case of stubborn, dried-on dirt, wet the swab very slightly and wipe. Dry with a dry swab pronto, to make sure the moisture doesn't go where it isn't supposed to. If the moisture seeps in, it will short circuit your cell phone.

Step 6

If your screen is cracked, leave the screen protector on, lest the water seeps in through any crack that has formed. Also, do not go overboard when one swab comes away black, and keep scrubbing vigorously till you hear squeaking sounds. You will end up scratching your phone and removing the clear coating or oleo phobic coating which is present on a few models of smartphones.

Step 7

Replace the screen guard with another one as soon as the screen dries, if you had to remove it while cleaning. Once you are done with the phone, make sure that you clean your phone case in a similar manner. Use the rubbing alcohol and clean till the swabs come out almost clean. Leather cases have their own special cleaners which will clean and moisturize the leather.

Step 8

Clean the USB connectors (places where the charger, headphones, etc., are connected to the handset) with a brush dipped in rubbing alcohol. Not soaked in it, just slightly dipped.
Let the phone dry thoroughly before you reassemble it, especially the areas near the location of the battery. Use another dry swab if you think some moisture is left in the phone. This is how to clean your cell phone. Once you are sure that the phone is really dry, then reassemble it and switch it on.
Make sure that the isopropyl alcohol you use is as close to 100% as possible. If you do not get 100%, try to get 98% or 97%, which is more easily available and is the best for cleaning.

UV Cell Phone Sanitizer

The UV cell phone sanitizer is a new cell phone cleaning gizmo, that can be used for cleaning almost all types of cell phones. It claims to clean 99.9% germs off your cell phone, making it safe and clean for use, in under a minute. All you have to do is, keep your cell phone inside the device and it will do its work.
It bombards the cell phone with extremely powerful, shortwave UV radiations, which kill almost all the harmful viruses and bacteria thriving and breeding on the phone.
You don't have to do anything. But till the time you lay your hands on this very useful device, clean your cell phone manually, as per the instructions given above. You may end up doing yourself a favor, and save yourself from harmful diseases caused by the viruses and bacteria found on cell phones.
How would the idea of continuously rubbing your face against the toilet seat, while having a conversation with someone, appeal to you? What you are doing right now while talking with the phone glued to your ears, is more harmful and gross. It's really not very difficult or time-consuming to clean your cell phone every few days. 15 minutes every week will give you a cleaner and safer phone, so why not invest this time?
If you do, there is no need to imagine a toilet seat when you are talking on the phone. A very useful tip would be to try to use the handsfree as much as possible, instead of placing the phone on your ear and cheek. This will prove beneficial in the long term, if you are a regular user of the cell phone.
You also get ready-made cell phone cleaning kits in the market, and you can just buy one. Do what you can, to get your cell phone clean. You will thank yourself later. Next time someone asks you how often do you clean your cell phone, you better have a good answer!