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Here's How To Actually Clean Your Disgusting Phone

Equally important: how to not accidentally damage it in the process.

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Let's face it: your cellphone is literally covered in germs.

You're on it all the time, and it goes basically everywhere with you (including the bathroom). It's disgusting. Studies have shown that most phones test positive for potential disease-causing microbes and fecal matter (so yeah, poop). And because you're constantly touching your phone, all that grossness can get transferred right back to your face.

TL;DR — your phone is a mobile germ carrier.

WRONG. Antibacterial wipes and disinfectants are actually super abrasive and can damage or scratch your phone.

Caroline Kee / Via BuzzFeed

Disinfecting wipes are effective at killing germs, but they can corrode and remove the protective ~oleophobic coating~ on the glass screen — which repels oils from your fingers and face. And the actual towelettes or cloths can also scratch the phone.

Sure, a screen protector can protect your screen, but there are lots of other parts of your phone that can potentially get damaged by too much liquid. So even though those pre-moistened wipes are convenient, they're really not a good choice.

So here's a safe way to disinfect your phone that's way less abrasive but still effective at killing all the germs.

Instagram: @simplement_matilda / Via

Just grab a lint-free cloth (like the kind you use on glasses) and spray it with a diluted alcohol solution. Here's what you'll need to make that:


* Bottled water

* 70% isopropyl alcohol

* 1 mini spray bottle

* 1 microfiber or lint-free cloth


Step 1: Fill a spray bottle halfway with distilled or bottled water.

Caroline Kee / Ashley McGetrick / Via BuzzFeed

It's better to use bottled water as opposed to tap because you know it's pure and there aren't any particles or contaminants that can damage or scratch the screen.

Step 2: Fill the other half of the bottle with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Caroline Kee / Ashley McGetrick / Via BuzzFeed

70% isopropyl alcohol is less harsh and abrasive on your screen as opposed to 99% or 91% isopropyl alcohol.

Step 3: *LIGHTLY* spray the solution on a microfiber or lint-free cloth.

Caroline Kee / Ashley McGetrick / Via BuzzFeed

Never spray the solution directly on your phone. Instead, spray the cloth once or twice — but don't get it completely wet. You still want to use the solution sparingly.


Rub it all over your entire phone — especially those buttons!

Caroline Kee / Ashley McGetrick / Via BuzzFeed

The alcohol in the solution will allow it to dry pretty quickly, so you'll be ready to pop your case back on or use your phone again in no time. Plus, the microfiber cloth will get all the greasy smudges off your screen so it looks shiny and perfect.

Important: This is for once-a-week disinfecting, not everyday cleaning.

Overuse with this solution can result in some slight damage to the screen's coating, so you don't want to do it more than once a week. For daily cleaning, you can just use a dry lint-free cloth (which Apple recommends).

Does this method actually work? We swabbed a phone and grew bacterial cultures before and after cleaning to find out.

Caroline Kee / Ashley McGetrick / Via BuzzFeed

After swabbing the phone, we transferred the sample to an agar plate in a petri dish and incubated it for 5 days.

Yes, we literally grew microbes in the office. It was gross.

Watch the full video here and get ready to sanitize that phone!