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How Often Should I Clean My Phone?

A woman wiping down her phone with a disinfectant.
CGN089/Shutterstock

This time last year, you probably cleaned your phone . . . well . . . never. But things like that tend to change during a global pandemic. Here’s how often you should be cleaning your phone now.

Previously, having a dirty phone might have caused you to think: Gross! I just read a study about how many germs jump from the toilet onto my phone.

Things are a bit more serious now, though—properly cleaning your phone is a matter of personal and public health.

Basically, you should clean your phone in all of the following situations:

  • Whenever you wash your hands: If you’ve touched your phone since the last time you washed your hands, it has germs on it. If you don’t clean it, you’ll transfer those germs right back to your clean hands the next time you use it.
  • After it’s been away from home: If you were using a shopping list on your phone, calling to confirm an appointment, or using its GPS while you were out, it’s time to clean your phone. Whenever you touch anything at a store or other public place, you transfer those germs to your phone the next time you use it.
  • After anyone else touches it: Maybe others don’t touch your phone often, but in situations in which they do, be extra vigilant. For example, I sell handcrafted items and accept credit cards for payments. Anytime I sell at an event, people are touching my phone. I wipe it down with hand sanitizer after every customer. You should also clean your phone after your kids use it. It’s handy to carry some alcohol wipes in your purse or pocket for this purpose.
  • After you take it in the bathroom: Many people take their phone to the bathroom with them to check social media or play a game while they’re “conducting business.” Even if you’re careful with your phone in there, it’s still a bathroom. Germs hitch a ride wherever they can, whenever they can, so be sure to disinfect your phone if it’s your source of bathroom entertainment.

Cleaning your phone is easy (just make sure you get under that case, too). Here’s how to do it properly, as well as some handy products, including a UV sanitizing box, that can make cleaning your phone even easier.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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