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Home / Tips and Tricks / Your phone screen is pretty dirty. Here's how to clean it

Your phone screen is pretty dirty. Here's how to clean it



  telephone screen

Make sure that you clean your telephone properly.


Derek Poore / CNET

The screen of your phone contains bacteria and dirt, which is really disgusting, considering how often it touches your hands and face. However, most of us have learned to live with it because keeping our phone screens clean is difficult. You can give it a cursory swipe over your jeans or the hem of your shirt, but that will not really get the screen clean. The best approach is not difficult and only costs a few dollars.

On the other hand, there are the cleaning agents and techniques that you never want to use, because ̵

1; although you may see good results in the first instance – they can be too hard and protect the screen you are working on so damagingly.

We're going to tell you which products to avoid, and the best ways to remove fingerprint stains, sand and lint from the ports, stubborn makeup from the screen (hint: never with makeup remover) and even disinfect your phone after contact with raw meat during cooking. We also tell you how to take care of telephones that are water resistant.

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9 things you should never use to clean your phone

We are not here to be ashamed of you, but drop that bottle of Windex, stat. That way you won't clean your screen.

Window cleaner

You clean your mirrors and windows with window cleaner and they are spotless, so it should be OK to use on your phone? Mass! Some newer phones, such as the iPhone XR (

$ 749 at Amazon

) have a protective coating that is resistant to water and oil, which can wear over time.

The use of aggressive cleaning agents can strip the coating and make your phone more vulnerable to scratches. James LeBeau, associate professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, told us that any cleaner with an abrasive is likely to scratch the surface, so they should be avoided completely.

Kitchen Cleaners

The scratch-resistant properties of a screen are not cleaned by cleaning agents, but removing that protective coating is still a problem. That's why Apple suggests not using household cleaning products to clean your iPhone. Bar Keepers Friend, for example, states that the abrasive formula can damage the protective layer. Bon Ami declares not to use on glass with coatings.

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Derek Poore / CNET

Paper towels

They may be the way to clean your desk, but keep them away from your telephone. The paper can shred, making the dirt on your phone much worse. Paper towels can even leave scratches on your screen.

Disinfectant Alcohol

Because many newer telephones have a protective coating, disinfectant alcohol can wear out faster over time, making your phone more susceptible to scratching. Check for alcohol in the product ingredients of cleaning agents for "safe to use" phone screens. Apple says to avoid alcohol when cleaning its devices.

Makeup Remover

Some makeup removers may contain chemicals that can be rough for an electronic screen. LeBeau recommends avoiding make-up remover and using a soft cloth with a little water instead.

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Compressed air

Your phone is delicate, so blowing an enormous amount of air into the portals can cause some damage, especially to your microphone. Technical companies, such as Apple, specifically warn against using compressed air.

Dishwashing Liquid and Hand Soap

Although your washing-up liquid and hand soap can be soft, you can only combine them with water. Most phone companies suggest keeping water away from your phone, so again, keep it on a damp cloth.

Vinegar

This is a no-no. Vinegar will remove the coating from the screen. As Lifehacker suggests, you could use highly diluted vinegar to clean other parts of your phone. Android Central suggests a 50/50 mix with distilled water for cleaning the sides and back.

Disinfectant Wipes

The warning label on this reminds you to wash your hands after each use, so using them to clean something that touches your face is often not a good idea. According to LeBeau from MIT, these wipes usually contain alcohol that will remove the oleophobic (oil-repellent) and hydrophobic (water-repellent) coatings.

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Remove your fingerprint marks and other dirt with these cleaning tips.


warat42 / iStockphoto

Removing fingerprints from your screen

Fingerprints are difficult to prevent because your skin is constantly producing oils. That means that every time you pick up your phone, it will definitely get fingerprints.

The safest and most effective way to clean your screen is with a microfiber cloth. If the screen needs to be cleaned urgently, use distilled water to moisten the microfiber cloth and wipe your screen – avoid spraying the water directly onto the screen. This method can also be used on the back and sides of your phone.

You can also try Swipe Wipes, which you stick to the back of your phone and can jump off if you want to wipe it.

See also Samsung's tips on cleaning your phone.

Remove sand and lint with this trick

Ribbon and sand can get stuck in the small ports of your phone and in the cracks where the screen touches the housing.

The best solution for removing sand and lint is adhesive tape. You can lay it along the folds and speaker, roll it up and place it carefully in the ports. The stickiness of the tape removes lint or sand that may have gotten stuck in your phone.

For the smaller speaker openings where tape cannot reach, use a toothpick or try to suck the dirt out with a small slit tool. These tools can also be used for other small devices or hard-to-reach places in your car.

Disinfect your phone from contact with raw meat

If raw meat touches your phone – say when you read a recipe on your device – you may immediately think of cleaning it with alcohol, but as mentioned above, don't. It can strip the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings. Other sites suggest the use of a mix of alcohol and water, but they have warning notifications, so we recommend staying outside for safety.

Alcohol and detergent can damage your screen because they are so corrosive. Instead, use the (say it with me) damp microfiber cloth or invest in a UV light, such as PhoneSoap. This UV light company claims to kill 99.99% of the bacteria and banishes bacteria.

Read: How to clean your monitor or TV screen

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Safely remove makeup

If you have a full face with makeup and need to call, guess what that foundation will hold? That's right, your phone screen. And although you can use makeup remover to take your makeup off every night, you shouldn't use it as a screen cleaner because of some chemicals lurking in the ingredients. Organics.org explains the chemicals that can be in your makeup premover.

Instead, you can get your phone its own makeup remover, such as Whoosh. The company claims it is safe for all screens and contains no alcohol, chlorine, ammonia or phosphates that can damage the various screen coatings.

You can also use a damp microfibre cloth to clean it – and then throw it in the wash. Be sure to use a spray bottle to spritz the cloth, instead of letting it run under water. The less water, the better.

Can you wash waterproof telephones?

If you have a water-resistant telephone with a classification of IP67 and higher you can rinse it with water. Although these phones, such as the iPhone 7 (

$ 170 at Walmart

) and newer and the Galaxy S phones can withstand immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 3 feet of water, it is a much better idea to use a damp or wet cloth to clean your phone. Then dry your phone with a dry, soft cloth to remove the water. Make sure you pat all speakers and ports dry.

If you immerse the phone in water or run it under a tap, you get water in the ports, which means that you cannot charge it until it is dry, and that can take time. Remember that having a water-resistant phone is more about peace of mind than about deliberately taking your phone for swimming.

Now that your phone is clean, you want to continue with other things that you own. Here is how you can prevent mold from growing in your washing machine and how you can kill it if you have it . You will also want to view this science hack for thinning your shower head in one hour .

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Originally published last year. Periodically updated with new information.


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