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How to Keep Your Smartphone Clean

Smartphones should be cleaned regularly, but they require a lot of care and some safety precautions. Read on for useful smartphone cleaning tips!


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Keeping smartphones clean is a little bit more difficult than with most electronic devices, as they tend to be self-contained units – you will need to take a few extra safety precautions. Smartphones should be cleaned regularly, as daily proximity to your mouth and hands means they’re amongst some of the filthiest things we come in contact with!

Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done:

  • A soft cloth (microfibre is preferable). Do not use tissues or paper towels, as they contain abrasive particles that may scratch surfaces.

  • A small bowl of dry, uncooked rice, or packs of silica gel.

  • Distilled water in a spray container. For a stronger effect, mix this half-and-half with vinegar.

  • Cotton buds.

  • A can of compressed air (optional extra). These can generally be obtained from electronics retailers.

To prevent your phone screen from accumulating dirt, you can use a screen protector. These stick to the screen to protect it against dirt. Change the protector when necessary and wipe the screen to remove any remaining dust particles. Screen protectors can also be useful to prevent your screen smashing if you accidentally drop it!

Warnings for Cleaning a Mobile Phone:

  • Never use commercial liquid cleaning products when cleaning a smartphone. Unless absolutely necessary, you should avoid using any kind of liquid at all. Liquid damage can permanently ruin electronic devices, so be careful.

  • Always keep your phone turned off while cleaning. If at any point you do manage to get your phone soaked during the cleaning process, place it in the bowl of dry rice or silica gel – with any luck, these will absorb the water and save the device.

  • Never use a hairdryer on your smartphone, or to try to speed up the drying process in any other way. Your smartphone contains many parts that can become warped and unusable at high temperatures. Similarly, never put your phone in a microwave or oven, as this could have hazardous consequences.

How to Clean a Smartphone Screen

  1. Turn off the device or the screen. This will minimise damage should excess liquid get on the phone. Where possible, remove the battery.

  2. Gently wipe the surface with a dry microfibre cloth to remove surface smudges.

  3. If persistent dirt remains, spray a small amount of your distilled water solution onto the cloth and try again. If stains persist, use the vinegar solution, but very sparingly.

  4. Either wipe off excess moisture with a dry microfibre cloth, or leave the smartphone screen to air dry.

  5. Do not turn the smartphone back on until it is totally dry.

How to Clean a Smartphone Keyboard and Ports

These nooks and crevices are always open to dust accumulation. Follow these steps to keep them dirt-free:

  1. Turn off your smartphone and unplug any cables.

  2. Use a dry cotton bud to swab between the keys and inside the ports. This should get rid of any major dust and dirt.

  3. For unmovable detritus, apply a little compressed air. This should blast dirt away nicely.

Compressed air can also be used to clean the interior parts of a smartphone (if they prove accessible), but heed the above advice, and do not attempt to clean the inside of your phone with anything else.

If your phone is extremely soiled, do not attempt to clean it yourself. Seek help from a professional to avoid further damage.

  • Use liquids sparingly when cleaning your smartphone.

  • Be sure to wipe off any excess liquid with a dry cloth.

  • Never use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.

Originally published