How to disinfect your phone

How to disinfect your phoneImage credit: Tom’s Guide, ChildrensMD

For most of us, being away from our phone is almost like losing one of our limbs – excruciating. So we bring our devices everywhere, from our daily commute to communal eating spaces, and even the washroom! Just imagine the huge amount of germs our phones pick up every day, and to think that we even hold them against our faces.  

Studies have shown that our phones carry 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats. With COVID-19 in full attack mode, it is important for us to ensure regular sanitisation habits, even for our phones. Get rid of germs by following these 5 simple steps on how to disinfect your phone properly!

Check out other articles to help you maintain hygiene: 

1. Prepare soap and water

Disinfect phone - soap and water
Image credit: iDrop News
First, prepare a small bowl of water and add about one pump of soap. Only use hand or dish soap and avoid harsh cleansing agents like hand sanitisers, pure alcohol or soaps with alcohol as these may damage the protective layer of your phone screen. 

Then, dampen a smooth microfibre cloth with your soap mixture. 

Avoid: Rough cloths and paper towels as they may scratch your screen. Also, don’t apply soap directly to your device as it is only gentle enough when combined with water. 

For Apple iPhone and Samsung users, you can also use Clorox wipes and alcohol-based solutions of 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol respectively – these are manufacturer-approved. 

2. Power down your phone and wipe away

wipe your phones

In this day and age, the only time your phone is ever switched off is when it has run out of juice. However, do turn off your phone when you give it a wipe – to protect it from damage, and to give it a much-needed rest anyway. Most warranties don’t cover water damage, so you would want to steer clear from dabbing water on an active phone. 

Remove your phone case and start to wipe the surface of your phone with the cloth from step 1.

Pro tip: Make sure your cloth isn’t dripping wet and avoid openings like charging/headphone ports as you’d want to minimise the risk of water entering the phone, which may cause damage.

Damaged phone
Damaged phone under water
Image credit:

Needless to say, never, ever place your phone under running water even though it is advertised as “water-resistant”. Some phones can withstand submersion in water for up to 30 minutes, but they can’t withstand the higher water pressures from your faucet. 

3. Dry your phone 

Now, use another clean, dry cloth or tissue paper and go over the surface of your phone again. 

This is definitely a step not to be neglected as leaving water on your screen for a long time would allow it to seep through the cracks and ports, damaging your phone. 

4. Disinfect your phone case

Disinfect phone case
Image credit: iDrop News

Few people clean their phones regularly, but even fewer realise how dirty their phone case is! Some of us may even be guilty of using our greasy fingers to touch our phones during or after meals, causing our once-pristine and clear phone cases to turn oily and yellowed. It is time to give it a good cleanse.

Use a smooth cloth/wipe similar to step 1 to wipe your phone case. If your phone case is made of plastic, just pop it under running water and apply soap directly. This is not recommended for rubber, silicone, and leather cases. Remember to allow the case to dry completely.

5. Pick out dirt build-up in ports

Pick out dirt build-up in ports with toothpickImage credit: ChargeItSpot

If you really want to get every germ out of the way, then don’t miss out the ports too. The debris stuck in your ports may even affect charging efficiency. Prepare a wooden toothpick to clean up the stubborn particles stuck in those ports.

Be gentle! You may end up damaging the ports if you dig around forcefully. 

Bonus tips

  • Disinfect your phone and its case once a day especially if you are an avid phone user. If that is too much trouble, once every two days would suffice. 
  • Avoid bringing your phone into the bathroom. Bathroom surfaces like sinks and faucets, as well as a toilet flush may contaminate your phone even further. Why take the risk? 
  • Place your phone on cleaned surfaces, or just leave it in your bag or pocket. Be sure to avoid placing your phones on/near dirty items like your towel or tap.
  • Wash your hands frequently! Some of us pick up our phones hundreds of times a day – no wonder our hands are the biggest culprit when it comes to contaminating our phones.

Fast and easy guide to disinfecting your phone


It only takes less than 15 minutes to ensure your phone is 100% sanitised. This hassle-free and quick guide will ensure that your phone, a.k.a. the baby you can’t live without, won’t be the one that puts you at risk of being a positive COVID-19 test swab result.

Putting in effort to sanitise your belongings can go a long way to protect yourself and those around you. Researchers have concluded that bacteria found on phone screens may cause flu, eye infections, or even fatal infections in very unlikely cases. This is not the time to let your guard down, so sanitise away! 

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