Technophile

Keep your phone clean in these virus-laden times

Mala Bhargava | Updated on April 01, 2020

Germs shouldn’t reach you via the gadget. Guard it the right way

If there’s any time to keep your smartphone nice and clean, it’s now. You’ve heard the old warning about how it has more germs than the typical toilet seat? While we won’t get into that theory, there’s no doubt that some regular cleaning is needed.

But first, let’s talk prevention. Now more than ever, watch where you set the phone down.

Most of us are at home and with our own families, whose health status is known, but if you go out to buy something, don’t put the phone down on the shop counter. Put it into your pocket or bag before going in and try not to take it out until you’ve had a chance to wash or sanitise your hands.

It goes without saying that you also don’t hand it to anyone for any reason. Consider not taking it with you to the market at all, but if you must, be prepared with a place to put it away and a small bottle of sanitiser.

When you clean your phone, the frequency for which should depend entirely on your activities, make sure it’s unplugged and turned off.

Take off the case. Find a nice clean fresh micro-fibre or similar cloth or tissue. Keep a water and soap solution ready in which the soap is very diluted. If you have a spray bottle, direct some of the solutions from a distance on to the cloth so it gets damp but not dripping.

Gently and lightly wipe the phone with it, including the sides. But be careful about the openings — especially if your phone is not waterproof. Typical places for ingress are the charging port, a headphone jack (if you still have it), earpiece and speaker grills.

You could clean the openings with a cotton bud that has been lightly sprayed with disinfectant.

Germs can get into these slots too, but you have little choice but to be very careful not to let the actual liquid get into them.

A light solution of 70 per cent of alcohol can be used.

Through the cleaning process, use your judgement about how not to let the liquid get inside the device in any way.

Needless to say, give it a while before turning it on or even considering plugging it into power.

Even if your phone is water and dust resistant, as high-end phones tend to be, avoid dropping into a bowl of water and holding it under the tap because waterproofing material on them is said to get weaker with time.

Right now would not be a good time to water-damage your phone and be stuck without one.

There are horror stories of people washing their iPhones and other devices so frequently that they eventually gave up the ghost.

Avoid using strong chemical-based solutions to clean the screen or phone surface because they can erode or damage it. This includes the solution meant for cleaning spectacles and computer screens or commercially available glass cleaner.

Published on April 01, 2020

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