How often you should clean your smartphone — and the right way to do it

According to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans keep their smartphones with them all day — and many do so all night. With so much up-close-and-personal time, smartphone screens get dirty, to say the least.

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Smartphone screens should be cleaned immediately if it comes into contact with materials that might cause stains, such as ink, dyes, makeup, dirt, food, oils and lotions. But what’s the best way to clean a grimy screen? Here’s what Apple, the granddaddy of smartphones, recommends.

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth, like microfiber, to wipe away smudges. Abrasive materials such as rough cloths, towels and paper towels, could scratch the glass and damage the oil-repelling coating on the glass screen.
  • For stubborn spots, wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth that’s been dampened with a drop of water or alcohol. Never apply water or alcohol directly onto the screen and make sure to unplug the phone from all external power sources, devices and cables first.

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  • Never use ammonia, window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays or abrasives to clean the screen. Moisture can get into the openings of the phone and damage it. (FYI, liquid damage isn’t covered under warranty or protection plans.)
  • While you’re at it, wipe off the "Home" button with dry microfiber cloth, too. It will allow Touch ID to work at its best.
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