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You should be cleaning your phone screen more than you think — here's how to do it properly

Here's what to know when it comes to wiping down your phone screen.
Vivian Le / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

The last few years has put a spotlight on something we all should be concerned about anyway: germs. While the best way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands thoroughly and often, there's another thing we all should be doing to stay healthy: cleaning smartphones.

A 2022 Gallup poll found that over eight in 10 adults keep their smartphones with them all day — and many do so all night. With so much up-close-and-personal time, screens tend to get dirty.

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 generally grimy screen? Here’s some advice from Jessica Ek from the American Cleaning Institute.

How often should I clean my phone? | Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my phone? | What should I use to clean my phone? | How to clean your phone screen | The best products for cleaning your phone

How often should I clean my phone?

You might be surprised by how often experts suggest cleaning your phone! "Dirt, oil or germs from hands can mark up cell phones," Ek explains. "Wipe the screen at least daily with a microfiber cloth."

Also, your phone case can trap dirt and grime along the edges. Take the cover off weekly and use a disinfectant wipe to clean it.

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my phone?

"Check with the manufacturer," says Ek. "For many phones, it is safe to use a disinfectant wipe."

What should I use to clean my phone?

Before you begin, check your owner's manual for any cleaning instructions specific to your device.

As she mentions above, Ek suggests using a microfiber cloth on the screen and a disinfecting wipe on the case, both inside and out. Let it dry completely before putting the case back on.

How to clean your phone screen

For more in-depth instructions on cleaning your phone screen, see the step-by-step directions below.

First, take off your case. Then you can use a disinfectant wipe, though Apple recommends avoiding cleaning products with bleach, hydrogen peroxide or other abrasives.

Use disinfectant wipes with 70 percent alcohol.

  1. To avoid damaging your smartphone, do not submerge your phone or get any cleaning fluids in any of the ports.

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.

Let everything air dry before you pop your case back on.

While you're at it, try to clean your office space every day, especially if you share a desk. Use a wipe or spray and let it air dry. Make sure you tackle the keyboard and get in between letters and rows. Don't forget to wipe down pens and pencils, too.

While all of this extra care and caution can be time-consuming, it's one of the best things you can do to prevent getting sick, so keep it up.

The best products for cleaning your phone

Makuang Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

You should be wiping your phone screen down at least once a day with a microfiber cloth. Grab this eight-pack so you can store one in your purse, nightstand and home office.

Weiman Electronics & Screen Disinfecting Wipes

Remember to check with the manufacturer of your phone to see what products are safe to use on your specific model. Generally speaking, though, these are safe to use on screens.

PhoneSoap 3

Want to level up your phone cleaning routine? This device uses powerful (and safe) UV rays to get your entire phone almost back to zero percent germs. It even has an opening for your phone charger so you can multitask.