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How to clean your phone screen — and how often to do it

Here's what to know when it comes to cleaning your phone screen.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Karen B. Gibbs, Vicky Nguyen and Conor Ferguson

Coronavius 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 recent Gallup poll found that most Americans 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 Apple, the granddaddy of smartphones, and NBC News investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen.

How to clean your phone screen:

  • First, take off your case. Then you can use a disinfectant wipe, though Apple recommends avoiding bleach.
  • Use disinfectant wipes with 70% alcohol.
  • Nguyen said not to submerge the 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.

This article was originally published on June 7, 2016.