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Coronavirus prevention tip: Keep your phones clean, in 10 easy steps

Published Mar 6, 2020, 10:08 pm IST
Updated Mar 7, 2020, 8:20 am IST
Coronaviruses could survive on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days.
Use microfibre cloth or pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes.
 Use microfibre cloth or pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes.

Chennai: Our phones are germ magnets. So, even if you’re washing your hands often and using masks to keep away the coronavirus COVID-19, you could catch an infection from your dirty phone.

While your phone may not look or feel dirty, the average mobile phone is said to have more bacteria on it than a toilet seat, and a Stanford study says that about 30 per cent of viruses can transfer from your phone to your hands and on to your eyes and nose, through which pathogens enter your body.


Coronaviruses could survive on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days. The WHO has said that the likelihood of pathogens surviving for a long time when moved and exposed to different temperatures is small but for the sake of abundant caution, it’s best to keep your phone clean.

So, here’s how you can prevent the spread of infection by cleaning your phone often.

  1. First, switch off your phone and take it out of its case or back cover, if you use one.
  2. Wash your hands and dry them before picking up the phone. Or use hand sanitiser liberally.
  3. Make sure your phone has a screen guard on it, or fit it with one ASAP.
  4. Moisten some lint-free micro fiber cloth (or lens cleaning cloth) with some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and carefully rub down the screen, over the screen protector.
  5. Wipe down the back and sides of the phone too in the same manner. You can also use pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes available for purchase online or at your opticians.
  6. Use a cotton swab or bud moistened with the alcohol to clean the charging port and earphone jack.
  7. For plastic and silicone back covers, you can wash them in warm water mixed with a few drops of dishwash liquid. Let them dry completely before fitting them back on the phone.
  8. For leather or PU leather covers, you can use disinfectant wipes
  9. As much as possible, use earphones or headphones to make calls, so that you don’t have to bring the phone up to your face. Wipe those down too with rubbing alcohol-moistened microfibre cloth.
  10. After cleaning the phone and its cover, wait at least 15 minutes before putting them back together and then switching on the device.


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