Your Phone Screen Is Dirty. Here’s How To Clean It The Right Way

Areas such as kitchens and bathrooms are typically cleaned regularly because they may contain bacteria, but phones need the same touch. Do you have iPhone or an Android phoneit must be cleaned to make it last as long as possible. And with COVID-19 still around, it is important to disinfect the objects that you often touch and that are in direct contact with others.

Ideally, you should at least clean your phone once a day following your phone’s manual for cleaning instructions. Improperly cleaning your device (such as using rubbing alcohol and paper towels) can remove the lining that protects your screen. There are safer things that will do the trick.

We’ll show you the most common ways to clean your phone without germs and messes the right way, especially for phones rated for waterproofing.

Use disinfectant wipes or the right alcohol-based solution

If you touch your phone after touching a public door handle or food cart, your first thought might be to clean it with rubbing alcohol. Don’t. Direct alcohol can get rid of the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings, which prevent oil and water from damaging your phone’s screen and other ports.

Some websites suggest creating a mixture of alcohol and water itself, but it is important to achieve the right concentration. Wrong and you could damage your phone. The safest bet is to use disinfectant wipes that contain 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean your phone screen.

A person pressing the handle on a bottle of cleaner

Drop the window cleaner and counter, now.

Derek Poore / CNET

Prior to the pandemic, we were instructed not to use disinfectant wipes on our phone screens, but Apple says it’s okay to use Clorox Wipes and others with similar concentrations.

AT&T’s cleaning guidelines suggest that you “spray a non-abrasive or alcohol-based (70% isopropyl) disinfectant directly on a soft cloth and wipe your appliance while it is turned off and off.” Samsung also said you can create an alcohol-based solution of 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, applied with a microfiber cloth.

Another option for daily cleansing is to invest in UV light, such as PhoneSoap. This UV light company claims that its product kills 99.99% of germs and kills bacteria. As far as we know, it has not been tested for this strain of coronavirus.

Remove fingerprints with a microfiber cloth

Fingerprints are hard to prevent because your skin is constantly producing oils. This means that every time you pick up your phone, it will inevitably get fingerprints all over it.

The safest and most effective way to clean your screen is with a microfiber cloth. If the screen needs cleaning, use distilled water to dampen the microfiber cloth and then wipe your screen – avoid spraying the water directly on the screen. This method can also be used on the back and sides of your phone.

You can also try a microfiber screen sticker that sticks to the back of your phone and can pop out when you need to wipe it.

Check Samsung Tips also about cleaning your phone.

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dirty phone screen

Remove your fingerprints and other fingerprints with these cleaning tips.

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Remove sand and rope with this tape trick

Lint and sand can get stuck in the small ports on your phone and in the slots where the screen meets the body.

The best way to get rid of sand and rope is to tape it. You can put it in the folds and speaker, and roll and gently put it in the ports. The glue from the tape will pull out any string or sand that may be stuck in your phone.

For the smaller speaker holes that a tape can’t reach, use a toothpick (gently) or try to vacuum out the debris with a small one. crack tool. These tools can also be used for others small appliances or hard-to-reach areas in your car.

Wipe off makeup with a damp cloth

When you have a face full of makeup and need to make a call, guess what that foundation will stick to? That’s right, your phone screen. And although you can use makeup to remove your makeup every night, you shouldn’t use it as a screen cleaner because of some chemicals that might be lurking in the ingredients. ( explains the chemicals that might be in your makeup.)

Instead, you could get your phone its own makeup, such as Whoosh. The company claims that its product is safe for all screens and does not contain any alcohol, chlorine, ammonia or phosphates that could damage the various screen coatings.

You can also use a damp microfiber cloth to clean the phone – and then throw that cloth in the wash. Be sure to use a spray bottle to spray the fabric, instead of running it under water. The less water, the better.

How to Clean Waterproof Phones

If you have a waterproof phone, evaluate for IP67 and above, you can wash it with water. Although these phones, like the new iPhone 13 and the iPhone Galaxy S phones, can withstand immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 3 feet of water, it is a much better idea to use a damp or damp cloth to clean your phone. Then wipe your phone with a dry, soft cloth to remove the water. Be sure to dry all speakers and ports.

Soaking your phone in water or running it under a tap will put water in the ports, which means you won’t be able to charge it until it’s dry, and that can take a while. Remember that having a waterproof phone is more about being calm in case of accidents than about deliberately taking your phone for a swim.

a person talking on the phone

If you are calling while you are putting on make-up, guess what is on your phone.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Avoid these items while cleaning your phone

We are here to warn you, not to embarrass you, but to drop that bottle of Windex, stat. Here are some products you should never use to clean your phone.

Hand cleaner

Because some hand sanitizers have ingredients such as spices and ethyl alcohol, it is best to keep the sanitizer out of your phone screen. However, if you have touched anything outside your home, you should heal your hands before touching your phone to prevent viruses and bacteria from spreading. For best results, use a manufacturer’s sanitizer rather than making your own at home (they are not so effective).

Window cleaner

You clean your mirrors and windows with a window cleaner, and they are creaminely clean, so a window cleaner must be in order to use on your phone? Wrong! Some phones, such as the iPhone, have a protective coating that resists water and oil and can wear out over time.

Using harsh cleaners can remove the liner and could leave your phone more vulnerable to scratches. James LeBeau, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, told us that any cleaner with an abrasive agent is likely to scratch the surface, so these should be completely avoided.

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Kitchen cleaners

The scratch-resistant properties of a screen will not fall off with cleaning agents, but stripping that protective coating is still a problem. That’s why Apple also suggests not using household cleaning products to clean your iPhone, including white. Bar Keepers Friend, for example, states that its abrasive formula can damage the protective layer. Bon Ami declares do not use on glass with coatings.

Paper towels

They may be the way to clean your desk, but keep them away from your phone. Paper may break, damaging your phone’s debris. Paper towels can even leave scratches on your screen.

Rubbing alcohol

Because many newer phones have a protective coating, rubbing alcohol can wear it out faster over time, making your phone more prone to scratches. Be sure to check for alcohol in the product ingredients on any “safe to use” cleaners for phone screens. Apple says to avoid alcohol while cleaning its devices.


Some makeup tools may have chemicals that can be harsh on an electronic display. LeBeau suggests avoiding makeup and instead using a soft cloth with some water.

Compressed air

Your phone is fragile, so blowing an intense amount of air into its portals can cause damage, especially to your microphone. Technical companies, such as Apple, specifically warn do not use compressed air.

Soap dish and hand soap

During your dish and hand soaps can be mild, the only way to use them is to combine them with water. Most phone companies suggest keeping water away from your phone, so again, stick a damp cloth.


This is a no-no. Vinegar will strip the lining of the screen. You could, like Lifehacker suggestsuse very diluted vinegar to clean other parts of your phone. Android Central suggests 50/50 mixture with distilled water for cleaning the sides and back.

If you are thinking of getting a new phone, check it out Samsung Galaxy S22 range and our review of iPhone 13.

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