This Is the Best Way to Keep Your Smartphone Clean

Bad news: You've been carrying around a petri dish in your pocket.

You may not know this, but your smartphone isn't just your window to the world around you. No, it's also a veritable breeding ground for bacteria. According to a study in Germs, your phone has more than 17,000 different "gene copies"—or germs—on it, and research out of the University of Arizona posits that that is ten times dirtier than a toilet seat. Among the most common bacteria? Staphylococcus, or the stuff that gives you staph infections. Wonderful.

Luckily, you can clean it—and there's a right and wrong way to do that. For starters, don't ever spray anything directly onto your phone, unless you want to risk ruining the electronics inside. Instead, take a microfiber cloth and dampen it with either hand sanitizer or a mix of rubbing alcohol and water. (You could also pick up some dedicated electronics wipes for a few bucks on Amazon.) Then, gently wipe down your phone all over. Considering you likely take out your phone 47 times per day, according to a study from consulting firm Deloitte, you should go through this process daily. If you need a reminder, just set an alarm—which you can do on your phone.

But simple wiping alone won't do the trick. To get things to a truly pristine level, you'll need to make use of a toothbrush. Here's how.

Per the folks at CNET, you'll want to grab a dry, unused toothbrush. Then, you'll want to rub gently at all the "ports" on your phone—the headphone jack, the charging port, that sort of thing. Take care to rub extremely gently; otherwise, the bristles may end up breaking the ports. A few seconds for each port should do the trick. This process will get all the tricky-to-remove debris from areas that a cloth isn't able to reach.

Finally—because safe is better than sorry—always be sure your device is off before you clean it.

Or, if you have a will as strong as iron, you could simply quit using your smartphone altogether.

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Ari Notis
Ari is an editor specializing in news and lifestyle. Read more
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