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7 Quick Tips to Keep COVID-19 Off Your Smartphone

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
Journalist. Reach me at

Smartphones can be hotspots for viruses, both on and offline. With South Africa taking steps towards being a more hygienic nation in response to the coronavirus threat, and smartphones being used by more than 50% of all adults in South Africa – and sometimes more than one per adult, users should consider the object they come into contact with almost as much as their own faces.

Smartphones also come into contact with many other surfaces, including our faces and the faces and hands of others. All potential sources for picking up unwanted germs and bacterias.

[Tweet “Smartphones also come into contact with many other surfaces, including our faces, and the faces and hands of others. All potential sources for picking up unwanted germs and bacterias.”]

Apple has updated a support page, showing and telling users the best ways to clean their smartphones without damaging theme.

“Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements,” reads the page.

Here are seven tips to get you started:

  1. Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
  2. Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
  3. Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
  4. Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
  5. Don’t get moisture into any openings.
  6. Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
  7. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.

Apple warns that if liquid makes its way inside your Apple product you should get help from Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store ASAP since liquid damage isn’t covered under the Apple product warranty or AppleCare Protection Plans.

The support page also has custom instructions to clean specific Apple products.

Apple states that 70% isopropyl alcohol disinfectant is fine for their smartphones. However, My Broadband states that alcohol-based disinfectants on your smartphones can lead to serious damage.

Wiping down screens with isopropyl alcohol can damage the oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings that keep oil and water from interfering with the display.

My Broadband suggests that the best and safest way to clean smartphones is to use a combination of soap and water. Microbiologist Dr. Lena Ciric told the BBC that this combination will effectively keep your phone virus-free and functional.

“Take care not to get water in any of the openings because even water-resistant phones can lose their protection over time,” Ciric says, also warning against using chemicals, gels and abrasive cleaners to keep your smartphone clean.

To sum it up: Use a little bit of soap and water to clean the surface of your screen, not too much for it to get into the openings of your smartphone. Using a soft cloth to do the cleaning is a much better option than any sort of rough or abrasive material.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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