how to clean your phone and why

Jul 7, 2021

How often do you clean your phone? Think of all the places you put your phone down every day. The supermarket, the tube, the bathroom… A bit less appealing to touch it now? Let alone put it near your face! It’s National Hygiene Week so we’ve pulled together a quick guide on how to clean your phone and why.

why you should clean your phone

We touch our phones about 3,000 times a day (Dscout, 2016). And according to research by Germs your phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat (2017). So cleaning your phone can help stop the spread of germs, viruses and also might help stop you getting spots!

how to clean your phone

Before you clean your phone make sure it’s switched off and not plugged into any sockets. Remove the case and make sure you clean that too!


The best way to clean your phone is using wipes. Most phone companies recommend 70% alcohol wipes. You can buy these at most supermarkets. Don’t scrub your phone or try and push the wipe inside the phone – like the charger port. Just give it a gentle clean.

soap, water and a microfibre cloth

Dr Lena Ciric, a microbiologist from UCL, created this helpful video tutorial for the BBC showing how to clean your device using soap, water and a microfibre cloth.

  1. Soak a microfibre cloth (these are more gentle than other clothes) in a mix of water and soap (not bleach!)
  2. Squeeze the cloth so it’s damp – not soaking wet
  3. Gently wipe down your phone
  4. Again – don’t try and clean inside your phone

It’s better for the planet to use things you likely already have lying around the house (water and soap!) and Dr Ciric shows how effective this method is. Whatever you do, don’t submerge your phone in the water mixture! This will probably break the device.

how not to clean your phone

  • Don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals – this might break your phone
  • Don’t use rough cloths – these can break down the protective layer on your screen. Kitchen roll is probably too harsh to give you a sense of how gentle it needs to be.
  • Don’t scrub your phone – easy does it!
  • Never clean the inside of your phone. The inside of your phone is easily damaged by trapped water or soap
  • Don’t forget to let your phone case dry properly before putting it back on – water trapped between your phone and case can grow mould

how often should you clean your phone?

Different people say different things. The general rule of thumb is once or twice a day. Every time you clean it and then put it somewhere else again it will have germs on it – so keep that in mind!

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