With a safe and effective vaccine still many months away, the most important aid in slowing the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 is prevention. While a lot of focus has been placed on washing hands and other bodily hygiene tips, high contact surfaces tend to be neglected or forgotten about, including your beloved smartphone. Not only does it have contact with potentially infected surfaces such as tables and countertops, but it also has direct contact with your hands, as well as parts of your face, making it a very viable medium for contamination.
1. The virus has been shown to survive without a living host on a surface (including the exterior of your device) for up to 96 hours if not properly disinfected. This makes regular disinfecting extremely important, however, it’s also vital to be aware of harsher cleaning methods that may irrevocably damage your screen and other sensitive components. Other considerations to weigh up are your device’s water resistance specifications. Here are a few smartphone-friendly ways that you can ensure that your device remains virus-free and corona-proof.
2. Apple has officially stated that disinfectant wipes are safe to use on its products, while Samsung has yet to release an official statement on safe and unsafe disinfectant techniques. Regardless, it’s best to avoid any sort of direct rubbing alcohol as this can strip certain protective coatings on your device, rendering it more vulnerable to other types of damage. If wiping your device down, ensure that you use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. Another germ-wiping alternative is UV light, which is known to kill up to 99.99% of germs and contagions, however, this has yet to be tested on the COVID-19 strain.
3. Another cleaning agent to avoid is makeup remover as this also contains potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, certain companies have developed smartphone-specific makeup remover which will not incur the same damage that generic removers do. Some other no-no’s when it comes to cleaning products are a window cleaner, kitchen cleaner, bleach, soaps and vinegar, all of which can strip protective coatings, or clog up important ports and openings. Compressed air is also not recommended as a cleaning method, specifically by Apple, as it can damage certain components such as speakers and microphones.
4. Even if your device is waterproof or resistant, it’s important to avoid exposing both the exterior and internal components to direct contact with water if preventable. The rule of thumb is the less water, the better. Instead of running even a waterproof device directly under a stream of water, rather spritz a clean microfiber cloth with water, wipe your device, then make sure to rinse the cloth thoroughly to remove any grit, oils or other contaminants.
Keeping your device clean and germ-free is a very important precaution during this vulnerable time when hygiene is the most widely recommended and effective preventative and protective measure in the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also important to ensure that when taking steps to protect yourself, you don’t unnecessarily damage your device. We hope these tips and recommendations will help keep your device clean and undamaged, and your health a priority.