With the novel coronavirus hitting several people as well as financial markets very hard, everyone seems to be releasing guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene, especially on washing your hands or wearing mask, if needed. However, there are either mis-conceptions or not full knowledge about sanitising the most frequently used device, your mobile phone. One of my friends wanted to clean his water-resistant phone by dipping it in a solution made with water and disinfectant like Dettol or Savlon! Others feel, using a glass cleaner can easily sanitise his mobile handset! But kindly refrain from doing such experiments as it could damage your mobile device. Also using harsh chemicals can damage the water-resistant or fingerprint resistant coating of the mobile device.
A 2017 study published in 'Germs' found that the mobile screens were playing host to viruses and bacteria including E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, and streptococcus, among other germs. While mobile handset may not be spreading diseases, but it could allow some virus to stay longer on its surface from few hours to some days and in case of norovirus four weeks.
This means cleaning and sanitising your mobile handset is also as important as to clean and wash your hands regularly.
Here is how you can sanitise your mobile handset
1. Switch off your mobile handset (also remove any power cable, if attached)
2. Remove cover or phone case, if any
3. Gently clean all surfaces of the mobile with a microfiber cloth. (avoid using washcloth or paper towel as it they are not smooth and may scratch the glass screen)
4. Wipe the surface, especially screen, with a Lysol or Clorox wipes. You can also use mild soap and water solution, however, do not apply it directly on the mobile. Instead put some drops in the microfiber cloth and then wipe your handset. (Never use pure bleach, metal or bathroom cleaners that are used for tile cleaning for your mobile or any other electronic devices)
5. Now using other clean microfiber cloth, wipe out leftover moisture from the mobile handset surface.
6. Ideally leave the mobile to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
7. After completely drying the mobile you can switch it on and use.
How to keep your mobile clean all the time?
1. Regularly wipe your mobile with a microfiber cloth, at least once or twice a day (or whenever you think it is dirty)
2. Avoid using your mobile phones while travelling in a public transport as you may be transferring germs from the railings and handles to your mobile. You can however, use mobile once you are seated.
3. Never use mobile phones in bathroom or toilets. You will be surprised to know how many of your friends or relatives do exactly the same.
4. Avoid using your mobile in a gym.
Why not dip your mobile in water for cleaning?
Some high-end mobile phones come with an IP-67 or higher rating. This means these devices can withstand a submersion for up to 30 minutes in up to three feet of water. However, kindly understand, your mobile is water-resistant and not water proof. This means, when you submerge it in water, there are chances that water would get into the ports of the mobile. So it is always a better idea to use a damp or wet cloth to clean your mobile handset. And rinse it with water.
In case, your mobile device accidently falls in water, then you can clean it with a dry and soft cloth (microfiber preferred). If there is a hair dryer available, then use it to remove moisture and dry the mobile. Make sure you had removed all water from the device.