Your mobile phone could be the dirtiest thing you own. Seriously, think: major "germ-topia". We are so dependent on our phones these days that they hardly leave our hands. And while it may look clean, its surface houses over 25,000 bacteria per square inch1. In fact, Time magazine says our mobile devices are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Yikes!

That said, one of the easiest ways to keep your phone clean is to simply stop using it in the bathroom. But if you are thinking of giving it a good ole scrub down, we have some tips for you on how to effectively sanitise your phone.

What to use2

1.       Soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth

These are the ones that may have come with your glasses, phone and other gadgets. Don't use abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels or similar items because they could potentially damage or scratch your phone.

2.       Cotton buds

Want to get to an area on your phone that's too small to reach with your fingers? Cotton buds are the answer. They do a great job of removing the gunk and grime from harder-to-reach areas of your phone. These also work well for cleaning out the corners of your phone cases and ports.

3.       Water and rubbing alcohol

There are plenty of disinfecting wipes available to clean your phone, but if you want to save money, this is a quick alternative. Simply prepare a mix of 60% water and 40% isopropyl rubbing alcohol*. This solution leaves your phone spotless, oil-less, and no longer a germ playground.

4.       Distilled water and white vinegar

If you don't want to go down the water and alcohol route, you can use distilled water and white vinegar. Mix 50% distilled water and 50% white vinegar for an alcohol-free cleaning solution.

How to clean2

Dampen your microfiber cloth or cotton bud with one of the above cleaning solutions and go to work! Be sure to pay attention to the camera nook, corners and buttons as these tend to trap dirt. Never apply or spray the mix directly onto your phone as this may result in excess moisture and could damage your phone.

After you have used the damp cloth all over your phone, use a dry corner of the cloth to wipe dry your device.

Case in Point

There's no use in cleaning your phone only to reinsert it into a dirty protective case. Here's what to do after removing your phone from its case:

Silicone cases are rather fuss-free and can be completely submerged and washed in a solution of warm water and a bit of dishwashing soap. Use a soft cloth to gently scrub any textured edges. Rinse well and allow to air dry completely before reinserting the phone. For daily cleaning, wipe down the case with a microfiber cloth dampened with the distilled water and rubbing alcohol solution.

For hard plastic cases, remove the phone and wipe down the entire case with the distilled water and alcohol solution with a lint-free cloth. Use a cotton swab dipped in the water/alcohol solution to clean the lens opening area. Dry with a clean, lint-free cloth and check that the case is completely dry before reinserting the phone.

Leather cases should be cleaned with a saddle soap formulated specifically for leather and then treated with a leather conditioner. Allow the case to dry completely before reinserting the phone.

*check with your phone manufacturer to see if this solution is suitable

1 Source: State Food Safety, USA

2 Source: Mashable

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