(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

How to clean the bundle of germs that is your phone

Tips for cleaning that extension of your hand and breeding ground for germs

You’re washing your hands countless times a day to try to ward off the coronavirus.

You should also wash that extension of your hand and breeding ground for germs — your phone. Tests done by scientists show that the virus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning all “high-touch” surfaces daily, including phones, keyboards and tablet computers.

But cleaning your phone improperly can damage it. You want to avoid getting moisture inside it or scratching the surface. Don’t spray cleaners directly on the phone, don’t dunk it in cleaning solutions, don’t spray it with compressed-air devices used to clean keyboards and avoid rubbing it with abrasive materials.

ALSO READ: B.C. warns of phone scam offering to sell fake COVID-19 testing

Instead, start by turning off the phone and unplugging all cables. Your phone shouldn’t be charging as you clean.

You can use Clorox wipes or wipes with 70% alcohol, which you can get at the drugstore, to wipe down your phone. Apple, which has cautioned against using household cleaners on its phones, says to do that “gently.” AT&T has further recommended wringing out disinfectant wipes before using them on a phone.

You can also use soft cloths to clean the phone, like a microfiber cleaning cloth or the cloths used to clean your glasses. Google says you can dip the cloth in soap and water, as long as you’re careful not to get moisture in the phone. AT&T says paper towels work, too. You can spray them with disinfectant. Again, don’t spray the phone itself.

ALSO READ: Chinese allow Michael Kovrig telephone call to sick father amid COVID-19

The phone-cleaning step is one of many measures public-health authorities are recommending to try to slow the spread of the virus, which has infected 137,000 people worldwide. More than 5,000 have died. Most patients have only mild or moderate symptoms, but the elderly and people with existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable.

Tali Arbel, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandalism hits downtown Peachland mural

Reports state this is the third incident in five months

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Residents experiencing homelessness back outdoors as temporary winter shelters close

Kelowna’s homeless are going back to Recreation Avenue

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

COVID-19: South Okanagan community salutes frontline medical staff

“Honk for the unsung heros. Thanks to each and every one of you”

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

COLUMN: Responding with the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Support available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read