Cell Phone Cleaning Tips

I don’t know about you–but I feel naked without my cell phone! I carry it everywhere, as many people do, so there are plenty of opportunities for the phone to get dirty, germ-infested, or smudged with various items. The problem is that with touch screens and other types of cell phone screens, especially smartphones, most household cleaners are too harsh and can cause problems over time. Here are some step-by-step instructions¬† (most information obtained here with photos to accompany steps and more details. Additional tips here) to clean your cell phone without breaking it!

1. Turn off your cell phone

2. For any keyboards, clean using a solution of 60% water and 40% rubbing (isoprophyl) alcohol (available at any drugstore, big box store, grocery store, etc.) . Dip a q-tip in the diluted rubbing alcohol and run along the keyboard and in between the keys (this is also a great tip for cleaning your keyboard on your computer).

3. To clean crumbs out of any hard-to-reach areas (microphone slots, etc.) use either a moistened q-tip, or a can of compressed air (also often used to clean computers)

4. Clean the rest of the phone, including the screen, with a lint-free microfiber cloth moistened in the diluted rubbing alcohol. The microfiber prevents scratching or streaking on the screen.

5. If you are using a case, be sure to also clean that before putting it back on the phone. You can also clean the case with the cloth and rubbing alcohol.

6. Let everything air dry before replacing the case and turning the phone back on. Now your cell phone is germ free and ready to use!


Here are a couple of definite “don’ts” regarding cleaning your cell phone. These are sure-fire ways to damage the screen or cause issues over time:

1. Don’t clean with paper towels. They can scratch the screen and cause streaks. Invest in a microfiber cloth.

2. Don’t use cleaning wipes out of convenience. Unless they are specially formulated for cleaning your cell phone, they can damage the screen and are too harsh for use on electronics.

3. Don’t use windex or other window cleaners. They are also too harsh.

4. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t open up the case and clean the inside of your cell phone. You can void your warranty and may end up with more problems than the crumbs that found their way in there in the first place.

5. Don’t spray anything, even just water, directly on your phone. You may end up applying too much, or spraying onto a part that is not meant to get wet. Apply water and alcohol onto a cloth, then wipe down the phone.

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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)