Our cell phone screens go through a lot, from making contact with our oily faces to being placed on dusty surfaces. Over time, if not taken care of, your cell phone screen can end up collecting a series of minor and deep scratches, which isn’t necessarily going to ruin your experience, but the OCD in us can make it a deal-breaker. Not to mention that our cell phone screens are often always highly unhygienic. Even if you’ve had it laminated with one of those fancy plastic covers, it does not help stop germs from being transferred onto your face. So, if the scratches don’t phase you, the germs should.
While everyone should certainly wash their hands more often, which reduces the spread of various types of germs and viruses, it isn’t so easy with a smartphone screen. You can’t just use soap and water to clean your iPhone screen or that of the latest Galaxy Z fold, for that matter. You need to follow a specific set of steps to clean your smartphone screen.
Keep in mind that we touch our smartphones on average 2,617 times a day. We scroll, pinch, tap and swipe on the screen. However, the CDC has said that viruses can live on plastic and glass surfaces for three days. We think that’s enough days to turn your phone into a potential biological weapon. Furthermore, many experts say that the average phone is 10x times dirtier than the average toilet seat. So, the question is: do you want to put the toilet seat on your face?
Now what we’ve established why cleaning your smartphone screen is important, we’ll go into how to do it below. Keep in mind our goal here is to clean the screen without potentially damaging it. So, we’ll take the safest route here.
Cleaning Your Smartphone Screen – Step-by-step Instructions
We acknowledge the fact that there is no one right way to clean your smartphone screen. In fact, there are probably over a dozen ways to do it. However, we’re going to take the advice of major device smartphone manufacturers into consideration with our steps below.
Step no. 1 – Turn off the device – You will want to start by unplugging the device from the wall and turning it off. This is an essential step since it prevents a short circuit in the device, which can cause all manner of issues. Also, turning off the screen will prevent accidental touches or inadvertently receiving a call when cleaning the screen.
If you have the phone in the case, you will want to first remove it from the case and then wipe it down.
Stop no. 2 – Use a high-quality lint-free microfiber cloth for cleaning – Now, this is similar to the type of cloth you’d use to clean eyeglasses or your prescription sunglasses. You will need a liquid to gently wipe down the screen, which we’ll go into in step three. However, we must caution you against using tissue paper, or your t-shirt, because that may scratch the screen and leave residue behind. We’ve seen instances where it has scratched away the screen’s protective coating.
Step no. 3 – Use Iconic Clear anti-fog liquid and gel cleaner – Let’s start with getting the obvious out of the way. The Iconic Clear Instrumentation Cleaner by IC Scientific Solutions is an industry-leading instrument and electronic screen cleaner. You can start by applying a little on the screen and then wiping it down with the lint-free microfiber cloth we mentioned above. Make sure to wipe in small circular motions. Apply more of the cleaner if needed. However, keep the cleaner away from the headphone jack and charging ports.
Some people may use disinfection wipes, but they don’t do a good enough job of keeping the screen clean. Also, you might notice dust particles forming on the screen soon after it is wiped down. That’s why the cleaner we used above is your best bet.
A Few Additional Tips
Here are a few more things we think you should keep in mind when it comes to cleaning your phone screen and keeping other types of screens clean:
Use a Phone Case – Yes! We strongly advise that you should use a phone case. Not only because it protects your phone from drops and spills but also because research has shown that viruses don’t live very long in leather or silicone cases. That said, you still need to clean your phone once every few days, using the non-abrasive spray we mentioned above. This approach will help keep your phone virus-free.
Use a screen protector – Many people are against using a screen protector because it is perceived as reducing the screen’s touch responsiveness. Honestly, the latest high-quality screen protectors don’t result in any lag. Using a screen protector reduces the odds of scratches and cracks on your smartphone screen, which can be very expensive to replace. Many of these can be found online and are relatively affordable. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $10 for a pack of up to three, and they also come with instructions on how to apply them on the screen. Applying it incorrectly will not damage the screen, so you have the liberty to practice.
Clean all screens – The abovementioned method of cleaning your cell phone screen is the same for tablets and e-readers. You can shop and use the same Iconic Clear Instrumentation Cleaner as recommended above. Again, make sure that no moisture makes it into the charging ports. If it does, wait for it to dry for a few minutes or up to an hour before powering the device back on.
Cleaning your cell phone screen is an important step that, unfortunately, not many people take too seriously. One reason for this is that it is seen as an unnecessary step; others don’t think it is a priority. Even if you use a screen protector, you need to clean the screen once every few weeks. The more frequently you clean the screen, the better.
If you walk through the steps mentioned above, cleaning the screen will not reduce its responsiveness, damage the protective coating or lead to any other issue. Just be sure to use a cleaning solution that isn’t acidic or is water-based, as that can short circuit the device from the inside. When unsure, always ask the manufacturer of the device how to clean the screen.