Think for a moment of the many things our hands come in contact with during the day.. Dirty doorknobs, toilet seats, handles and steering wheels, keyboards, countertops, etc. — and perhaps it comes as no surprise that a 2012 study conducted by University of Arizona microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba, revealed that our iPhones can harbor up to 10 times the amount of bacteria found on most toilet seats.
As for cleaning our iPhones, there’s actually a number of ways to get the job done; and we don’t necessarily have to look much farther than our own medicine cabinets to find the necessary tools, either. Here, we provide fool-proof methods of cleaning and disinfecting your iPhone using basic tools you likely already have just laying around the house.
First Prepare Your iPhone
First, prepare your iPhone for cleaning by powering it down, unplugging it from any power source, and securing ports like the Lightning, 3.5mm headphone jack, and speakers with tape to help protect vital internals from water damage.
Microfiber Cloths and Cotton Swabs
Soft, lint-free microfiber cloths (such as those used to clean a pair of glasses) are a great way to start. Unlike abrasive tissues, paper towels, or even hand towels (which you should NOT use), these cloths are specifically designed to sweep away fingerprints, smudges, grit and grime from all sides of your device.
- Lightly dampen one corner of the cloth with water and gently wipe in an up and down motion on your phone’s display.
- Once the area is clear, use the dry corners of the cloth to wipe around the edges of the screen and sides of the device to remove any excess moisture and/or gunk that may have found its way to the outer edge. If you have Q-tips or similar cotton swabs, those will also come in handy when trying to clean out the deeper, harder to reach crevices of the device such as around the Home button, earpiece, and inside various ports, for example. They also work great for cleaning out the dust and crumbs from the inside corners of iPhone cases.
- Grab a few cotton swabs and gently brush over these areas of the phone, case, ports, etc. Do NOT dampen the tips with water.
NOTE: Under no circumstance should you spray or apply water directly onto the surface of your iPhone. Even though devices like the iPhone 7 are waterproofed with IP67 certification, it’s important to note that we’re not looking to give our gadgets a bath here. The cloth and Q-tips, in themselves, should be more than sufficient to get your device looking pristine.
Distilled Water and White Vinegar Solution
In contrast to water from the tap, an evenly 50-50 split distilled water and white vinegar solution provides an added layer of natural, disinfecting power, and is certain to not only sweep away the grime, but also the impossible-to-see bacteria that’s often lurking on the surface.
- Start by mixing 1-2 ounces of distilled water, and an equal amount of white vinegar, in a small cup or glass.
- Following the same procedure outlined above, dip one corner of the cloth in this solution and wipe in an up and down motion around the screen, edges, corners, and back of the handset.
NOTE: Apple strongly recommends against using any kind of household cleaner, alcohol-based solution, aerosol spray, or cleaners containing ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, as they’re much more likely to cause damage to your device than anything else.