How to disinfect a cell phone?

how to disinfect a phone

Updated: July 23, 2023

Regular interaction with your smartphone leads to the formation of various harmful bacteria and viruses on the surface. From this article you will learn how to disinfect your mobile device, as well as how often to disinfect.

Cleaning Liquid

Most liquids in a screen care kit contain active detergents as well as poly hydrochloride as a disinfectant. Therefore, in addition to disinfecting, the cleaning fluid will also clean accumulated dirt from the screen and the body of the mobile device.

To disinfect your phone with cleaning liquid, follow the next steps:

1. When using the case, remove the device beforehand.

2. Apply the cleaner evenly to one half of the microfiber cloth.

cleaning agent application
Apply the cleaner to a microfiber cloth.

3. Wipe the screen and body of the mobile device.

cleaning the case
Clean the phone body.

4. Use the other dry half of the wipe to wipe the screen and body of the device to remove streaks and moisture residue.

Remove any residual moisture.
Remove any residual moisture.

Before installing the cover or bumper also disinfect the accessory from the outside and inside with a cleaning liquid. Or wash the accessory under running water with soap and water, if the accessory is designed to be washed under running water. If electronic components are present, do not wash the case.

Alcohol wipes

The single wipes are soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol, effectively cleaning and disinfecting the coating of the mobile device. Double wipes additionally include a dry wipe to remove excessive moisture. However, due to the small size of the wipes, 2-4 alcohol wipes will be required for complete cleaning.

To disinfect your phone with alcohol wipes, follow the next steps:

1. Before disinfecting your mobile device, remove the case if you are using it. Treat the inside and outside of the cover.

cleaning wipes
Get some alcohol wipes.

2. Unwrap the alcohol wipe.

3. Unwrap the wipe and wipe the mobile device. Start with the screen, and then move on to disinfecting the body.

cleaning with an alcohol wipe
Open wipe 1 and wipe the phone case.

4. If one wipe is not enough to treat, wipe the mobile device again with a new wipe. Alternatively, group 2-3 alcohol wipes into one, then treat the phone.

dry cloth to remove moisture
Open wipe 2 and remove any remaining moisture.

5. If you have a dry wipe, unzip the package, unwrap the wipe, and collect the remaining moisture.

moisture removal of the case
Use a few dry wipes if you need to.

Hand wipes

Hand wipes contain antibacterial additives which have an antiseptic and antiviral effect. Antibacterial cleaning wipes with increased antiseptic or alcohol content are still commercially available.

To disinfect your phone with hand wipes, follow the next steps:

1. Remove the wipe from the bag or plastic container.

wet wipes for hands
Hand cleaning wipes.

2. Wipe the screen, then the mobile device case.

processing the body with a napkin
Clean the screen and body of the phone with a wipe.

3. Using a dry or microfiber cloth, wipe the mobile device to collect excess moisture and remove streaks.

removing moisture on the smartphone case
Remove any residual moisture.

A recent study by research firm dscout found that average users touch their phones 2,617 times a day, and that number increases to 5,427 for heavy users. Between touching your phone, your face and surfaces including countertops, keyboards and more, spreading germs is likely.

Some germs and viruses, including coronavirus, can linger on surfaces anywhere from a few hours or up to several days or more, depending on the surface material and the environmental conditions. That’s why learning how to clean your phone is just as important as learning the right way to wash your hands.


UV Sanitizer

A UV Sanitizer is a device that is a box in which you can put your smartphone and other portable electronics. A lamp built into the UV Sanitizer emits UV light, which treats the devices placed in the box and destroys most harmful bacteria, infections and viruses that are sensitive to UV light.

To disinfect your phone with UV Sanitizer, follow the next steps:

  1. Connect the UV Sanitizer to a power source.
  2. Remove the cover from the phone.
  3. Place the mobile device inside the UV Sanitizer with the screen facing upwards.
  4. Close the lid and press the button on the body of the Sanitizer to activate the sterilization.
  5. Normally the sanitizer will switch off after 10 minutes. Open the lid and turn the device upside down.
  6. Close the lid and turn on the UV Sanitizer.
  7. After the disinfection process has been completed, remove the mobile device from the condenser.
  8. Have the case sterilized on both sides, then place it back on the phone.

When and how often do I disinfect my phone?

Disinfect your mobile device every time you return from the street by washing your hands beforehand. Also, clean the phone each time it is picked up by another person, such as a friend or colleague. If possible, wipe your device with a damp or alcohol wipe throughout the day.

What disinfecting wipes are safe for electronics?

Any specialized wipes are safe for electronics. You can find the appropriate label “For electronics”, “Antistatic cleaning wipes” or “For digital devices” on the package of wipes. These wipes are designed to handle digital and electronic devices: phones, tablets, TVs, PC screens, etc. You can find packets of multiple wipes and large containers for frequent use.

The wipes usually contain a cleaning liquid without alcohol or aggressive additives. Therefore, such wipes can be used for cleaning any coatings. You can also find universal wipes for disinfection on sale. The composition can contain up to 70% alcohol. And the antistatic effect excludes the adhesion of dust after treatment. At the same time, not all cleaning wipes offer an antistatic effect. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the capabilities of the wipes.

Many purchasers of cleaning cloths often report streaks and stains after using them. The streaks appear after the residual liquid has dried up. Therefore, it is recommended to collect residual moisture with microfiber wipes.


What can I use to disinfect my cell phone?

To disinfect your cell phone you can use special cleaning products: wipes for cleaning cell phones and digital equipment, cleaning products for TV screens and monitors, alcohol wipes with 70% alcohol content. You can use sanitary hand wipes. These wipes contain up to 70% alcohol and remove most bacteria.

Is it OK to use disinfectant wipes on phones?

You can use regular sanitary hand wipes to disinfect your phone. It is better to use wipes with 70% alcohol content. Wipes with alcohol are safe for handling the phone. Such wipes are better at removing bacteria and viruses. Also, the sanitary napkins have less essential oils and additives that give a sticky effect after treatment.

Will rubbing alcohol damage a cell phone?

Alcohol is safe for a cell phone if you use alcohol wipes with up to 70% alcohol. Concentrated alcohol can damage the paint or rubber coating on the case. Therefore, it is best not to use concentrated alcohol on alcohol-sensitive coatings.

Does vinegar disinfect phones?

Vinegar can remove some bacteria and viruses. At the same time, vinegar leaves a specific smell. Therefore, vinegar is not suitable for disinfecting phones. In addition, concentrated vinegar must be diluted with water to a 50/50 ratio.

Is it OK to spray Lysol on phones?

You should not spray Lysol on your phone. The spray is pressurized and can damage the phone. Also after spraying Lysol you need some time to dry. It is better to spray some product on a microfiber cloth and wipe the phone. Then take a dry cloth and collect the remaining moisture.

How often should you sanitize your phone?

You should sanitize your phone every day. You should wipe your phone every time you come home from the street.

How long should I leave my phone in isopropyl alcohol?

It is not recommended that you dip your phone entirely in isopropyl alcohol. Concentrated isopropyl alcohol can damage the glued parts. Only certain parts of the phone, such as the motherboard or charging board, can be washed in isopropyl alcohol. The camera modules cannot be washed in alcohol, as it can damage the sensor. Therefore, only the camera contacts may be washed in alcohol.

Does 91% alcohol sanitize?

Alcohol with a concentration of 91% is good for sanitizing. However, concentrated alcohol can damage the delicate surface of your phone. Concentrated alcohol is therefore not recommended for use on rubber-coated surfaces.

Can you use 90 isopropyl alcohol phone?

Isopropyl alcohol can be used on your phone. However, it is not recommended for alcohol-sensitive surfaces such as painted or rubber-coated surfaces.

What kind of alcohol is used to clean electronics?

Isopropyl alcohol is used to clean electronics and circuit boards. Isopropyl alcohol dries quickly and leaves no residue. Therefore, it is used to wash printed circuit boards after fluxing. Alcohol does not conduct electricity and cannot cause a short circuit. The plastic in electronic components is resistant to contact with isopropyl alcohol.

How can I disinfect my Android phone?

The easiest way to disinfect your phone is to use cleaning wipes. You can use electronics cleaning wipes or use hand sanitizer wipes. The convenience of wipes is the easy and affordable disinfection of the phone at any time. PC and TV screen cleaner is also suitable. It is enough to spray a little of the product on a microfiber cloth and then wipe your phone.

Will disinfectant wipes damage your phone screen?

Any wipes with 70% alcohol will not damage the phone screen. Most screens are a module of a screen matrix and glass. Therefore, the glass can be treated with any disinfectant wipes or wipes with concentrated isopropyl alcohol. However, concentrated alcohol can damage the oleophobic coating or liquid film.

Which is better 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol?

91% isopropyl alcohol cleans better on all surfaces. It is also better at disinfecting. However, high concentrations of alcohol can damage some coatings that are sensitive to alcohol such as glue, paint and soft touch rubber. Alcohol also degrades the oleophobic coating and can damage the liquid film. Therefore, alcohol with a concentration of 91% is better suited for washing printed circuit boards. Alcohol with a concentration of 70% is less effective, but still does a good job of cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, 70% alcohol will not damage various surfaces.

Why does isopropyl not damage electronics?

Isopropyl alcohol does not conduct electricity. Therefore, the use of alcohol does not cause short circuits in conductive components. Isopropyl alcohol dries quickly and leaves no residue. Therefore, isopropyl alcohol is used to wash circuit boards. Alcohol is also used to clean electronics with water damage. Materials used in electronics are resistant to contact with isopropyl alcohol.

Can sanitizer damage your phone?

If the sanitizer is only used for external treatment, then damage to your phone is ruled out. Before using it, make sure you understand the ingredients. The presence of water, essential oils and aggressive additives can damage sensitive paints or soft-touch coating. It is also not recommended to spray disinfectant from the spray.

Health experts suggest cleaning your phone at least once a day as a preventative measure. Before you begin, check with the manufacturer for guidance on how to clean your device.



This article describes in detail how to disinfect your mobile phone. The most accessible way is to wipe it with a cloth soaked in a cleaning or antiseptic liquid. This option is relevant for disinfection on the go or during the day.

At home you can disinfect it with a cleaning agent or sterilize it with a UV Sanitizer.

What and how often do you disinfect your smartphone? Share your experiences in the comments at the bottom of the article.


About the author

Alex Gustman

My name is Alexander.
I am the author of articles, reviews and videos on the YouTube channel of I have been testing various electronic devices, mobile games and Android applications since 2012.

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