Coronavirus: The best way to clean your phone to protect yourself from COVID-19

ByJuan Carlos Guerrero KGO logo
Friday, March 13, 2020
Clean your phone the right way to protect yourself from COVID-19
While it is still uncertain how long COVID-19 can live on a surface, it is best to clean your phone frequently to protect yourself from germs. Here is an explainer on how to best clean your phone.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- While the Center for Disease Control says the main way for people to become infected through the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is through person-to-person contact, there is uncertainty on how long the virus can live on a hard surface.

It may be for hours to days.

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: Live updates about COVID-19 in California, around the world

That could make our cellphone is a source of transmission as we touch surfaces and then pick up our phones to send a text or check social media.

Frequently cleaning your device is a good way to protect yourself, besides washing your hands for at least 20 seconds.

The best way to disinfect your phone is to clean it with a disinfecting wipe that has at least 70% alcohol. (See CDC recommendations for disinfecting hard surfaces)

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"Things like Clorox wipes or Lysol wipes, those kinds of wipes that have a high disinfectant in them, they are going to break down the structure of the virus," said Claire Reilly, Senior Editor at CNET in San Francisco.

Reilly warns against spraying disinfectant spray directly on the cellphone. It is best to spray it on a cloth (paper towels are considered too abrasive) and then wipe the phone clean. Be careful not to get moisture into the headphone jack and other connectors.

Recently, Apple changed its recommendations to allow the use of disinfecting wipes on hard surfaces of iPhones and tablets.

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