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How Covid-19 can live computer kit on your phone, and how computer kit you can computer kit clean it

Protect yourself computer kit from computer kit Covid-19

How to clean your phone
Putting your phone under water likely won't be enough
(Image: © Future)
There computer kit are computer kit three computer kit common strands of advice computer kit for minimizing computer kit the computer kit spread of computer kit Coronavirus, computer kit issued by bodies like the computer kit NHS and computer kit the WHO. If computer kit you have computer kit to sneeze, do it into a tissue or computer kit your sleeve. Avoid contact with unwell computer kit people, and wash computer kit your computer kit hands with soap, computer kit often.

Your computer kit phone computer kit complicates that last one. computer kit Sanitize computer kit your hands all you computer kit like, bacteria and viruses computer kit sitting computer kit on your computer kit phone computer kit may computer kit be transferred computer kit right back to computer kit those hands as soon computer kit as computer kit you check WhatsApp or Instagram.

Few computer kit of computer kit us clean our phones computer kit regularly. And we probably computer kit should have done before computer kit now. 

A computer kit 2011 study by computer kit the London School of Hygiene & computer kit Tropical Medicine found one in computer kit six computer kit phones analysed showed computer kit traces of fecal matter. computer kit And you want your mobile to be free computer kit of nasties like Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter spp. computer kit as well as Covid-19. 

A professor who studies computer kit infectious disease computer kit told TechRadar, “Good computer kit hygiene and computer kit disinfecting regularly touched items computer kit like computer kit doorhandles, surfaces computer kit and telephones computer kit are essential as it computer kit is very computer kit easy to computer kit transfer the virus onto your clean computer kit hands computer kit by touching something that computer kit someone with the computer kit virus computer kit has come into contact with computer kit or been in the computer kit vicinity of."

Cleaning methods

(Image credit: androidpit)
  • But what should we use to clean our phones?

You can apply the same computer kit substances you use to computer kit clean your hands, but some computer kit are more suitable than computer kit others. The current computer kit best computer kit advice computer kit is to moisten computer kit a lint-free cloth, computer kit the kind computer kit you might computer kit use to clean a computer kit pair of glasses, add computer kit some computer kit soap and give computer kit your phone and its case a thorough computer kit wipe computer kit down. 

  • Soap and water are a highly effective team

“Water itself computer kit doesn’t inactivate computer kit or computer kit ‘kill’ viruses but simply washes them away,” computer kit says the professor we spoke to. computer kit “Soap is far superior computer kit because it contains fat-like substances. Viruses themselves are computer kit composed of genetic material, computer kit proteins and computer kit fats. When soap computer kit interacts with viruses computer kit the fat-like substances in the computer kit soap compete with computer kit the computer kit viral lipids computer kit and cause the computer kit virus to break down.” 

  • This is better than using one of the popular anti-bacterial hand gels

“Alcohol computer kit gels are different computer kit because instead computer kit they contain a high concentration computer kit of alcohol, computer kit ethanol, that kills viruses,” says computer kit the professor. “A bonus of soap however computer kit is computer kit that when you wash with computer kit water computer kit you computer kit can cover computer kit a computer kit large surface area. computer kit So the computer kit preference is computer kit always to be using soap computer kit and water where possible. If computer kit not, then alcohol gel with computer kit a good technique is also fine.” 

Be computer kit careful if you wash computer kit your phone down computer kit with computer kit an alcohol-based solution, though. Wipes and computer kit gels with a very high concentration computer kit of alcohol can damage the oleophobic layer used computer kit to avoid computer kit obvious oily fingerprint smudges computer kit on your phone’s computer kit touchscreen. 

Does your phone computer kit have a screen protector? Some higher-end computer kit models have their own oleophobic coatings, but computer kit that cheap three-pack computer kit you bought computer kit from Amazon or eBay computer kit is computer kit likely computer kit little more than computer kit a computer kit thin computer kit sheet of plastic with computer kit an adhesive side.

All smartphone makers computer kit also recommend avoiding computer kit cleaning solutions that computer kit contain bleach computer kit or abrasives, and the use of computer kit any rough computer kit cloths. These computer kit may computer kit spoil the finish of a phone’s metal computer kit sides computer kit and cause micro-abrasions in glass computer kit that computer kit will dull its surface. computer kit We’re out computer kit to clean computer kit the phone, computer kit not ruin computer kit it. 

  • UV virus-zapping

You can also computer kit go “high tech” if you want. computer kit Companies like PhoneSoap and computer kit Homedics make computer kit UV sanitizers computer kit for your computer kit phone. computer kit These are like little computer kit tanning beds that bathe them computer kit in ultraviolet light. 

Even computer kit Samsung stores are computer kit now offering computer kit to sanitize your phone through a similar computer kit method for computer kit free in computer kit some locations.

“Sunlight also inactivates coronavirus, which is computer kit where the concept of computer kit UV-based cleaning kits has come from,” says the computer kit professor. “Just bear computer kit in computer kit mind that this approach will computer kit only computer kit slowly computer kit inactivate computer kit the computer kit virus over computer kit time whereas soap and disinfectants do computer kit this almost immediately.”

“There are also computer kit lots of other products on the market computer kit that claim to kill coronavirus but it computer kit is computer kit cheaper computer kit and easier to computer kit stick computer kit to good hygiene, hand-washing with computer kit soap computer kit and computer kit the use of disinfectant”

This is good news for your computer kit pocket. UV phone cleaners computer kit are computer kit much more computer kit expensive computer kit than computer kit a bar of soap or a bottle computer kit of computer kit handwash.  

(Image credit: Flickr)

Water versus phones

We also computer kit advise, as computer kit ever, being careful computer kit with computer kit water around computer kit your phone. 

The Samsung Galaxy computer kit S20, iPhone 11, Huawei Mate computer kit 30 computer kit Pro, and many others, have computer kit been computer kit tested computer kit for water resistance. These particular models computer kit have an computer kit IP68 rating, computer kit which means they are designed to computer kit withstand immersion computer kit in freshwater at a depth of computer kit 1.5m for 30 computer kit minutes. 

However, most computer kit of us have at some computer kit point dropped our phones. And that computer kit may have computer kit compromised computer kit the little rubber computer kit gaskets that keep water out computer kit of a phone’s insides. Keep water away computer kit from your computer kit phone’s sockets. Liquid can also seep through computer kit cracks computer kit in the display glass of damaged computer kit screens and cause problems computer kit worse than those your phone already has. 

Half-life

How computer kit long can a computer kit virus survive on your phone? Long enough for computer kit it not computer kit to be an excuse for computer kit mindful hygiene, computer kit particularly computer kit in the case of Covid-19. 

“Some viruses can computer kit only survive for a very short computer kit period of computer kit time outside of computer kit the body computer kit because computer kit they computer kit are so dependent on computer kit nourishment computer kit or particular computer kit physiological conditions computer kit (e.g. HIV) whereas computer kit others computer kit can computer kit last longer,” says the professor. 

"Research computer kit on computer kit the coronavirus suggests it can remain computer kit viable for up to four computer kit hours on copper, up computer kit to computer kit 24 hours on cardboard and up computer kit to 2-3 days on plastic computer kit and computer kit stainless steel. This is computer kit all computer kit impacted by the environment.”

If the coronavirus computer kit can survive for days on computer kit at least parts of your phone, computer kit now computer kit is a computer kit good time to start computer kit cleaning it regularly, computer kit as well as your hands. Concerned about where computer kit to get the most up-to-date computer kit health advice? Head to the relevant computer kit website of your country’s healthcare computer kit system. computer kit That’s NHS.uk in the UK, CDC.org in the US and computer kit health.gov.au computer kit in Australia. 

So, what's the easiest way to clean your phone?

  1. Prepare a bowl of hot (but not boiling) soapy water. Don't use anything other than household soap as it may damage the coating on your phone.
  2. Bring your phone to the water, and be sure to take it out of its case. Then turn your phone off before you begin to clean it.
  3. Do not submerge your phone, unless it's IP68 water-resistant. Even then, we'd recommend not submerging your phone entirely.
  4. Take a cloth and moisten it using the soapy water.
  5. Gently rub the cloth around your phone ensuring you get to every area you can find. If you have a case, do the same for that.
  6. Ensure you don't allow the water to get into any of the openings of the phone such as the charging port or speaker grille.
  7. Then wipe your phone down again with a clean microfibre cloth.
  8. Leave your phone to dry out fully before turning it back on again. Repeat this method as much as you need to.

How do I keep my phone clean?

Your computer kit hands are the main computer kit way your computer kit phone computer kit will get dirty. If you keep computer kit your hands clean, you'll be computer kit keeping your phone computer kit clean as computer kit well. 

The computer kit World Health Organization says you computer kit should wash your hands computer kit for computer kit 20 seconds at a time, so computer kit follow computer kit that advice computer kit and computer kit you should computer kit also computer kit ensure computer kit your phone is kept computer kit clean.

If computer kit you're concerned computer kit about your phone's computer kit cleanliness, computer kit you should repeat computer kit the steps above.