You may never give up tweeting and Tumbling from the dirtiest place in any building, but there are plenty of easy precautions to take to keep your most-used device germ-free, especially now, while much of the nation battles a powerful flu virus. Follow our below guide for safe and healthy use of phones — and any other mobile devices — this season.
- As with cleaning any other gadget, when disinfecting a touch-screen smartphone, you don't want to use any harsh chemicals or, the ultimate no-no, water. Using a tried and tested cleaner like iKlear ($25) to ensure you won't damage your phone's sensitive bits. Use the included microfiber cloth, and shine that baby up.
- If you don't want to spring for a special formula, then a 40/60 alcohol-to-water mixture on solid phone parts and keyboards should be OK (use a damp cloth and/or cotton swab for small and hard-to-reach places). However, don't use any sort of alcohol, ammonia, or harsh cleaning agent on touch screens.
- In a pinch and want to quickly rid your phone of dirty crevices and fingerprints? Use a piece of Scotch Tape to peel away dirt and rid your phone of fingerprints. Perfect for when you're at the office (without a microfiber cloth), but unfortunately, it won't help the germ situation.
- Serious germaphobes can ensure a clean device with the Vio UV Cell Phone Sanitizer ($50), which wipes your device clean of 99.9 percent of strep, E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and H1N1 viruses in under five minutes. Drop the phone in the sanitizer once a day to keep germs at bay.
While in cleaning mode, give headphones or earbuds a quick refresh. Use a gentle cloth to wipe them down with a small amount of dishwashing detergent and water mixture. Careful, though! Too much soap could leave a residue on your earbuds, and you never want to use more water than absolutely necessary . . . to your — and your tech's — health!