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How to Clean Your Smartphone

Geek Tip: Keep Phones Clean During Flu Season

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!

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