The coronavirus pandemic has spread to more than 120 countries across the globe. The virus is typically spread through droplets in the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs, however, asymptomatic individuals are also able to transmit the infection. Scientists, who are in a race to find a vaccine and treatment for the virus, have also revealed the deadly virus can live on surfaces for up to three days.
While the world has been constantly reminded to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the agency is also advising to clean “high-touch” surfaces everyday.
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Anything from tabletops and counters, to doorknobs and keyboards are considered “high-touch” surfaces by the CDC and are therefore potential breeding ground for bacteria. One of the most touched surfaces is undoubtedly the cellphone. The device is often pressed to the side of ears, tapped, swiped, or passed around multiple people. It goes everywhere with us, making it the ideal surface for virus transfer, so it is important not to neglect cleaning it on a daily basis.
Apple recommends using 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox wipes to effectively clean the exterior of iPhones. Before cleaning the device, make sure it is switched off and unplugged. If the wipes do not successfully clean the phone, Apple suggests using a soft, lint-free cloth, such as a lens cloth, with warm soapy water to clean the phone while avoiding getting moisture in the openings, such as the headphone jack or charging port. Apple said “don’t submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents.”
Samsung advises its customers of a similar procedure. The company also recommends using a lint-free microfiber cleaning cloth to gently wipe the device. They recommend consumers use a disinfectant that contains at least 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, but that these solutions should not be applied directly to the phone.
Before you reach for your household cleaner, the companies warn not all cleaning products are suitable for mobile devices. Products to avoid include bleach, hand sanitizer, cleaning products like Lysol sprays and compressed air. It is important to use a soft cloth as Apple says abrasive materials will diminish the coating and might scratch the phone.