How to Clean Your Smartphone, Which Needs It

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Your phone didn't start being filthy when fears of a global pandemic hit the scene, but at least we're paying attention now. Think about how many times you pick up and open up your smartphone, how many places you carry it, how many surfaces you touch before checking your email again. It's enough to make anyone a germaphobe, but you'll want to be careful about how you get your mobile devices clean.

Business Insider looked into the matter, pointing out in an article this week that your first plan of action might do more harm than good. If you've been moved to break out a Clorox wipe or spray some disinfectant on your screen, hold off on that: The chemicals in those products and other alcohol-based cleaners will break down the surface treatment on your phone that keeps the screen from smudging up.

Instead, go for the same treatment that works for your hands: soap and water. First, turn off your phone and unplug it, so you don't damage the phone or yourself. Dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and soap and carefully wipe down your phone's surfaces. Remember, your smartphone is likely water-resistant but not waterproof, so don't get too sudsy. You can be a little more thorough with your case, so long as it's dry when you put it back on.

It's easy and not at all outlandish to be nervous about coronavirus, but the best thing you can do for yourself is be smart about where you're getting your news. Vet and analyze any sources carefully; the best practices you pick up now could serve you for a long time going forward.