How do I properly clean my phone?

These days they run our lives and we’d be lost without them. In fact, we want you to stay up to date on the latest info by downloading the Monash Health employee coronavirus website to your phone.

But mobile phones, keys, credit and Myki cards – the standard items we carry with us all the time – carry germs. A virus like COVID-19, could potentially contaminate the surface of any of these items.

The site recommends protecting against the spread of COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting frequently-used items such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes.

Cleaning these items has become very important and we have some advice on how it might be done effectively and without damaging your phone.

Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, Dr Rhonda Stuart, says alcohol swabs can be an effective method of cleaning. “If you are working in the hospital or have patient contact, one simple way to clean your phone is to wipe it down with an alcohol swab a couple of times a day or more often if you are using it frequently.”

For clinical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are important additional steps to take. The DHHS Coronavirus advice states:

  • ensure mobile phones are cleaned regularly with disinfectant wipes
  • ensure hands are cleaned before and after using mobile phone
  • do not use mobile phones when you are wearing PPE
  • consider placing your mobile phone in a clear sealed bag at the commencement of each shift and discarding the bag prior to going home as an additional precaution.

For a more thorough clean at the end of the day, here are some simple steps. Before you take them, check specifically on your phone manufacturer’s site for their advice to make sure you do no damage to the phone.

  • Unplug the phone, turn it off and remove the case
  • Dampen a microfibre cloth with water and household soap
  • Gently rub the surfaces of the phone with the damp cloth taking care not to get water in any of the openings
  • Dry the phone with a clean, dry microfibre cloth
  • Phone manufacturers warn against using gels, chemicals and abrasive wipes as they may damage the screen’s protective coating
  • Apple advises you can use 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol wipes
  • Be sure to wash the cover in soap and water before you put it back on the phone.

Watch as Dr Lena Ciric, a microbiologist from University College London, provides this advice on a video for the BBC.

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