Phones are an essential link to everything we deem important – family, bosses, directions, calendars, email, texts and apps for food, banks or health care records.

If they are not in our hands, they are in our purses or on our dashboards, desks, tables or nightstands. According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus (COVID-19), can live for hours, or up to several days, on various surfaces. This increases the risk of inadvertently spreading illness to ourselves and others.

Phone cleaning has never been more important.

Apple products

The following information was drawn from Apple's website.

It says take the following steps to sanitize your phone:

Using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard or other exterior surfaces. Don't use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don't submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don't use on fabrics or leather surfaces.

In addition, the site recommends the following:

Apple products are made with a variety of materials, and each material might have specific cleaning requirements. To get started, here are some tips that apply to all products:

Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items. 
Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage. 
Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.

Don't get moisture into any openings.
Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
Don't spray cleaners directly onto the item.

The Apple site says the same applies to other Apple products, including Mac, iPad, iPod, display or peripheral device.

Android reported that Samsung has not provided advice about disinfecting android phones. The website noted that disinfectant wipes are safe to use on phone screens. However, it issued several warnings, including “Some websites suggest creating a mix of alcohol and water yourself, but it's crucial to get the concentration right. Get it wrong and you could damage your phone. The safest bet is to use disinfectant wipes that contain 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean your phone screen.”

Tips to remove makeup, fingerprint smudges, sand or dirt are also on the cnet website, along with warnings about misuse.

Once the phone is clean, wash your hands with soap and water or, if not available, an alcohol-based disinfectant like Purell.

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