This is how smartphones are hygienically clean

Image source: GIGA


The following also applies regardless of colds and the corona pandemic: The cell phone should be properly cleaned regularly. GIGA shows you what means you can use to clean and disinfect smartphones without damaging them.

Coronavirus: News and tips & tricks on how to survive the time at home

Coronavirus and cell phones: Which agents are suitable for disinfection?

Apple has updated its information page on iPhone cleaning in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus spread. Now you can find specific information here as to which cleaning agents are suitable for disinfecting iPhones:

You can gently wipe the outside of your iPhone with a cloth with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol 70 vol.%) Or Clorox disinfectant wipes. Do not use bleach. Avoid moisture getting into every opening and do not immerse your iPhone in cleaning agents.

Isopropyl alcohol, 70%, 500 ml

Isopropyl alcohol, 70%, 500 ml

Isopropyl alcohol 70%, alcohol swab 65 x 30mm 100 pieces

Isopropyl alcohol 70%, alcohol swabs 65 x 30mm 100 pieces

According to the Robert Koch Institute is Isopropanol 70 vol.% classified as “limited virucidal” for hand disinfection with an exposure time of 30 seconds. “Limited virucidal” means “effective against enveloped viruses”. The Coronoavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is one of the enveloped viruses (see Deutsche Apothekerzeitung).

Looking for a surface cleaning agent that works against the corona virus and is also classified by the manufacturer as “suitable for smartphone cleaning”, we came across the “Sterillium Protect & Care” product range. According to the manufacturer Hartmann, these products act “against bacteria, yeasts, enveloped viruses as well as norovirus and rotavirus “and are for” the rapid disinfection of sensitive and vertical surfaces, e.g. B. PCs, smartphones and touchscreens ”. Important: onset of action no earlier than 30 seconds up to 5 minutes (norovirus). However, the “Sterillium Protect & Care” product range is current and can only be obtained with luck.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has meanwhile published an article that classifies the disinfection of smartphones with chemical agents as not urgently necessary. According to the Medical Director of the German Advice Center for Hygiene (BZH) quoted therein, it is more important “to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.”

Cell phone hygiene: tips from the accessory supplier

The accessories manufacturer Zagg provides two simple pieces of advice in the course of the corona virus spread, which GIGA also endorses:

  1. Clean your smartphone twice daily.
  2. Through the Use of Bluetooth headphones or headsets The risk of spreading is also minimized, as the smartphone is not constantly pressed against your cheek when you are on the phone.

Cell phone disinfection with UV light instead of chemistry: The Fraunhofer Institute is researching this

It looks something like a microwave and does not use chemical agents: The researchers at Applied Systems Technology (AST) at the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technology and Image Evaluation (IOSB) have developed a machine that irradiates cell phones with UVC light freed from bacteria and viruses such as “SARS-CoV-2”. Disinfection should be carried out in “just a few seconds”. According to the scientists, the areas of application for the device range from “clinical areas, private and commercial use to the event market”. The prototype is expected to be shown publicly in September 2020 at the trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management in Munich.

Prototype of the UV cell phone disinfection system from the Fraunhofer Institute (Image: Thomas Westerhoff / Fraunhofer IOSB-AST)

At Amazon you can already find UV disinfection devices for cell phones (“UV cell phone sterilizers”) that promise a disinfection effect based on the principle described. So far, however, there has been no evidence of effectiveness through independent tests. But the price is temptingly cheap at less than 50 euros:

UV cleaning device mobile phone

UV cleaning device cell phone

Clean cell phone normally: which cloth, which cleaning agent?

The most important rule first: No aggressive cleaning agents and no abrasives! These endanger the grease-repellent display coating of modern smartphones. The components contained in abrasives (e.g. quartz powder) can even scratch the screen forever. If you want to be on the safe side, only use a moistened with water (not wet!) When cleaning your smartphone. lint-free cloth, e.g. B. a lens cloth. This cleaning method is recommended by the iPhone manufacturer Apple (Addendum: see update box above).

Microfiber cleaning cloths in professional quality (8 pieces)

Professional quality microfiber cleaning cloths (8 pieces)

Grease spots and fingerprints are not easy to get rid of without cleaning agents. It gets easier with help suitable cleaning agents. We recommend paying attention to the manufacturer’s description: Is the product expressly suitable for cleaning smartphones? If this cannot be clearly determined, then it is better to use a different cleaner.

We have good experiences with the expensive ones, however high quality cleaning products made by the German lens manufacturer Zeiss. These are available as comprehensive Complete set, including a practical blister to remove dust:

Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit - cleaning set

Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit – cleaning set

They are suitable for quick cleaning in between Smartphone cleaning wipes:

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Glass cleaner or washing-up liquid: Can you use it to clean cell phones?

It is generally not advisable to use conventional glass cleaners and detergents from the household. The risk is too great that it contains ingredients that could damage the cell phone (in particular the anti-grease coating on the display).

However, some smartphone users swear by it and use, for example, the comparatively inexpensive Sidolin multi-surface cleaner to clean the smartphone display. According to the manufacturer, this product is suitable for cleaning “screen surfaces” – but there is no talk of smartphones in particular. So this tip should at your own risk be tried out. We have cleaned an iPhone 8 several times in the past and could not find any negative effect.

Cleaning your mobile phone: 3 steps to a clean smartphone

The display and the back of a smartphone are best cleaned the same way you clean glasses. Before the actual cleaning, you should make sure that there are no coarse dust or even grains of sand on the phone. Also important: that Switch off the mobile phone before cleaning and the Disconnect the charging cable.

Our recommendation:

  1. Slightly dampen a clean microfiber cloth with a suitable detergent or water (do not spray directly on your mobile phone!).
  2. Wipe the cell phone completely with the damp part of the cloth. This can lead to the formation of streaks – this is the loosened greasy dirt.
  3. Take a dry spot or a second, dry microfiber cloth and wipe the loosened dirt with circular wiping movements until no more streaks can be seen.

This way you can also get the camera lenses clean. In the end it helps Visual inspection With the naked eye: Hold the cell phone against the light at different angles and move it slowly. Only when there are no more spots or streaks to be seen from any position, is the surface (or the camera module) really clean. Even a slight veil on the lens can make itself noticeable in cell phone photos through blurred pictures.

Clean the cell phone sockets and speaker openings correctly

The places where the cell phone is “open” are a particular challenge. This includes the jack socket for headphones, the openings for the speakers and the connection for charging (Micro-USB, USB-C or Lightning). A tough and difficult to remove dirt from sebum and sebum that cannot be removed with the surface cleaning described above collects here for months. These points have to be approached separately and with suitable “tools”.

Jovitec mobile phone cleaning kit

Jovitec mobile phone cleaning kit

A dry, soft brush is suitable. Also (slightly dampened with water) cotton swab and toothpick can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas on the cell phone. You can also find specially shaped cleaning tools on Amazon.

But: This should only be done with extreme caution, otherwise you will cause damage. Many small movements without pressure are better than single, hectic jolts. With cotton swabs, make sure that no fibers come loose and get caught on contacts or speaker grilles. We also strongly advise against using metal objects such as knives, tweezers or needles.

Cell phone disinfection: hygiene starts with the smartphone

Many cell phone users are not aware that they touch a germ source with their hands several times a day. On average, there are significantly more bacteria on mobile phones than on a toilet seat, for example. This is not a reason to panic – but a reason to keep your smartphone clean. According to the TÜV Rheinland cleans only every fourth German regularly his cell phone thoroughly. Every eighth clean
his cellphone never even.

On the cell phone there are an average of 3,895 bacteria per square centimeter (source: CDC / Statista)

“Mobile phones, especially smartphones, should be cleaned and maintained regularly. It’s not just a question of aesthetics. Cell phones can transmit germs, and just now during the cold period, regular cleaning of displays and keyboards makes sense, ”said Bitkom expert Bernd Klusmann. Dr. Wiete Schramm (doctor at TÜV Rheinland) recommends that smartphones and tablets be cleaned regularly. “There is an increased risk of infection (…) for people with a weak immune system or with waves of colds. (…) If you use a mobile phone or tablet while eating, tiny food scraps can remain, which then serve as a perfect breeding ground for further germs. “

The display cleaner from “Ag +” with a silver-surfactant combination against germs is well rated by Amazon customers:

Ag + display & glass cleaner, alcohol-free, with microfiber cloth

Ag + display & glass cleaner, alcohol-free, with microfiber cloth

Nice that easy cleaning of the surface with a microfiber cloth curbs the risk – microbiologists at the University of Furtwangen found that the germs can be reduced by up to 80 percent. So: A freshly cleaned cell phone not only looks better, but is also advantageous from a hygienic point of view.

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