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[Best of 2020] How to Prevent Coronavirus by Cleaning Your Smartphone and Computer TODAY!

December 20 2020

We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #6 in our countdown. See #7 here.

mobile userI've been getting questions about a safe way to clean your phone with all the fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Thanks to Apple, we have a new way.

In the past, phone manufacturers warned us to NOT use bleach, vinegar, alcohol or disinfectant wipes from companies like Clorox or Lysol on the screen of your phone. The reason was that these chemicals can destroy the oleophobic coating that your phone uses to help fight fingerprint smudge. You could use these products for the back and sides, but not the screen—good luck trying to clean your phone and not getting any of that stuff on the screen.

Last week, Apple announced the following recommendations and guidelines for cleaning your Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, display, or peripheral device.

Question: Is it okay to use a disinfectant on my Apple products? Answer: Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple products, such as display, keyboard, or other surfaces. Don't use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, don't submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don't use on fabric or leather surfaces.

So how dirty is your phone? A research study found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on a phone. Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Would you walk into a public restroom and place your facial cheeks on a toilet seat? We are fine with putting our phone all over our body and using our phone while we are eating!

As of this writing, Android and Samsung have not changed how to clean or disinfect your phone. The above warning about destroying the coating on the screen is still posted.

[Editor's note: Here are several articles on how to clean your phone: How to Sanitize Your Phone and Other Devices, How to keep your smartphone coronavirus-free, and Washing your hands isn't enough, your smartphone is full of germs and bacteria — here's how to safely clean it without ruining its screen]

So now you know how to clean your devices. After reading this article, I hope you have a mental picture of a toilet seat from a public restroom around your neck coated with 17,000 crawling germs!

Please consider sharing this information with coworkers, friends and family.

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at