A new hashtag should be added to #washyourhands, #coveryourmouth and #stayathome when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning all “high-touch” surfaces every day, like phones, keyboards and computers.
The virus can live for three days on plastic and stainless steel, experts say, and is transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface, like pressing your cheek against a phone screen.
But be gentle, otherwise you could damage your device. Here are some things not to do when disinfecting your phone:
· Do not spray cleaners directly on the phone.
· Do not put the phone into cleaning liquids.
· Do not use devices that use forced air, like compressed air that cleans the crevices of computer keyboards.
· Avoid rubbing your phone with rough materials that could make small cuts on it.
What did we learn from that list? Don’t get the phone wet. Don’t get the phone wet. Don’t get the phone wet. But get it clean.
Start by turning the phone off and unplugging it. You want to make sure your phone is not charging when you clean it. (And you don’t want to get it wet.)
Use disinfectant wipes that include 70 percent alcohol, like the ones that pop out of a plastic container one wipe at a time. iPhone manufacturer Apple says that when using wipes, do so “gently.” AT&T recommends squeezing out any liquid from disinfectant wipes before using them on a phone.
Paper and fabric cloths work, too. Spray the disinfectant on the paper or cloth, not the phone directly.
Some examples are microfiber cleaning cloths or ones used to clean camera lenses and eyeglasses.
Google suggests cleaning your phone with a cloth that has been lightly covered in soap and water, as long as you … don’t get the phone wet. (Because you know you’ve done that in the past at least once and a replacement is expensive.)
Samsung, the world’s biggest phone manufacturer, says it is offering something new: A free phone-sanitizing service involving UV light. The service will be offered at some U.S.-based Samsung stores and service centers. It will expand to other countries in the coming weeks.
Cleaning your phone is one of many measures public health officials are recommending to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Add that to #washyourhands, #coveryourmouth and #stayathome.