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Keeping Your Devices Clean

From smartphones to tablets to laptops, we rely on our digital devices to get us through our workdays... and our daily lives. Americans spend about 11 hours per day peering at digital screens, and our daily use of devices is on the rise.

But taking your device with you everywhere may have an unpleasant side effect: Potential exposure to germs. In fact, the average device screen carries 10x as much bacteria as a toilet seat or handle – yet only one in 20 people deep clean their phones more than twice per year.

Here's a few tips to build into your cleaning routine.

Man cleaning his smartphone and laptop with a sanitary wipe.

Clean That Screen

Before you start cleaning, read your device's user manual. The manufacturer will provide guidance on how to clean and which products to use (or not use). Disconnect your device from any power sources, remove any accessories, and power down your device before you start the cleaning process.

Remove dust or debris from touchscreens using a soft brush or a dry, lint-free cloth (such as a lens-cleaning cloth).

Next, make a solution from warm water and a drop of dish soap. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the diluted soapy water, and wring it out until it's barely damp to the touch. Gently wipe the screen

Rinse the cloth in clean water, wring and wipe again to remove any trace of soap from the screen. Finish with one more wipe, this time with a dry microfiber cloth.

Disinfecting Your Device

Now it's time to help kill those germs. Dip a microfiber cloth in anti-microbial disinfectant, or use a disinfectant wipe. Wring the wipe or cloth thoroughly to remove almost all moisture. Wipe the screen lightly, without applying pressure.

Let the screen dry on its own. After a few minutes, it's safe to turn your device back on.

You may use an ultraviolet light cleanser to help remove bacteria without using any alcohol, bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Cleaning Don'ts

Not everyone agrees on which products safely clean digital devices and touchscreens. Bleach, alcohol, vinegar and abrasive cleaners may damage your device. Check your owner's manual to learn which products are safe to use.

Avoid using paper towels, tissues or rough cloths to clean your devices, as they may scratch your touchscreen. Don't spray cleaners or disinfectants directly on devices, either.

When cleaning your phone or tablet, don't forget the case! Use a mixture of warm water and soap to wipe down your phone or tablet case, then disinfect. Allow the case to dry fully before reinstalling it on your device.

Protect Yourself

Now that your device is clean, keep it that way! The FCC recommends cleaning your phone once per day, and taking the following protective measures:

  • Leave your phone in your pocket or purse when you leave the house
  • Use a written list when shopping, rather than a list on your smartphone
  • If you've been in public, only touch your phone after you've washed your hands or used hand sanitizer
  • Utilize hands-free calling so you're not touching your phone to your face

It just takes a few minutes each day to keep your devices clean and free from bacteria. Add these easy steps into your regular cleaning routine to maintain a sparkling device while reducing your exposure to germs and other unwelcome microbes.

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ECC Monitor: OK