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Stop what you're doing and clean your smartphone

technologyEdward Kiledjian1 Comment

There are hundreds of blogs, articles and podcasts about living an uncluttered life but very few of them actually talk about your digital world. It’s time for an intervention. Sit down, grab your smartphone and read the following.

How many apps do you currently have on your smartphone?

How many of those apps have you used today, in the last week or even in the last month?

Research shows that most new apps get used for less than 30 days and then fall into the abyss of uselessness. These useless apps take up valuable space, slow down your device, make backups bigger (plus it takes longer to backup). It’s time you decided which apps really need to be on your phone and get rid of the rest.

Now take the time to re-evaluate where you place your apps and how you group them. Chances are your usage habits have changed and your phone doesn’t reflect it (which means everything you do is being unnecessarily slowed down. Take the time to rearrange your apps based on their current usage pattern and priority.

How many do you have on your phone and do you really need all of them on your device? Best case you have too many pictures/videos but they are backed up anyway. Unfortunately most people keep too many of their digital memories on their phones and never take the time to back them up. Imagine how you would feel if your device was stolen or malfunctioned. Dust off that USB cable and move most of your pictures to your home PC (which is backed up right?).

Now we clean the outside

Now we step out of the digital and talk about physically cleaning your device.

The only products you can safely use to clean you mobile device is purpose made cleaning solutions, distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. Never use glass cleaner, abrasives, disinfecting wipes or anything else you would use to clean a bathroom. Never use paper based towels (paper towels, brown bathroom towels, toilet paper, etc). 

Step one, turn off your device and remove the battery where possible.

For smudges and light dirt

Use a dry microfiber cloth to gently clean the device. This is the real cleaning microfiber cloths (with hundreds of little microfiber legs), not eyeglass cleaning ones. You can pick one up for about a dollar a piece.  

Cleaning a keyboard

If your device has a keyboard, use quality cotton swabs (with wood or strong plastic stems) dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently wipe in, on and around the keys. Take your time. Don't rub too hard or you may remove the printed key identification. Your cotton swab should be humid but not dripping. Repeat as needed.

Once the keyboard is clean, use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish the keyboard.

Cleaning the metal trim

If your phone has metal trim, don't use alcohol on it. lightly dampen a small section of your microfiber cloth in distilled water and clean the metal trim. Once clean, use the dry section of the microfiber cloth to dry and gently buff it.

Cleaning the body of the phone 

to clean the outside of your phone, lightly dampen a section of your microfiber cloth with distilled water and clean the outside of your phone. Make sure water doesn't get into any of the holes (speaker, microphone, connector, etc). As soon as the outside is clean, use the dry section of the microfiber cloth to dry and buff the phone.

Cleaning the camera lens 

If you have a dSLR lens cleaning kit, use it. Otherwise dampen the tip of a cotton swab with distilled water and clean the lens using a gentle clockwise spinning motion. Once clean, dry off the lens with a dry microfiber cloth.

how to disinfect your phone

Mobile phones are excellent peatry dishes for bacterial growth. There has been a handful of well documented studies that prove that many smartphones are dirtier than a public toilet seat. This is some scary stuff. As a business person, I use my phone very often and when I started reading these reports, I was taken aback.

My solution is a little device I bought called the Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer. You simply drop your phone in (you can also use it to disinfect your Bluetooth headset, earphones, etc), place the top cap and wait until the activity light turns off (about 5 minutes). The germicidal UV light kills strep many of the bad things living on my device like e.coli, salmonella, listeria, and H1N1 virus.

Cover isnt actually transparent, this is just to illustrate how it looks when working.