How Do I Clean a Cell Phone?

Cleaning your cell phone can improve the functionality of the touch screen and prevent debris from clogging charging ports and other jacks. You can clean your cell phone in a matter of minutes using a few items found around the home.

Woman With Mobile Phone And Cup
Touchscreen phones are particularly prone to fingerprints and smudges.
credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Turn the phone off, and then remove the battery and set it aside in a clean, dry place. Remove any headphones, charging cables and screen protectors currently attached to the device.

Step

Dab a lint-free cloth in warm water, and then gently wipe the front and back of the phone to remove grime and grease. Pay special attention to the phone’s screen, which often comes into contact with your face and hands, particularly if you’re using a touchscreen device.

Step

Wipe the phone down again, this time with a disinfecting wipe or a portion of the lint-free cloth dipped in a solution of 75 percent water and 25 percent rubbing alcohol. If you use a lint-free cloth, don’t get it too wet with the alcohol solution, and be careful not to press too firmly to avoid liquid seeping between keys or through cracks and into the interior of the phone, where it can damage delicate hardware.

Step

Dip a cotton swab in warm water and clean around any headphone jacks, charging ports or other inputs. Gently pry larger debris from these same ports using the dry end of the cotton swab. Avoid getting any water into the ports themselves. Use the cotton swab to clean grime, dust and other debris from other nooks and crannies as well.

Step

Let your phone dry out completely, and then replace the battery.