March 13, 2020

Your Mobile Device & the Coronavirus: A Guide For Staying Safe

Safely but Thoroughly Clean Your Mobile Devices to Avoid Spread of Dangerous Viruses


Coronavirus and Sanitization

Wash your hands! Yeah, we know… but how many of us are thinking about the things we touch the most, like our mobile technology - your child’s Chromebook or iPad, your iPhone, your work computer? As we all know, the Coronavirus has arrived and there are no signs of it letting up any time soon. While we were informed of the ways to protect ourselves from spreading and receiving the virus by washing our hands and keeping them away from our face, we need to also discuss how to keep germs off of our everyday devices. It may look like a simple process to clean our devices, but we do have to make sure that we are not only using the proper cleaning products but getting in all of the nooks and crannies to stay safe from those sneaky germs.

Why do I need to worry about cleaning my devices?

While we do not know exactly how long the virus can cling to a specific surface, evidence has shown that it could be anywhere from “hours to days”. Whether it is a laptop, tablet, or phone, these devices are filled with germs and are a host of bacteria, viruses and pathogens. The devices that we use every day for work and school can be a major cause in the spread of the Coronavirus, mainly because they are MOBILE so they carry those germs wherever they are taken. This is why it is so important that we take precautions and diligently clean every inch of these devices. 

Just think of your daily life, how often do you open the door to a store and then grab your phone out of your pocket to text, call, or pull out a list… you wash your hands before eating but you don’t wash your phone, but in reality, that phone has the same germs your hands just had. This is where the proper steps to sanitizing your frequently used devices can be a lifesaver. Here is a great way to sanitize your mobile devices!

How to properly clean your device

Gather Supplies: 

  • Isopropyl alcohol (available at Staples, or many office supply stores)
  • Distilled water
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • For travel size options, check out: isopropyl lens cleaners

Step 1: Power down your device. This is a must since we are applying liquid solutions.

Step 2: Make sure cases and/or any accessories are removed and cleaned separately (headphones, USBs, chargers, etc.)

Step 3: Mix solution 

  • SCREENS: Mix distilled water with the isopropyl alcohol to make your LCD screen-safe solution and apply to your microfiber cleaning cloth. Make sure your cloth is damp, but not too wet where the cloth is dripping since this can cause spots and get into cracks.

  • KEYBOARDS: If cleaning a keyboard, apply isopropyl alcohol on to a cotton rag and then onto the keyboard making sure to get in between the keys. CAUTION - isopropyl alcohol is extremely flammable, so keep away from any sources of ignition.

Refer to the CDC guidelines for more information about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Step 4: Apply the microfiber cloth to the device and move in large back and forth strokes (avoid small circular motions since this can leave spots). Do not spray solution directly onto device, but simply dip the cloth in the solution and apply the cloth itself.

Step 5: Let devices sit until they are completely dry, and make sure that you are repeating this cleaning process at least once a day to help prevent the spread of germs. The drying process takes only a few seconds, 30 at the most. Isopropyl is a super-fast drying chemical

NOTE: Avoid spraying Isopropyl Alcohol on the skin, in the eyes, or the mouth. If you are concerned about exposure, simply use gloves and a mask during the application process (PPE, Personal Protective Equipment). While these are smart measures to take, most people are easily and safely able to clean their devices without any PPE.