How to clean and disinfect your iPhone

The world is gross. You’re a little gross. But that’s okay, because there are a few easy things you can do to keep yourself and your tech sanitized on the go.

I was very disgusted with myself when I realized that my phone is harboring quite a bit of disgusting bacteria. But after coming to terms with my own grossness, I realized that the best thing I could do for myself — and for society at large — is keep my phone sparkling clean.

Here are my methods for disinfecting your iPhone, and how to get it clean before the world finds how much finger grease has actually accumulated inside its nooks and crannies. Shudder.

Make a cleaning kit

No matter where you are in life, you can keep your phone sparkling clean and delightfully dandy with just a few ingredients. At home, stock up on 70 percent or higher rubbing alcohol, finely pointed q-tips, and toothpicks. You should also grab a pack of microfiber cloths, as well as a can of compressed air, which is particularly good for blowing out dust from the inner-most parts of the phone.

You’ll also want some sort of cleaning solution that will disinfect the phone. I’ve built my only little collection of pre-mixed alcohol-based spritzers based on whatever I’d find on sale at Amazon, though the Whoosh! brand cleaner is iMore-approved, not to mention it comes as a helpful kit with a travel bottle and microfiber cloth.

You could also make your own cleaning solution with 8 ounces of rubbing alcohol and 8 ounces of distilled water. A 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water also works if you’re into keeping things relatively green and don’t mind the intense smell of the vinegar.

How to clean your iPhone

Grab a clean towel and lay it out, or quickly wipe over a substantial bit of table area with a soapy sponge or towel. Lay the phone down; then, grab the can of compressed air and start blowing out the charging port, ensuring that whatever little particles are in there are flying up and out. (If you have trouble seeing, grab a desk lamp and take off the shade for more light.) You can also pump air into the rear speakers to clear them out, as dirt and gross particles can also collect there.

If you see that there’s too much grossness to clear out with just the compressed air, grab a fine toothpick and carefully dig out the grime that’s causing you stress. Be careful not to puncture the speakers if you’re in there. If you see debris collecting elsewhere on the phone — like in the cracks around the frame, and in the top speaker grill — you can clear those out with a toothpick, too.

Step one: Wipe down your iPhone.

Step two: Clean out any gunk from the crevices, like the charging port and bottom speakers.

Now that you’ve primed the device for disinfecting, grab your alcohol- or vinegar-based cleaner. Spray it on the microfiber cloth and wipe it down. Then, take a Q-tip and dip it inside the bottle of rubbing alcohol. Trace it around the edges, the buttons, and any other crevices of the chassis that require cleaning. Wipe it all off with the microfiber cloth when you’re finished.

Cleaning on the go

For quicker cleaning experiences, a pre-moistened cleaning cloth is just as apt at cleaning your mobile device as the multi-tool cleaning process. Grab a brand like these Wireless Wipes, which smell nice and clean your device. Sephora also offers a batch of stylish-packed screen cleansing towelettes for those who like a little flair with your cleaning supplies.

Also, consider using hand sanitizer between meals and before touching your phone. A little can go a long way, and I’ve often found that something as simple as a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer can work miracles at removing dirt from the skin.