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How to disinfect your mobile from the coronavirus

Hand hygiene is key to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, and since we often touch our phone a lot, it is important disinfect the coronavirus cell phone to prevent it from forming part of the transmission chain.

First of all, it should be noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not given specific instructions to clean the phones, so for now you have to adapt the general measures to the phones, which raises certain doubts.

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The general protocols for disinfecting surfaces (furniture, side tables, bathrooms …) recommend diluted bleach, which could seriously damage the mobile, while hydroalcoholic gels have been designed for the hands, so let's see the alternatives.

WHO, what about cleanliness?

Before going further into the topic of mobile, it is important to know the official recommendations, being aware that they could change. This says the WHO of cleaning of hands and surfaces for the population:

  1. Hand cleaning: soap and water, suitable for alcohol-based lotions if they are not visibly dirty.
  2. Hand drying: disposable paper towels.
  3. Surfaces: household disinfectant with a diluted bleach solution (1% bleach and 99% water) – recommended only if there is a sick person in the house.

Apart from keeping the hands free of the coronavirus, we must avoid touching our faces, especially our eyes, nose and mouth, because they are the entry routes.

If we need to cough or sneeze, it is much safer to do it on the inside of the elbow than on the hand, since the drops that are expelled are a way of transmission of the coronavirus.

Mobile manufacturers' recommendations

A few days ago, Apple explained how to disinfect the iPhone from the coronavirus, and it is the clearest reference at the moment. Specifically, it proposes two alternatives:

  1. Wet wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Clorox disinfecting wipes.

Image - How to disinfect your mobile from the coronavirus

Clorox is a popular brand of cleaning products in the United States, but with little presence in Spain and other countries. We leave a link to their wipes, although they are difficult to find and expensive, so they are not worth much:

Purchase: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (Amazon)

In principle, alcohol cleaning wipes That Apple indicates seem compatible with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, so they are a good idea.

In any case, we are talking about an apparently clean mobile, which we are going to disinfect. If there is grease, stains or other visible dirt it is best to use a piece of slightly damp suede and discard it (paper can damage the screen).

Manufacturers strongly discourage the use of bleach, glass cleaner, ammonia, or other abrasive cleaning agents, which can damage the surface and remove oleophobic film from the screen. Soaps (hand or tableware) are also not optimal.

To isopropyl alcohol at more than 70% concentration can also be risky, even if you eliminate COVID-19. In fact, they normally advise only using a slightly moistened soft cloth, but in this case it will not work against the coronavirus.

We should never immerse the mobile in liquids, nor wet it very much, only superficially. And you have to disconnect it from the network and turn it off before disinfecting its exterior. If it is waterproof (IP68), there is less risk when cleaning it, but its watertightness before cleaning agents is not guaranteed.

In addition, we must think about the mobile phone cleaning as an extension of hand hygiene. If we touch the phone with dirty hands, wash them and take the phone again, we could expose ourselves to the coronavirus, so it is advisable to disinfect the terminal several times a day.

Of course, these recommendations can change over time. Among the mobile manufacturers, only Apple has a more or less official position on how to disinfect its gadgets, and in any case the authorities may give new instructions if the evidence suggests other more effective protocols.

On the websites of the WHO and the Spanish Ministry of Health, which we link to at the end of the text, the information on the coronavirus epidemic is being updated, as the situation is changing.

We must be careful with the hoaxes of the coronavirus circulating on WhatsApp, strictly comply with government recommendations and take the coronavirus seriously, since Disinfecting the phone is only one of the necessary measures.

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Are you going to disinfect your phone with isopropyl alcohol wipes to reduce the risk of contagion?

Web: Coronavirus (WHO)

Web: Coronavirus (Ministry of Health)