It's a nasty, gnarly world outside, and while we try to be clean, it's unavoidable for your phone to pick up the bacteria and grime from all the other surfaces and objects we touch or set our phones down on throughout the day. Here are the best sprays and wipes to keep your phone clean and you safe.
These wipes do have isopropyl alcohol in them, so they can kill germs hiding on your phone, but because it's a lower concentration, it shouldn't hurt your phone's oleophobic coating.
Clean screen on the go
I love these alcohol-free wipes and use them to keep my screen clean and pretty when I'm trying to get that high score in Emoji Blitz or taking pictures of my favorite cases and apps.
WOOSH's cleaning spray is both alcohol and ammonia-free and comes with not one but two microfiber cloths for streak-free, lint-free wipe-downs. This spray isn't disinfecting, but it is safe on the oleophobic coating.
Two year guarantee
210 wipes should last you for quite a while, even sharing them with family members, but Blue Merlin's wipes should stay good for at least two years. These wipes also have just enough alcohol in them to help kill germs.
Ready for the road
This is another alcohol and ammonia-free cleaner that's aimed at streak-free cleaning of eyeglasses and phone screens. Koala's American-made cloths feel great in the hand, and this travel kit comes with a hard case.
Bring your own bottle
Most of these solutions are a dilution of isopropyl alcohol, which you can make yourself so long as you have an atomizer like this for it. Just remember: Spray the microfiber cloth, do not spray your phone directly.
Keeping things safe — for you and your phone's coatings
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You'll notice the emphasis on most screen cleaning sprays like WOOSH not containing ammonia, alcohol, or other harsh cleaning agents. These chemicals are great for killing germs and microbes, but that also makes them good at eating away the beneficial coatings on smartphone screens and eyeglass lenses.
But in times where germ-killing is important, there are still many lens cleaning solutions that contain a diluted amount of isopropyl alcohol in their solutions so that there's just enough to kill germs but not enough to significantly damage the phone. Pre-moistened wipes like Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes are probably your best bet — especially since they're much easier to pocket and carry with you during outbreaks.
It also bears repeating: if you want to help cut down on the grime your phone acquires, keep your hands clean with frequent hand-washing and hand sanitizer.
Save money at home: make your own
If you're looking to disinfect your phone and prefer to save some money, you can make yourself a disinfecting spray so long as you have distilled water, isopropyl alcohol — found in every pharmacy and grocery store — and a misting spray bottle that you can use it in.
You'll want your solution to be approximately 25-40% isopropyl alcohol diluted in distilled water rather than tap water. Any stronger could start being damaging to the coatings on your phone, any weaker and it might not be strong enough to kill all the germs on your phone.
As another reminder, and I cannot stress this enough, spray the solution on your microfiber cloth, not directly on the phone.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.