When’s the last time you touched your phone? Chances are you’re holding it right now to read this story. But can you remember the last time you cleaned it? Since we constantly use our phones, they’re likely the dirtiest thing we own. In fact, Time reported that cell phones have 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats. Despite previously warning us not to use disinfecting wipes to clean our iPhones, Apple says it’s now okay. Although the tech company doesn’t explicitly mention COVID-19, its change in cleaning guidance comes as the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple updated its guide for cleaning apple products on Monday. The page now states, “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.” In the past, Apple discouraged using most cleaning products because many of their substances can wear down the oleophobic (oil repellent) coating, which protects the screen and keeps it smooth.
Though Clorox wipes are okay to use, Apple still advises against using bleach, aerosol sprays, and abrasives. And remember, as you clean your phone, you should avoid excessive wiping, unplug all external power sources, and avoid getting moisture in any openings.
Along with your iPhone, you should clean other commonly touched objects in your home. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routinely disinfecting tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks with these cleaning products pre-approved by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency for use against the novel coronavirus.
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