Your iPhone is a petri dish. Here's how to clean it

Apple updates its iPhone cleaning instructions due to coronavirus outbreak

You bring your iPhone everywhere. Yes… everywhere. And this usually results in it being used in places and at moments when we are not our cleanest – in the restroom, for example. While you likely wash your hands afterward, do you wash your iPhone too? Of course not. Turns out, these things get pretty gross over time.

According to a 2017 survey, your iPhone likely has more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on it. A separate study by the University of Arizona found your cellphone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Think about that next time you plop your phone down on the dinner table and start scanning the news while eating.

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Considering the recent coronavirus outbreak, Apple has updated its cleaning recommendations so you can keep that petri dish you call a phone from getting you or others sick.

Previously, Apple recommended wiping down most iPhones with just a damp cloth, while the iPhone 11 could be cleaned with warm, soapy water. Now, Apple says you can properly disinfect all iPhones using 70% isopropyl alcohol or a disinfecting wipe.

Of course, Apple doesn’t recommend submerging your iPhone in any cleaner, nor does it suggest using bleach as a cleaner. It also advises avoiding getting any cleaners into its ports.

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Since you cannot always clean your phone before handling it, make sure you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with you to kill any bacteria that transferred to your hands immediately after touching your phone.

For more on cleaning various iPhone models, check out Apple’s complete iPhone cleaning procedures.

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