How to Clean Your Smartphone or Tablet?

Have you ever been in a situation when you take your phone trying to show an interesting photo to a friend and you suddenly start blushing when you realize how dirty is your phone with its screen covered in messy fingerprints and greasy stains? We are sure that you have experienced at least something similar because it’s practically impossible to avoid the fingerprints staying on the screen. Don’t worry, it happens to everybody who has a smartphone.

What is the first thing you do in these embarrassing situations? You reach for the closest piece of cloth that can remove most of the stains? Nothing strange. Most of us don’t wear special cleaning cloth even for our glasses, so why should we wear them for cleaning our phones. The easiest thing to do is to reach for the edge of a shirt (or skirt, if you are a woman) and wipe it out. However, this solution is only temporary and although it can help you get rid of the visible stains and fingerprints, it can’t reduce the number of bacteria not only on the screen but also on the case and under it.

The dust and dirt particles go under the case. We don’t usually notice it because we don’t take the case off every day but when we do, we are usually surprised and disgusted by the amount of dirt. The only logical conclusion is that we should clean our phones more often. By cleaning, we don’t mean wiping with the edge of your shirt but thorough cleaning process that we will describe below.

What Our Cleaning Kit Shall Contain?

Smartphones and tablets are generally quite durable and it seems that they are made of very durable and resistant materials. However, they are covered with protective layers that can be easily damaged if exposed to powerful chemicals or scratches, which can further lead to more serious damage and break down.

What Our Cleaning Kit Shall Contain

The best option is to use soft materials for wiping the surface and mild liquids if the stains are really stubborn. It is not advisable to use pure alcohol or any liquids that are generally used for cleaning windows or similar objects. Water, a mixture made of water and alcohol or some special liquid for screen cleaning will be more than fine. Besides soft cloth (a piece, two or three) and the liquid, you can use cotton swabs and toothpicks for cleaning the ports and speaker holes filled with piled up dirt and dust. There are also some special cleaners that we will be talking about in the text below.

We advise you to use specifically microfiber cloth because it is soft, it can’t scratch the device’s surface, and it attracts dirt and dust particles and leaves the surface, especially glass surface, completely clean. Besides dust, this cloth can clean oily stains effectively without spreading them around as other types of cloth do. Microfiber cloth successfully cleans different kinds of surfaces, such as eyeglasses, computer screens, TVs, etc. If you wear eyeglasses, you have probably got microfiber cloth more than once and it could be a good idea to collect them and reuse for cleaning different surfaces.

In some cases, when the stain is very dry and stubborn, you can combine the microfiber cloth with a sip of water or a drop of alcohol mixed with a small amount of water.

Apart from that, you can use one or two toothpicks or cotton swabs that can help you clean the hardly accessible parts.

Scotch tape

Scotch tape

In case you can’t get any other tool and you have to clean your phone or tablet immediately, don’t hesitate to use the scotch tape or any other adhesive tape (most of us have something like that in one of the drawers). The tape is extremely effective and it’s simple to use. It is enough to take one piece, tape it to the dirty or dusty surface and peel it off. Repeat this step as many times as necessary and your phone/tablet will be as clean as new.

All-in-one cleaning kits

These kits can be bought in stores or in some online shops and they contain all that you need for cleaning your device. They are nicely packed and they can also be used on the go. In most cases, they contain microfiber cloth, cleaning sprays usually free of ammonia or alcohol and maybe even cleaning wipes. These sprays are usually very mild and they can’t damage the screen or other parts.UV-light lamps

UV-light lamps

We bet UV lamps are not the first thing that crosses your mind when you think about cleaning electronic devices but it is quite effective. The lamp is actually very good at sanitizing objects and it does very well with your phone or tablet. It uses a special wavelength of light that manages to penetrate through the phone/tablet walls and destroy all kinds of bacteria without damaging the surface as alcohol-based liquids could. The only thing you should bear in mind is that these lamps are quite expensive, much more than a piece of cloth and a few drops of water.

How to Clean?

Cleaning smartphones is not a complicated process but we will try to explain it in detail because you have to be very careful with certain parts in order to avoid damaging your device.


The first thing you should do, before you even start cleaning, is to turn off your phone/tablet or at least turn off the screen. Turning the device off can save it from damages if you are cleaning the holes where the water can penetrate. Turning the screen off can help you see the stains better. One more thing you can do is to remove the battery, especially if you want to clean some plastic parts inside the shell.


In simple cases, when you have a small amount of dust or dirt on your phone/tablet, you can use only microfiber cloth.

However, if you have greasy stains or other types of more stubborn stains, you should dampen one of the cloth corners with water (or some mild cleaning liquid without soap) and wipe the phone/tablet parts with it. When you are wiping the screen, wipe it from above to the bottom or from the left to the right repeatedly until it gets completely clean. If you have a lot of dirt in the ports or speakers, you can use a toothpick to clean it or even a cotton swab that can even be dampened with water in order to clean the ports easier.


The best option is to let the device air dry. However, this usually takes a lot of time, so if you are in a hurry, you can dry it with a dry cloth but make sure that the phone/tablet is completely dry before you turn it on again.

Washing the tools

Cotton swabs and toothpicks can be thrown away as they are disposable parts of your cleaning kit but microfiber cloth can be reused many times so it should be properly washed. You don’t need to use chemicals to clean it. Washing it with water or even some mild soap will do the job.

The Best Ways to Avoid Dust and Dirt Piling Up

We just wanted to suggest that sometimes is better to prevent dust and dirt from reaching your device than cleaning those stubborn stains.

The Best Ways to Avoid Dust and Dirt Piling Up

If you can’t completely prevent it, you can definitely reduce the amount of dirt that reaches your device and you can do it by using simple and cheap products.

One of the things we all use is screen protector but shiny ones attract more fingerprints than matte ones. Matte screen protectors cost the same and are more practical.

One more thing you can do is to buy a nice silicone or flip case for your phone/tablet. Silicone cases protect the back side of your phone while the flip cases protect both the screen and the back side of your tablet/phone.

In addition, we have decided to mention one of the innovations of the modern world – liquid screen protectors and cleaners. They can also be called liquid glass. It is actually some kind of nano-coating and once you apply it, the material hardens and rejects all kinds of dirt (fingerprints, stains, liquids, etc.). It can act as a waterproof coating but it can also reject bacteria and protect from scratches. Some manufacturers that produce them claim that one screen protector of this kind can be effectively used for up to two years.

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