Human beings are filthy, and as we use our phones anywhere and everywhere, we expose our phones to all that filth as well. And since you can't give your phone a hot, soapy shower every day (like you do with yourself, I hope), you should build yourself a cleaning kit to keep the grime and nastiness under control before those germs migrate back from your phone to you and get you sick.
Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes (opens in new tab)
If you need your screen clean when you're not home with your spritzer bottles, I absolutely adore these single-serve wipes. I keep a few of them in my bag for wiping my screen after it gets all sweaty and grimy when I'm out and about.
Portable Cell Phone Cleaner (opens in new tab)
This phone-sized tanning bed uses UV lights to kill the surface bacteria on your phone in order to keep the germs on your phone from getting you sick. I also run car keys and my credit cards through here from time to time.
35 Pieces Phone Cleaning Kit (opens in new tab)
The tips on these swabs are shaped to better seek out the dust and grime lingering in the nooks and crannies on your phone, and while the wide flat tips are better suited to Lightning ports, the brush works well on USB-C ports.
MightyMicroCloth Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (opens in new tab)
Microfiber cloths are the best for cleaning glasses and glass phone screens, but just having one loose in your pocket gets it dirty. This six-pack has the clothes in plastic envelopes so they're easy to carry while keeping clean.
innoGadgets USB-C Silicone Dust Plug (opens in new tab)
If you use wireless charging regularly — or even if you just tend to accumulate more lint and dirt in your USB-C and headphone ports — use these plugs to keep dust out. The headphone plug also doubles as a SIM tray puller.
WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Kit (opens in new tab)
If smudged, grimed-up screens are the bane of your cleaning existence, this kit is great for keeping around the house. It's alcohol and ammonia-free and comes with a microfiber cloth for streak-free, lint-free wipe-downs.
Sinide Plastic Spray Bottles (opens in new tab)
If you want to make a disinfectant spray you can use on your phone, you'll want a spray bottle that makes a fine mist, like these small atomizer bottles. Just remember: Spray the microfiber cloth, do not spray your phone directly.
Be gentle, please
Most of the time when I need to clean my phone, I primarily need to clean my screen, and pre-moistened ZEISS Screen Wipes (opens in new tab) are the perfect way to get a streak-free clean without needing harsher chemicals. I also supplement these screen cleanings with deeper UV treatments in my UV Cleaner (opens in new tab), because I spend a lot of time at theme parks and get exposed to more people — and their germs — than normal.
You want to avoid abrasives and harsh chemicals when cleaning your phone, as abrasives can scratch the screen and chemicals can eat away at protective coatings. Alcohol and ammonia-free solutions are preferable when cleaning a phone, but if you want a cheap, easy solution, dilute isopropyl alcohol and water in a misting bottle (opens in new tab). To disinfect your phone, just spray a microfiber cloth instead of the screen and use sparingly.