Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my phone?

by John Sanderson
Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my phone

Hand sanitizers are everywhere these days, in offices and schools, as well as outside of them. These sanitizers have become part of our lives because they help us prevent the spread of germs and other harmful microorganisms. These sanitizers are used to reduce the risk of getting sick from touching something. Can we use hand sanitizer to clean our phones? Yes, we can but with certain limitations. Using hand sanitizer on your phone is not ideal because it does not allow you to get rid of germs completely. Using hand sanitizer for everyday cleaning will leave behind a residue that might cause issues with the phone’s performance or appearance in the long run. It can also leave behind some dirt that is harder to spot but might still be there. Let’s take a look at why using hand sanitizer on your phone should be kept to a minimum and what you should do instead if this is an issue for you.

Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my phone?

There is no scientific evidence that hand sanitizer can clean your phone. While there are some claims that hand sanitizer can help remove dirt and bacteria, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. In fact, some studies show that using hand sanitizer can actually damage the phone’s screen. So, avoid using hand sanitizer to clean your phone, and instead, use a regular cleaning solution or a dry cloth.

What can I use to clean my phone screen?

Regular cleaning solution

Cleaning solutions are mild and gentle, yet they do a good job of removing dirt and germs on the phone. They don’t leave any residue behind, which is why they are considered to be the best tool for cleaning your phone. Just make sure the cleaning solution you use is meant for cleaning electronic devices.

Microfiber cloth

Cleaning your phone with a microfiber cloth is one of the most effective ways of keeping it clean. Microfiber cloths are made from synthetic materials that can remove dust and other particles from your screen without scratching or damaging it in any way. You can also use a microfiber cloth to wipe away fingerprints on your screen without having to worry about leaving behind streaks or residue.

Alcohol wipes

If you don’t have a cleaning solution or microfiber cloth handy, you can also clean your phone with alcohol wipes as these wipes will remove dirt, grime, and germs from both the screen and case of your phone without leaving behind any residue. However, make sure to read the packaging before using these wipes because they might not be safe for certain phones or cases.

Cotton swabs

Cotton swabs are handy for cleaning hard-to-reach areas and can be used to remove dirt from small cracks in the case or screen of your phone. Just make sure to use a clean cotton swab every time you wipe your phone and don’t try to remove anything that is stuck inside the case or screen of your phone because this might cause damage.

What Happens If Sanitizer Goes Into The Phone?

Liquid damage

Sanitizer is a liquid, so if you spill some on your phone and it goes inside, you might end up damaging your phone. If this happens, don’t try to turn the phone on or plug it in to charge because this might damage the phone further. Instead, remove the battery and take your phone to a professional for repairs.


Hand sanitizer contains chemicals that can corrode electronic devices if they come into contact with them for too long. This is why you should avoid using hand sanitizer to clean any electronic device, including your smartphone.


The alcohol in hand sanitizer can also cause scratches on the screen of your smartphone if you use it for a long time or clean it too vigorously. The best way to clean your phone is by wiping it gently with a soft cloth or microfiber cloth in small circles starting from one corner and moving towards the other corner of the screen.

Damaged screen protector

If you have applied a screen protector on your smartphone’s screen before cleaning it with hand sanitizer, there’s a chance that the alcohol in the sanitizer will damage or even remove this protective layer from the screen protector altogether, leaving behind an unprotected surface prone to scratching and shattering when dropped or bumped into something else accidentally.

What Should I Clean My iPhone With?

Soap and water

Soap and water are the best way to clean your iPhone because they’re safe for all kinds of electronic devices, including smartphones. Make sure to wipe your phone with a soft cloth or microfiber cloth in small circles starting from one corner and moving towards the other corner of the screen.

Cleaning wipes

Cleaning wipes are also safe for use on your smartphone, but you should never use them for cleaning any other electronic device since they might not be safe for that purpose. Also, make sure to read the packaging of the cleaning wipes before using them because some brands might not be compatible with certain phones or phone cases. If you’re unsure whether a particular cleaning wipe is safe for your phone, it’s best to avoid using it altogether.

Alcohol-based sanitizer

Alcohol-based sanitizers like hand sanitizer can be used to clean your smartphone safely if you follow these steps:

  • Turn off your phone and remove its battery if possible
  • Put on a pair of protective gloves if available
  • Apply a few drops of alcohol-based sanitizer on a cotton swab
  • Wipe away dirt from the screen gently using slow, circular motions
  • Use another cotton swab dipped in alcohol-based sanitizer to rub away grime from hard-to-reach areas like cracks in the case or gaps between buttons
  • Allow the sanitized phone to air dry for a few minutes before putting on the battery and turning it back on

What are The downsides of using hand sanitizer on your phone?

  • Hand sanitizer is not a cleaning solution and it will not clean your phone.
  • Hand sanitizer does not leave behind any residue that protects your screen from future damage, unlike screen protectors.
  • Hand sanitizer can leave behind a sticky residue on your phone that can attract dust and other particles.
  • Using hand sanitizer on your phone can strip away the protective coating from screen protectors, leaving your screen unprotected in the future if you use hand sanitizer again after applying a new screen protector to the same device.
  • Hand sanitizer is not safe for use on other electronic devices.

How can you prevent germs from sticking to your phone?

  • Use a screen protector.
  • Wipe down your phone with a disinfectant wipe at least once a day.
  • Clean your hands before touching your phone to avoid transferring germs from your hands to the screen.
  • Never touch another person’s phone with an unwashed hand, especially when you’re sick or have recently touched something dirty, like the floor or a public restroom door handle.
  • Never touch your face, mouth, or nose before touching your phone.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to clean your phone’s screen.
  • Always use a soft cloth to clean the screen of your phone and never use abrasive materials and cleaners such as paper towels, toilet paper, or tissue paper because they can scratch the surface of your phone’s screen and cause permanent damage if you use them too often.
  • If you are sick and have a fever, it is best to avoid using your phone until you’re feeling better to prevent spreading germs from one person to another through contact with the device itself or with its user interface elements such as buttons and ports.


Hand sanitizers are great for killing harmful germs on your hands and preventing the spread of illness but they are not made to clean phones. If you use a hand sanitizer to clean your phone, this will leave behind germs and residue that your phone will not be able to clean easily. Cleaning your phone with sanitizing methods like using a dry cloth will leave behind debris that might not be easy to clean with regular cleaning methods and might cause issues with the phone’s performance or appearance. Regular cleaning will not leave behind debris and will not contaminate your phone. We highly encourage you to limit sanitizing your phone to the occasional and to clean regularly with regular cleaning methods.

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