Here at AndroidPIT,we've written a lot about cleaning up the insides of your smartphone (files, cache, memory and so on) but what about the outside? Your precious mobile phone can really benefit from a regular spring clean, irrespective of the season of the year, and many of you invest in cases to keep your handsets in pristine condition.
Water and cleaning solutions don't mix too well with electronic circuitry, however, so it can be difficult to know how to keep your handset looking its best without ruining it. We've gathered together some tips on device maintenance to help you clean your phone or tablet safely.
1. Cleaning the screen
The screen is the part of your device where you're likely to notice dirt and smears the most, so it's important you know how to clean it effectively. Your first port of call should be a microfiber cloth, which you can run across the display — in fact if you're lucky your phone might have come with one.
Ordinary water is more effective than you might think, but use it sparingly and distill it first to remove any lurking chemicals (avoid using any type of chemicals on your screen, as they will interfere with the coating). Wipe the display in steady, straight lines using the cloth and possibly a little water.
Scotch tape is one way people have tried to get the grime and prints off their smartphone display, though we've found the aforementioned microfiber cloth to be a more effective method. Stock up on plenty of the cloths and change them regular to keep getting an effective clean.
You can try the cloth with or without a small amount of water to dampen it but if you do opt for the later then turn the device off first. The trick is to take your time and to work in small sections. When you've finished, use a dry part of the cloth to remove any lingering water on the screen.
2. Cleaning the body
For the rest of your device, a cotton tip dipped in a watered down alcoholic solution works a treat provided you keep the moisture to a minimum. The end of a paperclip or a toothpick can be used to clear out cruft from speaker holes, although this is admittedly a rather time-consuming process.
You can use a dry cotton swab or a can of compressed air to remove dust and other dry bits of dirt that have become attached to your phone. Avoid using standard household cleaners and disinfectants in your work, as they'll stain or otherwise damage your precious Android device.
A 50-50 mixture of water and white vinegar can work as well as rubbing alcohol if you want to give the casing of your phone a thorough clean. If you're dealing with a metal backing or trim then sticking to ordinary water may prove a better option (check with the manufacturer if you're not sure).
The best method for cleaning the phone case depends on the materials used: Obviously you can be relatively aggressive with a plastic back, especially if you have a waterproof phone. Leather backs (like those on the new LG G4) are going to need a dedicated leather cleaner for best results.
3. Maintenance tips
Besides the actual process of cleaning, there are some day-to-day maintenance tips to bear in mind if you want to keep your smartphone or tablet running healthily. It's a lot like making sure your car is regularly maintained and serviced to keep it in a roadworthy condition.
Temperature is a big one: Take note of the minimum and maximum temperatures listed in your phone's documentation and make sure it's not left anywhere where these could be exceeded (like on a cold window ledge or inside a hot car). You could risk permanent damage to the handset.
Cases and screen protectors are obvious ways of keeping your smartphone from coming to any harm but make sure you check ratings and reviews carefully and double-check on compatibility before you make a purchase. When charging, it's a good idea to take your phone out of its case to prevent temperatures from rising too high.
If you have any common sense you'll take particular care when holding your phone above a large drop or a body of water, and you should also avoid handling it when you've been using your hands for preparing food, digging in the garden or doing anything else that could get dirt or germs on it.