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Learn how to disinfect your smartphone correctly and regularly allows you to avoid the risk of contracting trivial infections such as flu or cold or even worse more dangerous viruses such as Coronavirus COVID-19.
In this article I will explain how to disinfect a mobile phone safely and without running the risk of damaging it, as always indicating authoritative sources, and I will also clarify the difference between a generic "cleaning" and a "disinfection" or "sterilization".
What does it mean to disinfect a smartphone
First of all it is important to understand the difference between the verb “disinfect” and the verb “clean”.
Disinfect a surface means kill the vegetative forms of microorganisms and their spores (source: Encyclopedia Treccani) so that this can no longer be a source of infections.
To clean instead it is a generic verb that indicates "remove dirtBut it does not necessarily imply disinfection.
For example, I can then clean the glasses using a cloth but without getting a disinfection. I can clean the table from a milky stain with a kitchen cloth but without getting a disinfection of the table for this. I can clean a mirror with newsprint but I can't disinfect it.
A verb synonymous with disinfecting is sterilizing. Similar verbs are to decontaminate, purify or de-pollute.
Disinfecting a smartphone therefore means eliminating viruses and bacteria so that it can no longer be a source of infection.
For the sake of completeness it is worth mentioning at this point difference between viruses and bacteria.
A virus (a term that in Latin means "poison") is an infectious agent reduced to a minimum: a capsule of proteins that protects a filament of genetic material.
To multiply, a virus enters the host cell and parasitizes its replication functions. THE virus are the cause of diseases such as polio, flu, rabies, AIDS, smallpox and COVID-19, referred to in recent chronicles as "Coronavirus“.
It is important to know that antibiotics have no effect against viruses.
A bacterium it is a living being made up of a single cell surrounded by a wall and without a nucleus. It measures about 1 μm (it is therefore 20 times larger than a virus and about fifty times thinner than a hair) and usually has the shape of a sphere or stick.
THE bacteria are the origin of diseases such as plague, cholera and tuberculosis. However, some bacteria can have a beneficial effect, such as those that help our digestion.
Antibiotics are used effectively to prevent the multiplication of bacteria.
How to disinfect a smartphone or mobile phone
Anyone who has reached the "venerable age of 50" as in my case remembers how the first mobile phones looked, or in jargon "mobile phones“, Released on the market.
A heavy "plastic block" complete with keys and a strictly black and white screen where only characters and numbers were displayed.
These mobile phones could only be used in two ways: making / receiving phone calls and sending SMS messages. No other “smart” function was foreseen or even conceivable.
The benefit however it was there solidity and the ability to disinfect them quickly and effectively using a cotton swab soaked in banal alcohol denatured at 90 ° as even the "screen" was completely insensitive to the aggressiveness of a disinfectant such as alcohol.
an old Nokia phone
Modern smartphones, on the other hand, CANNOT be disinfected using alcohol at 90 ° as this would certainly damage the touch screen, which is extremely delicate by its nature.
For this reason it is necessary to resort to alternative solutions. The most practical and effective is to use a special tool to disinfect the smartphone by exploiting the potential of UVGI lamps (in English "Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation").
There germicidal ultraviolet radiation It is an effective sterilization method that uses ultraviolet (UV) light at the UV-C wavelength to modify the DNA or RNA of microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing or being harmful.
This sterilization method is so effective that it is also used for the disinfection of food, water and air. To learn more, you can read this article by the Berkeley Lab, of the U.S. Department of Energy (in English).
You can buy various products online to disinfect your smartphone thanks to germicidal ultraviolet radiation. Among those with a good quality / price ratio I point out the one proposed by SUNUV which allows you to disinfect a smartphone in just 180 seconds, thanks to ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 260 nm - 280 nm delivered through 8 UVC LEDs.
This product can also be used to disinfect other items such as keys, glasses, watches, scissors and the “antivirus masks” that we have become accustomed to wearing with the Coronavirus pandemic.
You can now buy it for 79.99 euros on this page.
The UVC sanitizer for smartphones and other objects proposed by SUNUV
How to disinfect an iPhone with disinfectant wipes
Disinfecting a smartphone with disinfectant wipes soaked in alcohol or other disinfectant products can be a dangerous operation for the screen.
On the official Apple website there is the following indication: "Using a wipe with 70% isopropryl alcohol or Clorox branded disinfectant wipes, you can gently clean the external surfaces of the iPhone. Do not bleach. Prevents moisture from penetrating into openings and do not immerse the iPhone in cleaning products.”
In my opinion, the indication is not very clear as it is not clear whether the term "external surfaces" refers only to the metal chassis or also to the screen.
In any case, if you want to buy the Clorox disinfectant wipes you find them on this Amazon page.
Clorox disinfectant wipes