Our smartphones are investments. With top-of-the-line devices priced as high as desktop computers, it makes sense to try and hold onto your phone for longer than a single contract period. But we use them so frequently that they take a beating and become bogged down with too many apps and media we don’t need anymore. If you want your phone to be in top shape for as long as possible, clean it up—both the outside and the inside. Wondering how to do that? You’ve come to the right place.
Keeping your phone sanitized and looking brand new takes little effort and can go miles in making you feel like you’re using the best of the best, even if it’s a couple years old. Buy electronics-specific antibacterial cleaning wipes to use on your phone, or you can use distilled water or rubbing alcohol poured on a soft, lint-free cloth (like a microfiber cloth used to clean screens or glasses). Importantly, do not—we repeat, do not—use any harsh cleaners or scratchy cloths, or pour anything directly on your phone.
For those tiny camera lenses, use a Q-tip and distilled water to gently clear the lens of any grime. You can also use a Q-tip to get into the speaker areas and various ports if necessary, or even try compressed air.
If you want to take your phone sanitation routine to a new level, PhoneSoap sells a UV phone sanitizer for around $60 USD. This device also charges while it sanitizes, and can fit other items like credit cards, keys or watches.
Given enough time and applications your phone will inevitably slow down, suck up battery power faster, and generally perform badly. But there are ways to counteract some of this wear and tear.
First things first, make sure you’re updating your phone to the latest version of software when it becomes available. Software updates often include changes that smooth out the overall operating system experience. If you decide to skip an update or two, you could be missing some key performance improvements.
Another simple way to clean up and speed up your phone’s system is to go through your apps and delete those you rarely or never use. In most instances phones are loaded up with “bloatware”—the often-duplicative apps that your carrier builds into the system software—and while you can’t completely delete those apps, you can and should disable them if you’re not using them.
Also check your settings to make sure photos and videos, at minimum, are being saved to your SD card. If you don’t have an SD card yet, go and get one! And while you’re moving photos and videos to that SD card, delete any media you truly don’t want or need. Keep the best of those 10 selfies you took and throw away the rest, or move them off your phone if you can’t stand to part with them.
In a worst-case scenario where your phone is slogging along and barely usable, consider doing a factory reset. Backup all your data first and reset the phone to wipe the slate clean.
No matter how often you replace your phone, it’s a good idea to have a regular maintenance routine that includes cleaning it from top to bottom and inside out. Your phone will last longer, look better, and perform at its best. What do you to keep your phone in top shape? Share with us in the comments!