How to Clean Your Phone Case, the Right Way!


My friend is a germaphobe. How do I know it? Because every single time we meet, he has the Howie Mandel’s problem: he hates to be touched so he doesn’t shake hands.
His favorite phrase? “Germs are everywhere!” – can’t blame him, because he’s right, isn’t it?

Well, you know it, everyone knows it and things have been “germy” since the day we were born.

The same thing goes with the day-to-day objects we’re using so religiously. And what is the most popular item on the list? If the smartphone is in your top 3, well, you’re so right!

Fun fact!

Did you know that your phone carries more bacteria than your toilet seat? How many more? The average is 10 times more! Well, different people, different results.

The takeaway? No, it’s not cleaning the toilet seat less often 🙂

Maybe it’s time to clean your phone. So my advice for you is to take it out of the case and try to clean it. If you’re using the phone without a case, things could be as simple as just using a wet napkin and then dumping it into a UV phone sanitizer. Easy peasy!

But how about cleaning the phone cover? In this article, I’m going to cover 3 ways/recipes for sanitizing the hell out of your cases!


Spoiler alert!

There are many types of phone covers out there: skins, shells, leather, rugged, active accessories, innovative and functional like battery cases or photography ones. Combine them with the different types of materials they’re made of(plastic, rubber, silicone, wood, metal, etc) and you have quite a legit source of a proper headache.

The below “recipes” are not a one-size-fits-all solution, so do your research based on the phone case type you’re having.

There’s a small possibility that you would still have the case’s original package to check out the “care” instructions but you might have a chance searching for more info on the manufacturer’s website.

Either way, no matter the type, treat your cover with extra care when cleaning it up.

OK, enough rhetoric! Let’s get to work.


The organic way

And probably one of the best effective ways to clean your phone case.

All you have to do is to prepare a mix of 1 part baking soda(I know, I know, the all mighty baking soda!) and 1 part water.

baking soda and water

You’ll get some sort of a paste.

Rub the case with the resulting paste and leave it for 5 minutes so that the baking soda can do its thing. Rinse with cold water and voila!, your case is clean!

This recipe is suitable for plastic, rubber/silicone, carbon or metal cover.

If you’re dealing with stains and visible dirt, add a little bit of lemon juice to the mix. The lemon juice, which is an acid will generate a chemical reaction with the baking soda, which is a base.

At the atomic level, the resulting compound is nothing but salt and water, so pay extra attention because the salt might damage your case.


The Popular Way

I’m pretty convinced you’ve done it a couple of times.

You will need:

Steps to clean & sanitize the case:

  1. Remove the case from your phone.
  2. Prepare a mix of 1/5 parts dish soap and 4/5 parts water. Put the case in the mixture and leave it for 1 minute.
  3. Wash the case with the mixture and use the clean cloth to reach all the corners and narrow spots.
  4. If the cover has stains or it is still dirty, moisten the cloth with rubbing alcohol and give it another try. This will not only clean the case but thanks to the alcohol, the case will be sanitized as well. Germs hate alcohol, btw!
  5. Let it dry for a couple of minutes to avoid transferring any residual moisture into the phone.


Tips & Tricks

The above methods should work great most of the times but here are a few extra things you could do or just keep in mind when cleaning your cases:

pencils gum erasers

– If you’re dealing with hard-to-remove stains, use a transparent or white eraser(that’s right, an art gum eraser). Don’t use colored erasers because the color might get transferred into your case.

– Use a toothbrush(not your toothbrush, though). It’s a bit harder than the cloth so it should deal with stains or dirt better. Also, because of the size, you will be able to reach every corner.

– Instead of using rubbing alcohol, an alcohol-based wet wipe does the same thing and is more practical, I would say.

– To really sanitize the cover(and your phone), use a sanitizer device – these are using UV light to kill the remaining bacteria from your phone or case. One of the most popular phone sanitizers is called Phonesoap but there are also other alternatives.


How to Clean a Leather Phone Case

The above methods work for almost any case, but what do you do if your phone is wrapped up with a leather cover? Compared to plastic, leather absorbs dirt. What’s even grosser is that the oil from your hands is going to be transferred into the leather as well.

I have a recipe for cleaning leather cases too, which is nothing but a slightly different version of the popular way from above.

You’ll need:

  • A clean cloth
  • Hand soap
  • Saddle soap
  1. Detach the case from your phone.
  2. With the damp cloth, apply a small bit of hand soap on the case and rub it gently in a circular motion.
  3. To restore the leather to its initial state, use saddle soap with a cloth and rub the entire surface of the cover, gently, so you don’t affect the glue between the leather layer and the plastic framework.
  4. Leave the case for a couple of minutes to fully dry.
  5. Attached it back onto your phone.


How to Clean a Clear Phone Case(or Plastic) That Turned Yellow

If you lived the golden age of arcade video games, there are big chances that you still own an old gaming console.

Or maybe you have an old Macintosh PC thrown in the old garage, waiting for you to be brought back to life or at least, plugged in for one more time.

The problem with these devices is that the white plastic you probably remember they came with turned into…yellow. It took them many years to get where they are today, but things seem to happen a lot faster with your transparent or white phone cases, isn’t it?


Why White Things Turn Yellow

The process is called aging and is happening because, during their lifecycle, white objects are affected by a series of degrading factors, causing a series of chemical reactions: thermal, radiation, oxidation, photooxidation.

These degrading factors are basically dust, dirt, heat, light, and chemical compounds.
When it comes to your silicone or plastic(polymer) transparent phone case, the combination of dirt, your body oils, heat and sun exposure leads to yellowness.

Also, the more UV light that the item is exposed to, the more yellow or brown it’s going to look.


The Solution

The irony is that the solution to the problem also involves UV light. It turns out that a combination of hydrogen peroxide and UV light could reverse the process, restoring plastics to their original color.

Now, hydrogen peroxide is a bit tricky to create and use. The reverse yellowing process needs time so you can’t just pour in a liquid solution on the plastic because it will just run off.

However, there’s an easy-to-get product which has enough H2O2 for the job and it’s also in the right form: creamy. It’s the salon hair bleaching cream. Here are a few options you could order right away:

All you have to do now is to cover your yellow phone case with cream and put it under a source of UV light. As I mentioned previously, hydrogen peroxide needs UV light to do its thing, so for maximum results, use a UV light source. Or, if you happen to have in your house a UV nail dryer(like the 48W SUNUV for example, which is big enough to fit your phone case), give it a shot!

The easy alternative is to put it out in the sun. Spoiler alert though, the sun might do the trick but you might end up with an unevenly whitened case since the sun is going to change angles throughout the day. In this case, feel free to repeat the process until you’re happy with the results!


Because you’ve reached the end of the article, here are some wicked DIY projects you could try on your phone case:


Wrapping Up

We take phone cases as consumables. Once they get dirty or turn into yellow, we throw them away. Save yourself some time & money and treat them with the care they deserve.

After all, they come with the noble mission of protecting your expensive phone by getting all the hits!

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Passionate about everything that shines, settled down on UV(ultraviolet) lights. I'm motivated and with a mission to help people live a better life!

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