Physically cleaning the phone

Hello to all!
Due to the frequent carrying of the phone in my pocket, unfortunately a lot of dust settles on and in the device (especially on/in the speaker, USB port, earpiece and between the back cover and the camera). What is the best way to clean it? I’m thinking of using cotton buds and a cleaner with a high alcohol content.
Do you have any tips?


I use pressurized air out of a can for the USB port, so I do not have to insert anything there. But it’s also not perfect.


be patient!
I would’nt use cleaners with high rated or industrial alcohol
it can cloud the lenes or damage it.
in the end you throw the device away, because you can then forget about the warranty
glasses cleaner would work

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I’ve been using for years the same wet wipes I also use to clean my glasses. They do have some kind of mild solvent, but the idea is that if they don’t harm the (plastic) lenses of my glasses they should be safe for the screen and lenses of my phone too.
They work pretty well, especially against greasy fingerprints…

That been said, for your issue with dust, a pressurized air can (in any office supplies shop) would be the best option.


Monitor and laptop cleaning fluids? I use one of them regularly with very satisfying results, with the help of a kitchen towel.

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Always put the phone upside down in your pocket. It may seem counterintuitive, but way more stuff gets into the port when it’s in the bottom of the pocket.

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Hi Miccey

Well, like the others mentioned above I also recommend pressurized air (mild alcoholic solvents/pads only in case the pressurized air doesn´t help but keep far away from “flooding” those holes)

Even more -for the future- I recommend pluggable dust covers like the ones in the link below; available from several suppliers. They are pretty cheap and serve me very good by keeping dirt & water off the phone´s inside:


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Cleaning putty for the earpiece grille, speaker holes, etc. works well as it can pull out any dust, sand, lint, etc. that is stuck inside that wiping will not always remove.

I use a clean toothbrush and toothpicks for dry cleaning and lens wet wipes afterwards. Works quite well. Tried the dust covers before but I tend to lose them quite often :see_no_evil:

If you want to use solvent, I recommend isopropyl alcohol instead of ethanol. It’s less aggressive to electrics.

I generally use kimwipes with 70% ethanol or 99% isopropanol, but mostly because I have these readily available; glass cleaner, which is usually isopropanol, possibly with some surfactants, also usually works well. I use these with the solvent applied to the tissue, not to the surfaces. 99% isopropanol is generally preferable (and 90% works), especially if you’re cleaning the USB port, as it will evaporate better and is less likely to leave a residue, but note that it isn’t very useful for disinfection compared to lower percentages. See here, for example.

There’s the argument that generally, water with a small (eg, 0.1%) amount of surfactant / soap is safer for plastics generally, especially if soaking in it: see here, for example. Doing so, it would be important to use purified water if you want to avoid residues. The FP4’s back cover is polycarbonate, which has limited resistance to ethanol and isopropanol. Realistically, however, wiping it with isopropanol or ethanol, rather than soaking it in it, shouldn’t have a significant effect. I would be astonished if the other surfaces were significantly affected by short term exposure to any of these. Obviously, don’t use acetone.

None of this should void any warranty regarding the lenses, and I’m confused as to why someone would suggest it would. See here for some notes on optics cleaning, though note that that’s for far more critical and delicate applications, and often advice in those circumstances can tend toward considering surfaces that are kept rather clean.

Compressed air (that isn’t oil-contaminated, a problem I’ve seen sometimes) or the little compressed air cleaning cans can be quite expedient for removing dust. For critical applications (cleaning atomic force microscope cells) I’ve had a bit of a superstition that some duster cans leave a slight residue, but this shouldn’t matter for a phone.

However, I would note that generally, I would not trust advice given about solvents in threads like these, which is why I’ve given the links above. Asking people about solvents and cleaning generally yields a collection of contradictory superstitions and unreliable claims from memory and hearsay.


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