The 7 Best Smartphone Sanitizers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in October of 2017. You probably pick up your smartphone 100 times a day and, if you've never done more than wipe the screen when it's covered in fingerprints, you may need to rethink your habits. Cell phones have been found to be dirtier than public toilets, and screen-safe wipes can only remove smudges and streaks. Our selection of portable UV sanitizers are proven to disinfect without damaging your device. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 20, 2020:
Even though we've been told that our smart phones and tablets are probably dirtier than the average toilet seat, until the recent pandemic, the primary reason most people cleaned their phones was to see the screen more clearly, not to eliminate germs. You can find plenty of screen cleaners on the market that offer a streak-free finish that won't scratch or damage the screen, or disturb the oleophobic coating. While a good wipe down is bound to remove a good number of germs as well as grime and fingerprints, unfortunately, none of these products is strong enough to kill germs and be registered as a disinfectant with the EPA.
It's also worth noting that in the interest of public health, phone manufacturers have relented that lightly dampened disinfectant wipes or a 70% solution of rubbing alcohol won't affect the basic function of your phone, but may affect the quality of the screen's coating, so users need to evaluate the trade-offs.
Previously our selections offered a mix of UV sanitizers as well as grime and smudge cleaners, but our current offerings will stick to products that can be registered as a proven disinfectant without damaging the phone in any way.
The Phone Soap 3 remains the leading choice for a UV sanitizer, and we added the Phone Soap Pro, even though it's quite similar, it works in half the time of the Phone Soap 3, and is a little larger. Both models feature a cut out notch so that you can charge your phone at the same time as you clean it.
The uvFreshr Mini was added to give you all the space you need in spite of your protective case size, as you attach it to the lid of any box you choose, and it a great choice for anyone who has multiple items they want to clean each time they get home, like keys and masks.
We also chose the relatively new UVambu Portable, as people are sanitizing multiple times per day, this is an attractive choice that won't look out of place sitting on a shelf or desk all the time. The wireless charging capability on the top of the unit is an added bonus.
March 18, 2019:
Most people generally don't think about just how many germs are on their smartphone, but once you do, it is hard to get that thought out of your mind, especially when you pick it up and put it next to your face. If you want to feel confident that you have completely sanitized your mobile device, there is no better choice than the PhoneSoap 3.0. It was the UV sterilizer that started the craze, and it was even featured on Shark Tank. The Consolidated Holdings Sterilizer seems like it might not be quite as effective as the Phone Soap 3.0, but it doubles as an essential oil diffuser, so if you are willing to make the compromise, you get two items in one. Another multipurpose item is the Germise G-1000, which is a handheld option that you can use inside of shoes, over your laptop keyboard, and on a variety of other items. If you like the idea of a UV sanitizer, but feel like most models aren't quite big enough for your needs, take a look at the Sienna Lux. It can accommodate more stuff than many others, yet still isn't so overly large that it will take over your nightstand. If you prefer not to go the high-tech route, then you'll appreciate the simple iRoller SKT 2, which utilizes a sticky roller to remove dust, smudges, and bacteria. Care Touch Cleaning Wipes, Dirty Phone Original, and the UsefulThingy Kit are also simple options that work like any traditional, liquid-based cleaners.