The recent outbreak of coronavirus has focused public attention on the need to take sensible precautions to help prevent the spread of illness. In addition to regular hand washing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends diligently cleaning commonly touched surfaces that can harbor bacteria, including things like light switches, remote controls and door knobs.

Put your cellphone at the top of that list. According to a 2019 study, a typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times every day. While that creates plenty of opportunities to stay connected, it also gives harmful microorganisms you’ve picked up from other surfaces a good chance to travel from your fingers to your device and beyond.

As a general rule, you should clean your phone at least once a day, and more often if it’s been exposed to any potential risk—if, for instance, you’ve been in a crowded public location like a supermarket, doctor’s office, or a movie theater. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can do this to help combat germs that can live and grow on its surfaces.

  • Wipe touchscreens with a microfiber cloth (like a lens cloth) dampened with warm water and soap. This will help decontaminate the screen while also preventing scratches. Avoid using household products, like glass cleaners, as these contain chemicals which can damage the protective coating on the screen’s glass.
  • To clean the backs and sides of your phone, first unplug all cables. Then, use cleaning wipes, or household soap. Apple instructs iPhone users to rub their devices down with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water.
  • Hand wash cases with mild soap or laundry detergent.
  • Though many phones are labeled as water-resistant, don’t put them under a running faucet or immerse them in water. Doing so allows water to enter the phone’s open ports, which need to be completely free of moisture before the phone can be charged.

In addition to regular cleaning, following these “best practices” can further protect you from unnecessary exposure to harmful germs and bacteria when using your phone.

  • If at all possible, don’t put your phone to your face when making or receiving calls. Orifices like the mouth and eyes are prime entry points for germs, so consider using the phone’s speaker, or headphones that have a microphone, instead.
  • Keep your phone to yourself. Sharing it with others adds another layer of risk since it diversifies the kinds of germs you’re coming in contact with.

Finally, keep your phone in your pocket or purse when going into any bathroom. This will prevent it from coming into contact with the many airborne contaminants commonly found there.


  1. Charlotte Jones says

    Please tell everyone to clean the steering wheel in their car.

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great recommendation, Charlotte! Thank you for posting!

    • anna says

      Hi, Charlotte, I just started doing this too. And depending on circumstances (getting car serviced, etc.), I clean my light/wiper switches, hand brake, and drive selection knob. Then for good measure wiped my radio and dashboard too!

  2. chris says

    can I change this phone to iPhone 11? The XR hasn’t been shipped yet.

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Chris, if your order hasn’t shipped and you want to change the phone you requested, then you’ll need to call us at 888-345-5509 to cancel your existing order and set up a new order for the phone that you want.

  3. Mark Hull says

    What happens with your bill if you can’t work due to this virus that is now a National Epidemic???
    This is the only way some have to communicate and pay bills.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for reaching out about this. We are keeping a close eye on what is going on with the virus and how it will affect our customers moving forward. At this time, nothing has been announced but keep an eye out on our website, or in your email, for any updates on this.

      • Jimmie Newman says

        National news says some wireless providers are waving Data overages. Will CC follow suit?

        • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

          Thank you for posting, Jimmie. One of the things we’re doing is more than doubling the amount of usage included with our highest Connect plan from 25GB to 55GB for no additional charge. You can find more information about what we’re doing for COVID-19 here.

  4. Katherine Kay says

    Cleaning is a good idea & more time consuming than ever &still doesn’t make it any more affordable or work any better than it does though!!

    • Hi Katherine, thanks for your post. It’s definitely frustrating when a phone doesn’t work like it should! We’d be happy to help you though to see if we can get the phone working properly. Please give us a call at 800-686-4460 or you can also chat with us here for more assistance.

  5. Sheila C Nicholson says

    Hello, I am having a hard time with this new app. A while back when I signed up for Consumer Cellular I got it done zip, bam, boom and with this one I have been on here for over half an hour just trying to figure things out. I can’t find where to select 2 lines or anything else. Please help!

    • Hi Sheila, thanks for your feedback on this! What I would suggest is starting with selecting a plan here and then you can select the two-line option. If you continue to have trouble with it though, give us a call at 800-686-4460 and we’d be happy to help with your order.

  6. Linda says

    Great advice

  7. Charlotte says

    Other internet services are offering unlimited data during the coronavirus without charging people extra. Why isn’t Consumer Cellular? Your population is most at risk.

    • Hi Charlotte, thank you for reaching out regarding this. These are indeed challenging times for everyone, we haven’t offered Unlimited Data as part of our plans, and there haven’t been any immediate plans to change this for the situation. If this changes at any point though, or if we have any announcements about the situation for our customers, we will let everyone know as soon as possible.

  8. nelly says

    will the iphone 11 be in stock again?

    • Hi Nelly, thanks for your question. Because the iPhone 11 is a newer model, we do expect to have them back in stock. However, we don’t know when Apple will be sending us more so I’d recommend keeping an eye on our website since this is what will be updated first once they come in.

  9. Doug says

    I just what to thank cc for my new moto phone work out great very easy to get going I just used the web site took less than 15 min and work great

  10. Patricia Musser says

    I love Consumer Cellular. Now, how do I let you know that I joined AARP about a year ago to get the discount?

  11. PAUL B JAEGER says

    Another way to clean your phone: Eyeglass cleaning solution and lens cloths. The solution contains alcohol and other cleaners.
    It’s safe for eyeglasses, stands to reason it’ll work on phones, tablet screens, etc.

    • Joann says

      You’re right. Samsung told me to use eyeglass cleaning solution on the screen. I do follow CC’s suggestion of cleaning the back of the phone and the case with warm water and soap.

  12. Carl says

    I need a new sim card. Have been on cellular for awhile now. My iPhone 6 Plus is going crazy. How do I go about getting one from Consumer cellular?

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Carl, our customer service team would be happy to help with your iPhone if you give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here.

  13. Mary Jo says

    Can I use zoom on my Grandpad? Have a work training tomorrow a.m., would allow me to do from home. Mary Jo