Sterilize iPhone 3gs???

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by wayland1985, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    Here's one for ya:

    How do you sterilize a 3GS??? I used to use alcohol swabs for my iPhone (1st gen) without issue, but the oleophobic screen has me nervous.


    Basically, I somehow contracted strep throat (Likely due to my rotation on an ID floor at a local hospital), and I want to sterilize my phone...so I don't get it again!


    As a matter of fact, I'd like to sterilize it a few times a day...


    Ideas???:confused:
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Jax
    #2
    Use alcohol wipes or on a paper towel and it'll be fine. I do it to mine all the time.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    With no ill-effect to the screen???
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #4
    There is a difference between cleaning and sterilizing. A person who works at a hospital should know that these words are not interchangeable.

    To sterile, I suggest either an Autoclave or a high dose of radiation. Both of which would break your iPhone.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #5

    Sorry for the confusion, but I wasn't trying to get too technical.

    I'm looking for the best way to CLEAN my iPhone, without doing damage to it (especially the oleophobic screen), and to prevent the spread of bugs (again, using a simplistic term).
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #6
    What is the correlation between a dirty iPhone and bugs (software or real bugs)? Only thing I can think of is getting sticky stuff or food on your phone and leaving it around overnight to find ants crawling on it. Did you mean to prevent the spread of germs? Sorry, I am confused :confused:
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #7
    I'm really striking out today I guess. :eek:



    I'm talking about germs. I'm working in an Infectious disease department at a local hospital and I'm occasionally using my phone for some reference software. I also somehow contracted a strep throat (I'm assuming because of where I've been working).

    Basically I want my phone clean. I'm afraid to use certain chemicals like alcohol because of the oleophobic screen. Knowing other doctors/nurses/etc. are on this forum, I was curious to see how they may clean their devices.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #8
    He means germs. The hospital is an INCREDIBLY dirty place. My wife the nurse doesn't take her phone into the hospital specifically because of how dirty the place is.
     
  9. macrumors 604

    jmann

    #9
    So I thought when you get sick with a strain of virus like the strep throat kind, you will be immune to it after getting over the sickness? So that means to you it doesn't really matter if the germ is on the phone, but it is sort of a courtesy to clean it in case someone else touches it. :)
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    #10
    I use a little alcohol on a cotton ball on mine. Works fine. Oleophobic screen doesn't seem to mind, just buff out the streaks with a t-shirt afterwards. Good luck. Sorry everyone else seems to be so off topic... lol.

    Edit: After a little more research, even water can take off the screen coating... Apple recommends only using a dry cloth, compared to the 3G where they recommended a moist cloth. Personally, I'm much more concerned about hygiene then whether or not my phone shows fingerprints. So far though have not noticed any difference. It certainly isn't enough to void your warranty, assuming you keep the alcohol from dripping into the phone. Just my 2c.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #11
    Put a screen protector on and then you can use what you like. ;) I clean mine with Lysol wipes from time to time.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
    Strep throat is not viral, it's bacterial. You can catch it over and over. Even with virii, the ones that are highly mutable are re-catchable, like the cold, for instance.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #13
    Thanks guys for the help.... I guess I'll try the alcohol...


    @jmann, sandman42 sums it up pretty well. I've had strep before (as a teenager), so it's not impossible to get it again. Like sandman says, these infectious bugs (not to be confused with software bugs :D) mutate and change all the time, so it's always possible to be reinfected.
     
  14. macrumors 604

    jmann

    #14
    Yeah, that's what I thought. That's why I don't bother cleaning my personal things too much when I'm sick, because I know that I can't catch that same cold again until a new one comes around. :)
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #15
    Remind me never to have dinner at your place :D
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    But the screen protector will pick up fingerprints as it covers the oleophobic coating? I hate these protector things for anything. Apple and other manufacturers design beautiful products and then people package them in coatings and cases so they can't be seen. I used to use cases for my phones until a few years ago. Then I realized that I trade-in or trade-up so frequently (at the longest one year) and the trade in values don't seem to depend on the quality (unless very damaged). So I stopped using them. But I do use car mats on top of the carpets in my car! LOL!
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #17
    Yes, but the screen protector can be cleaned without worry of damage to the screen. As for covering it, well it has protected my glass from scratch after my keys hit it so it is worth it to me. I don't buy a phone for looks but rather functionality, they are to fragile and portable to keep "pretty".
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    If we're getting picky over terminology, then the pleural of virus is viruses. And they mutate not mute, so it should be mutatable. And the cold is not a virus, but a condition called Acute viral rhinopharyngitis or acute coryza. The virus causing the common cold is a serotype of rhinovirus (about 100 known serotypes), a type of picornavirus.

    Although I commented on the use of screen protectors above as circumventing the beneficial value of the oleophobic coating, the protector should allow the use of alcohol wipes, that are very effective in decontaminating surfaces. Although sterilization implies that the item would be absolutely free on microbes after treatment, it is unlikely without harsher or longwinded treatments. But for the purposes of very effectively reducing the level of microbes (many viruses and bacteria, and other types) alcohol wipes are cheap, convenient and beneficial.

    So, spoil the look of your iphone by using a screen protector, but thereby make it "sterilizable" with the use of alcohol wipes. Phones, like many items, become contaminated through droplets breathed and spluttered out and from fingers. So I recommend cleaning them (and importantly, computer keyboards) on a daily basis, especially if used within a clinical or other area where pathogens might be found at a higher than ambient level.

    I have been a professional microbiologist for almost 30 years and an iPhone user for about 6 months. Watch out for the ordinary every day doctors though as they know very little about microbiology (though they know how to treat infections) as shown by the ongoing issues with hospital acquired infections! LOL!
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    Fair enough, but I think most people choose Apple for both looks and functionality. Actually, having thought more about it, most people probably choose the iPhone for its looks.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #20
    Hahahaha. True true. But you have to give credit to those doctors, having to deal with tons of other problems!


    But it looks like you're the man I should be talking to now. Alcohol swabs (or in my case, alcohol soaked cotton balls) to the oleophobic screen: Yes or no???

    And does the type of alcohol used have any affect on the coating (Isopropyl vs ethyl, 70 vs 91%, etc)
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #21
    Who cares... I think the Iphone is rather bland looking compared to other phones. It is the functionality and the seamless integration that made me go for it. Most of the adults that I talk to tend to agree.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    I don't know enough about the actual coating used so I can't advise on whether to use alcohol directly on the 3GS coating. To be safe I would prefer to suggest using a protective film.
    I don't imagine that the common alcohols used in swabs and other media would have very different effects if any. But again I can't comment on the actual reactivity or solubility of the oleophobic coating without having specific details. I am intrigued by the coating and its projected resistance to wear during a typical product lifetime. There are many types of surface coatings that can be used to be both hydrophobic and lipophobic. Some of these can be very resistant to wear and also chemically inert (within reason; for example would you subject the coating to concentrated acid exposure? - I doubt this is relevant to the typical iPhone user). I imagine that Apple have used a very resistant product, but they do have to consider cost so who knows? Give me me chemical composition of the coating and I will comment on the reactivity.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Jax
    #23
    Yes with no ill-effect to the screen. Now this thread is back on topic lol!
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Daiden

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #24
    I hope they don't use that screen coating on the next version of the iPhone... The only reason I haven't gotten a 3GS is because I don't want to eventually rub off a line on my screen (I'm looking at you, "Slide To Unlock").
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Daiden

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #25
    For me it was the, well, power. I've always used pretty terrible "smart phones" in the past, and they have really lacked a lot of features. When I saw what the iPhone could do, I had to get one. Now, unfortunately, I could never go back to using another phone. I'm stuck with AT&T (for now) and Apple's overpriced hardware.
     

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