how to disinfect and clean iPhone screenGetting sick is generally the worst. As a kid, it was exciting to skip school, watch TV all day and be doted on by a parent (who generally was staying home from work to care for you). Now getting sick has become a battle to fight till you're forced to go home and watch reruns on daytime television for a few days.

The worst part, however, is that your iPhone can hold onto germs worse than a public restroom in an elementary school. As pointed out by Phone Soap, your iPhone is usually a breeding ground for all the germs everywhere. Gross. So before you go burn your phone to ash, follow these tips to disinfect and clean your iPhone to keep it shiny and germ-free.

Step 1: Water Still Will Break Your Phone

While iPhones are gradually becoming better at resisting water damage, you still can't dunk your phone in a bath and think you'll still be tweeting the next day. You can use a damp lint-free cloth to clean your phone from fingerprints and visible debris, however. Just be sure to avoid making the cloth too damp unless you want your iPhone to literally be swimming with the fishes.

Step 2: Household Cleaners Are Mini Zambonis

You may think a Clorox wipe will do the trick, but beware! Household cleaners are made of powerful stuff. There's a reason they work so well killing all the bacteria in your kitchen and bathroom. Same goes for Alcohol wipes since they act as solvents on your oleophobic screen iPhone screens are not meant to handle that (Apple strongly advises against it). Like a Zamboni on ice, they will shred your phone’s protective screen coating to bits after only a few uses.

Step 3: How To Really Get Your iPhone Clean

Since we have to avoid Mr. Clean and Aquaman, and anything that actually... disinfects... one may very well feel like there are no options left. However, have heart! There are still steps you can take to disinfect your iPhone. Apple does not recommend using rubbing alcohol as a cleaning agent, they sell wipes in their stores with rubbing alcohol in them as pointed out by the New York Times. The important piece of this is to create a distilled solution so as not to harm the coating on the screen. Starting with distilled water create a 1:1 ratio of the water paired with rubbing alcohol. Distilled water will reduce residue left behind and the alcohol will disinfect like the champion it is. You can dampen a lint-free microfiber cloth (to avoid scratches) and wipe down your phone. Make sure that no water gets into any of the ports or speakers and remember to wipe down your headphones as well. This should be done sparingly since there is still a risk of eliminating the coating on the iPhone screen but is a good idea for cleansing your phone after a nasty bout with the flu.

Step 4: Defending Your Phone From Germs Before It Becomes Infected

Like short hair and body armor in a zombie apocalypse, you can keep your phone slightly less germy with a few easy steps. A screen protector goes a long way since they are replaceable and you can wipe these down with a wipe and not have to worry about it damaging your actual screen. Additionally, always do as your parents told you and wash your hands often! Wiping your phone down with a damp lint-free microfiber cloth will keep fingerprints away and can take out some bacteria as well. And as always, an iPhone case creates a great system of defense for your phone as long as you disinfect it from time to time as well. And please, for peace of mind, do not use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean your phone, ever.