How to Clean a Phone Case: Plastic, Leather and More

A Helpful Guide: How to Clean a Phone Case

A Helpful Guide: How to Clean a Phone Case

spraying phone case

Source: iMarzi/Shutterstock.com 

Our cell phone cases see a lot of use, day in and day out. We scroll them lounging on the couch with a bowl of snacks, getting grease or crumbs on the case, and we toss them in our backpacks and purses, where they collect lint and attract smudges. Most of us even take our phones into the bathroom. Yuck!

So, it’s probably a wise idea to learn how to clean a phone case. But not all phone cases are made with the same materials, leaving some of us confused and using improper cleaning supplies that might actually do more harm than good. For example, leather and wood phone cases are especially delicate and require some extra care. Confused about what to do? We break down exactly how to clean a phone case based on the material it’s made out of.  

Before we start, we also just want to say: We know you might be in a rush, but always make sure to remove your phone from its case before cleaning. In addition, make certain your phone case is completely dry before snapping your phone back into place. 

Plastic and Silicone Rubber Phone Cases

Plastic and silicone rubber are both very popular phone case materials, each offering extreme durability, flexibility and an all-around easy-to-clean surface. Unlike a leather or wood case, it can hold up against stains and grime pretty well, cleaning away almost effortlessly. 

To start, make a sudsy water solution with a touch of dish soap. Next, place the phone case down in the bowl, allow it to rest in the solution and deep clean for a few minutes. 

If your phone case’s edges, nooks and crannies are extra grimey, you could also use a baking soda and vinegar paste and scrub it into these areas with a toothbrush to offer a little more grit. 

Once you get off the excess grime, rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Then, dry the phone case with a very gentle, non-abrasive microfiber suede cloth. This will prevent lint from building up on the rubber material. Still have stains? Dampen a cloth with a touch of isopropyl alcohol and wipe down the stained area. Now your rubber phone case should be clean!

Have a clear iPhone or Google Pixel phone case that shows off your phone’s signature color? Check out our guide on how to clean a clear phone case.

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Leather Phone Case

phone case pocket

Cleaning a leather phone case is quite different from a standard plastic or rubber-based phone case. Furthermore, it’s fair to say that leather phone cases, especially wallet-style phone cases, are fairly abused. Leather looks great when it begins to break in and has a more warm, worn look to it, but stains and dirt are another thing entirely. Plus, you may prefer that broken-in look on a club chair or leather jacket, but not your phone case. So if you want to clean a leather phone case, here’s what to do:

The first rule in cleaning a leather phone case is to never apply liquids directly to the case. Leather is highly porous and should only be cleaned using a damp cloth — never wet! The second rule to cleaning leather is to keep the cleaning solution simple. Any dyed or color cleaning solution will stain the leather, so stick to a mild hand soap that is just as gentle on the leather case as it is on your own skin. Mix a bit of hand soap in a bowl of water, and then dip and wring out a microfiber cloth so it’s not soaked. Then, wipe down the leather case with the damp cloth.

To properly dry a leather phone case, make sure to remove all excess water with a second dry cloth. Since leather can stretch, rub the case in curricular motions as you dry it, never in long strides. If you leave your leather phone case out in the sun or notice it’s not as soft as it once was, give it a pass of leather conditioner to make it buttery soft again.

Wood Phone Case

Cleaning a wood phone case is a bit like cleaning a wood table. Instead of saturating it with a cleaning solution, you want to dust it off and give it a quick wipe down with a slightly damp cloth. Otherwise, a porous wood phone case could absorb liquid, expanding and causing damage. Regular wipe-downs with a microfiber cloth are the best way to maintain a wood phone case and keep it clean.

Is water not doing the trick for your dirty wood phone case? For a little more TLC, you can use a vinegar and water solution (1:2 ratio). Mix the solution well in a fine spray mister and mist the wood case. With a mist bottle, you prevent oversaturating the wood case, instead giving it something more like fine aerosol particles. Now, take the microfiber cloth and wipe the phone case down going with the direction of the wood grain. 

Your wood phone case should now be clean. And guess what? You can keep the misting bottle and solution around for those routine cleanings. 

Remember to Clean Your Phone Case (to Make It Last)

cleaning a phone

Source: iMarzi/Shutterstock.com

Whether you have one of our amazing iPhone cases or Samsung phone cases, there’s going to be a time when you need to clean it. But also keep in mind that a little routine check-up and wipe down once a week can really go a long way. 

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