Professor warns: alcohol gel can damage cell phone camera

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In times of a pandemic such as the new coronavirus (COVID-19), it is natural and recommended that you sanitize personal goods that are widely used in public environments – such as your cell phone, for example. This can reduce the proliferation of the virus and other health threats. However, cleaning devices like this requires care not to damage the functioning of components or even shorten the life of the device. The tip is from Professor of Chemistry at Colégio Positivo in Joinville, Carlos Mumic.

According to Mumic, alcohol gel is not the most recommended item to pass on the body of the device, since you need to be careful with the smartphone’s camera modules. Incorrect use, using force or using your fingers to rub can make photos matte over time, as the lens can be damaged. In addition, scratches on the glass that protects the sensor end up appearing if you are not careful in the procedure.

What product to use?
70% alcohol is the most recommended product for use, since it does not oxidize the external parts of these devices because it quickly evaporates on the surfaces. However, there are substitutes for the case of the lack of it in stores, pharmacies and markets: it is isopropyl alcohol, found in electronic technical assistance and chemical industry stores.

Finally, modern water-resistant smartphones must be sanitized with cold water and neutral detergent, but without exaggeration in the product.

Check your device’s warranty to see if you can apply these products without losing security coverage.
Before cleaning, remove small solids from the device, such as dust particles. To do this, use clean makeup brushes in light movements.
Turn off the phone and, if possible, also remove the battery.
Clean the screen and the body of the device with a lint-free cloth (flannels) that is slightly moistened, preferably with 70% alcohol.
In the most difficult corners to access, use flexible, slightly moistened rods.
The movements during cleaning should be light, especially on the screens.

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