How to Clean Office Phones

Office telephones are notoriously dirty. You put them against your face (and near your mouth), they’re often used by multiple employees, and most office workers rarely clean or disinfect them. Dr. Charles P. Gerba, an expert on household microbes and intestinal diseases, says that, “the phone is typically the dirtiest piece of equipment in an office.” In fact, a typical office phone contains 25,127 bacteria per surface (source). To avoid spreading germs (and sicknesses) amongst employees and inviting bacteria to fester, we would like to recommend that you learn how to clean office phones. So what are you waiting for? Hop to it!

How to Clean Office Phones


First, you will need to clean the surface of the phone. Using a clean cloth that has been dampened with a mild, all-purpose cleaner, rub the surface of the phone and the cord (if there is one). Then, take an antibacterial wipe and clean the mouth, earpiece, and keypad. If you don’t have a wipe, try using a tissue dipped in rubbing alcohol. That’s all there is to it!

For both of these steps, it is important that you do not spray a cleaning product directly onto the phone. The liquid could enter the interior of the product and damage it. It is also important that the cleaning product used on the mouth, earpiece, and keypad (the areas that you will come into contact with most often) are not only cleaned but sanitized and disinfected. This ensures that you’re not just wiping off dust and grime; you’re killing bacteria and viruses too.


Many office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot offer disposable wipes that you can use to clean your phone. If you keep these by your desk, you won’t forget to regularly clean your phone. You might also consider keeping a bottle of rubbing alcohol nearby. Both wipes and rubbing alcohol can also be used to clean computer keyboards, which might come in handy.

Ideally, you should clean and disinfect your office phone about once a week. If your workplace uses a cleaning service, be sure to include a weekly phone cleaning in the contract.

Cleaning Office Phones


If you want to keep your telephones clean, it’s a good idea to practice some general cleanliness around the office. For example, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer near your desk that you can use throughout the day. Avoid eating at your desk and always wash your hands. If you’re sick, don’t come to work. If you suspect that someone else is sick, be sure to disinfect any items they have used before you begin using them. And of course, wipe down your desk and surrounding items (including the phone) about once a week.

By learning how to clean office phones and also promoting good hygiene in the workplace, you can drastically cut down on employee illnesses. Plus, you’ll no longer have to picture the bacteria entering your body each time you speak on the telephone. What a relief!

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