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A little care makes your iPhone go a long way

Never use compressed air to clean the speaker or microphone, it damages the sensitive membranes

By Surit Doss

  • Published 6.01.19, 5:21 PM
  • Updated 6.01.19, 5:21 PM
iPhone cases are the prime reason muck collects on your phone.
iPhone cases are the prime reason muck collects on your phone. (Shutterstock)

If you have recently bought an iPhone, you should do some periodic maintenance to avoid shelling out a lot of money to get another one after just a year or two, or even three. Just look after the externals of the device and iOS takes care of the hardware nicely.

Phones get dirty very quickly and if you have a cover, grime tends to collect in less than a week. This is especially true because of the weather here. Use a soft, damp, lint-free cloth to clean the screen and the back. Keep the various ports, buttons, and other openings free of water. Do not use abrasive material to clean, as it will wear out the fingerprint oil resistance of the phone. Always take off the cover when you clean the phone and scrub the case separately.

Look out for dust and lint gathering in the headphone jack if you have an older iPhone. Grime degrades the sound quality through the headphone significantly. Clean this at least once a month and use a toothpick to dislodge particles of dirt. Do the same with the charging port and the mute toggle switch.

You would, of course, want the call quality and music playback to be crisp always. For this, you have to keep the speaker and microphone free of dirt. Use a soft toothbrush and gently rub the speaker openings to loosen the dust. Do not press too hard. Take a piece of tape and press it on the openings to lift away the dust. Keeping the microphone and speaker free of dirt makes interactions with Siri a lot easier.

Never use compressed air to clean the speaker and microphone as it may damage the sensitive membranes inside. Apple advises against using canned air to clean any part of the phone. The SIM pin that comes with your iPhone is a really handy tool to clean the charging port. But use it very gently.

A dirty lightning cable can seriously hamper the charging of the phone. Wipe the contacts clean with a damp cloth until you can see the golden colour gleaming. Make sure to unplug the cable before you start cleaning it.

iPhone cases are the prime reason muck collects on your phone. If you use a case, clean the phone at least once a week. Remove the case and clean it separately with warm water and soap. Give it a good scrub; you will not damage anything there.

The home button that recognises the fingerprint and the notch on the iPhone X and later models have many sensors. If there is too much grease on the screen, Face ID will not work properly.

Take special care to clean the front and the rear camera lens too if you do not want foggy photos.

The iPhone may be water-resistant, but that only applies to clean tap water. If you happen to drop the phone into salt water or a dirty pool of water, rinse it with tap water quickly.

The first thing that packs up in an iPhone is the battery. The battery works best between temperatures of 16°and 22° Celsius. Anything higher than 35°C can damage the battery permanently.

Apple recommends that you remove the case while charging the phone because certain non-Apple cases generate excess heat and this can be bad for the battery. If you need to stow away the phone for a long time, keep it charged to just about 50 per cent.

Keep a watch on battery health by going to Settings-Battery-Battery Health. A normal battery is designed to retain up to 80 per cent of its original capacity through 500 complete charge cycles.

Should the battery be in really bad shape, discharge the phone completely, wait for three hours and charge it again. Repeat the process once more. You just might be able to squeeze some more juice out of the battery before replacing the phone.

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