Samsung is offering to clean your smartphone for free as the coronavirus continues to spread

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Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • Samsung is launching a new program that will offer to clean your smartphone for free using UV-C light, according to blog SamMobile and a post on Samsung's Malaysian support website.
  • The service will be available in Samsung's service centers, and SamMobile reports that it's available in 19 markets.
  • The support page also suggests this service will be available for non-Samsung devices as well.
  • Samsung is launching the program as there's an increased focus on washing hands and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces as the coronavirus continues to spread.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Samsung is offering to clean your smartphone free of charge as global health officials have encouraged the general public to be extra mindful of personal hygiene to combat the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The program, which blog SamMobile earlier reported, is called the Galaxy Sanitizing Service. It's unclear precisely when the program launched, but Samsung's Malaysian support website suggests it may have gone live on March 13. Samsung says it will sanitize your phone with UV-C light to kill germs and bacteria, much like Phone Soap.

The company also says it has tested the products it will be using to sanitize devices to ensure that they're safe and will not damage your smartphone. It also warns that the effectiveness of the sanitizing process may vary depending on the phone model.

Samsung's support page indicates the service will be available in all Samsung service centers in Malaysia for all mobile device owners, whether you have a Samsung phone or not. Samsung did not immediately respond to Business Insider's question about whether this means it will clean iPhones and other devices made by competing companies.

The service is said to be available in 19 markets, according to SamMobile, including the United States, Argentina, Chile, Vietnam, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the Ukraine. Business Insider was only able to locate Samsung's Malaysian support page, and Samsung did not immediately respond to our inquiry confirming the markets where the service will be available.

The program is launching as health agencies such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection are advising the general public to wash their hands frequently and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to prevent spreading the coronavirus, which has killed more than 4,700 people around the world and infected more than 128,000.

Considering we touch our smartphones more than 50 times per day, as a Deloitte study found in 2018, there's been an increased interest in cleanliness when it comes to our mobile devices. If you plan to sanitize your phone at home, try using a soft dampened cloth and be careful to avoid getting moisture in any openings. Avoid using aerosol sprays and cleaners, and do not spray cleaning agents directly onto your device. Apple recently updated its support page to say it's safe to wipe down the nonporous surfaces of your iPhone with a Clorox Disinfectant Wipe or a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe.

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