How to Clean a Phone Case

June 8, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Our smartphone cases accumulate A LOT of nasty stuff. With near-constant usage throughout the day, they pick up dust, dirt, grease, oil and all kinds of bacteria from unsanitary surfaces. You should clean your phone case at least once every few weeks. We put together a list of tutorials on how to clean a phone case made of these materials:

  • Rubber/Silicone
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Leather
  • Clear cases

Clear cases have their own category because they require a little more elbow grease. Let’s go through the proper cleaning method for each material to renovate your case and ensure your smartphone’s long-term health.


Rubber and silicone are flexible, but delicate materials. You don’t need to go overboard with the washing and scrubbing. All you need is mild dish soap, water and a capable sponge. Follow these steps:

  • Mix dish soap and warm water in a large bowl.
  • Dip the sponge into the mixed solution and start scrubbing your case.
  • Use the sponge’s corner to get those hard-to-reach areas.
  • Rinse the case and pat dry it with a clean towel. 
  • Let the case finish air-drying for 30 minutes before putting it back on your phone.

Extra tip: the warm water shouldn’t be too hot. Extremely hot water can shrink rubber and silicone cases. Moderate warmth will do.


Plastic is tougher than rubber and silicone, so you can be more aggressive with your cleaning solutions. That’s why we recommend you use chlorine bleach. With this solution, get a pair of rubber kitchen gloves and a strong scrubbing tool and get to work.

  • Put on your rubber gloves and open a window for better ventilation.
  • Mix one tablespoon of bleach for every cup of water.
  • Soak your plastic case in the solution for 10 minutes.
  • Take out the case and scrub the stains away.
  • Rinse your case thoroughly with warm water and pat dry it with a paper towel.
  • Let the case air dry for 30 minutes.

Extra tip: plastic stains can be more difficult to remove, so feel free to soak your case in the solution for more than 10 minutes if necessary.


Natural materials like wood require more natural cleaning solutions. Vinegar is the best solution for the job, though you don’t want to let it soak into the wood. This procedure should be quick and painless. Get yourself a spray bottle and soft cloth and follow these steps:

  • Fill the spray bottle with two-thirds water and one-third vinegar.
  • Spray the solution onto the case (not too much) and gently wipe it with a damp cloth.
  • Remove all excess moisture with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Extra tip: you probably didn’t use the entire bottle (we hope not, at least), so save the rest of the solution for other wooden surfaces around the house.


Leather is tricky. You could purchase a leather conditioner and follow the product’s instructions, but this DIY solution also works if you have a steady hand. Use basic hand soap and follow these instructions carefully:


  • Mix the hand soap and warm water in a large bowl.
  • Dip a cloth into the solution and wring out the excess liquid until the cloth is damp.
  • Gently wipe down the case with the damp cloth.
  • Dry the case with a paper towel.
  • Let the case air dry in a cool, shaded area for 30 minutes.

Extra tip: increase your leather case’s longevity by limiting exposure to sunlight, heat and humidity. These conditions can cause leather to shrivel and stain.

Clear Cases

Knowing how to clean a clear phone case is imperative for all clear-case owners. These cases don’t get dirty more quickly than any other material, but you can see the dirt almost instantly. Clear cases require more frequent cleanings for that reason. Get isopropyl alcohol, mild dish soap and a small scrubbing tool, then follow these steps:

  • Mix the soap and warm water in a large bowl.
  • Scrub the case with the solution.
  • Use isopropyl alcohol to remove the stubborn grime and stains. Wear a pair of gloves for this step.
  • Rinse the case and dry it with a clean towel.
  • Let the case air dry for 30 minutes.

Extra tip: it doesn’t take much to stain a clear case, so consider carrying a pack of disinfectant wipes to prevent them from accumulating.

Make Your Phone Case Look Brand New

Our phone cases go through a lot of damage, but they often don’t get the necessary maintenance and break down before they should. Before you buy another case, follow these cleaning procedures to make your current case look brand new!