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Apple says you can use Clorox wipes to clean your iPhone

Published Mar 9th, 2020 4:57PM EDT
Image: MAHMOUD KHALED/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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  • Apple says it’s OK to use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to clean your iPhone and other Apple devices.
  • You should unplug your iPhone and power it off before you start the cleaning process.
  • Know that the iPhone’s oleophobic coating will be worn down by chemicals and abrasive materials.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

With the coronavirus outbreak likely to get worse better it gets any better, people are taking additional precautions to lessen the chances that they become infected. Working from home, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, and carrying around hand sanitizer when going out are all common methods of keeping yourself safe, but what you might not realize is that the one object you put your hands on as often as anything else you own might also be the dirtiest. I’m talking about, of course, your phone, and you should really think about cleaning it.

In light of the viral outbreak, Apple has updated a page on its website to confirm that alcohol wipes and Clorox wipes can be used to clean an iPhone. Here’s the new language, as spotted by The Wall Street Journal:

Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.

Apple also has a dedicated guide for cleaning virtually every iPhone model from the original to the most recent, so if you plan on giving your iPhone the full cleaning treatment, be sure to check it out. Here is the full text for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max cleaning guide directly from Apple:

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature glass with advanced textured matte finishes. On iPhone 11, the textured glass around the camera complements the polished glass. On iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, the textured back glass provides an elegant look that is also tough, slip resistant, and feels good in your hand. With normal use, the textured glass may show signs of material transfer from objects that come in contact with your iPhone, such as denim or items in your pocket. Material transfer may resemble a scratch, but can be removed in most cases. Follow these guidelines for cleaning:

  • Unplug all cables and turn off your iPhone.
  • Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth—for example, a lens cloth.
  • If material is still present, use a soft, lint-free cloth with warm soapy water.
  • Avoid getting moisture in openings.
  • Don’t use cleaning products or compressed air.

Your iPhone has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic—oil repellent—coating. Cleaning products and abrasive materials will diminish the coating and might scratch your iPhone.

If you do plan to clean your iPhone, you should really pay attention to the last line of the guide, as the oleophobic coating can be removed rather easily when you start rubbing it with chemicals and cloths. It’s a small price to pay to get rid of the untold number of germs on your phone, but it’s something you should be aware of.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.