Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Apple Confirms That It's Okay to Clean Your iPhone With Disinfectant

Apple today updated its support document on cleaning Apple products with new information that confirms it's okay to to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for the purpose of cleaning germs from your devices.


Prior to now, Apple's cleaning guidelines have recommended against all cleaners, warning that the chemicals have the potential to damage the oleophobic coating on iPhone and iPad displays. Apple still warns against aerosol sprays, ammonia, window cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, compressed air, and abrasives:

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 says to avoid spraying cleaners directly onto your devices and to avoid getting moisture into the openings.

Apple's updated guidelines come as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world. Given that most people use their iPhones and other devices constantly, it's important to be able to disinfect them to cut down on virus spread through surfaces.

It's not entirely clear how long the virus lasts on surfaces, but various studies have found that it can survive on glass or plastic for as little as two hours or as long as nine days.

The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern tested Apple's new guidelines over the course of the last week. Using a new ‌iPhone‌ 8, she wiped the display 1,095 times with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, the estimated equivalent of the number of times an ‌iPhone‌ might be cleaned over the course of three years.

After all the wiping, the oleophobic coating on the ‌iPhone‌'s display was in good condition with no perceived damage.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
Don't worry - nobody has any wipes in stock anywhere anyway!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


Since October 2019 between [B]20,000 – 52,000 [/B]have died from the Flu. BUT LETS CREATE MASSIVE PANIC AND HYSTERIA ABOUT CORONAVIRUS!!!! Such a joke... all politics and if you don't think so, reevaluate yourself.

The flu virus usually dies after 2 days on hard surfaces. The COVID-19 virus survives 9 days, so it is easier to come into contact with a live version of it. The regular flu kills 0.1% of people infected. COVID-19 kills 2.0 - 3.4% of people infected, which is 20 to 34 TIMES more deadly. If a normal flu season kills 20,000 people in the U.S., the COVID-19 virus would kill at least 20 times that amount, so 400,000 people. With the numbers you provided, and the real world numbers being seen with COVID-19, the number of Americans dying could be 1,040,000 to 1,768,000. Also it has to been taken into account how many people will be SERIOUSLY ill and need hospitalization to survive. You don't know if those dead or seriously ill will be you or a family member. Your demise could end up just a footnote in the history of the world pandemic of 2020. People are wise to be taking serious precautions.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
I think Apple is trying to provide a bridge of reasonable ground for those concerned about cleaning. They would prefer you didn't use any harsh chemicals on your devices, but if you feel you must, they want to provide some guidance. Taming the panic.

The best course of action is to wash your hands after touching shared surfaces and don't touch your mouth. That will limit transmission.

Our bodies need to be exposed to bacteria and known viruses to build immunities, so there's a risk of our personal worlds becoming "too clean" and making future outbreaks even worse because our bodies are not ready. Don't clean too much, just be reasonable.


Since October 2019 between [B]20,000 – 52,000 [/B]have died from the Flu. BUT LETS CREATE MASSIVE PANIC AND HYSTERIA ABOUT CORONAVIRUS!!!! Such a joke... all politics and if you don't think so, reevaluate yourself.

Please stop with the downplaying. It's a serious situation with a lot of unknowns still. You'd re-evaluate yourself if you or a family member got seriously ill with the virus. Suddenly everything would look very different to you.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


How important is is to wash your phone if nobody else ever touches it?

I can't remember the last time anybody other than my wife touched my phone for any reason whatsoever.

I think the point is your hands get dirty. And you use your iPhone. Then you remember to wash your hands but then start using your iPhone again, re-contaminating yourself.

arn
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


Since October 2019 between [B]20,000 – 52,000 [/B]have died from the Flu. BUT LETS CREATE MASSIVE PANIC AND HYSTERIA ABOUT CORONAVIRUS!!!! Such a joke... all politics and if you don't think so, reevaluate yourself.

I really wish people would passing this around.

You think you're being smart, when you're really not. The coronavirus has existed for approximately three months.

The flu doesn't have between a 2 and 5% mortality rate. The flu's mortality rate is around 0.1%. The coronavirus has been closer to 5% here in America, largely due to Washington.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


Do you wash your keys, credit card etc. ?

I never wash my credit card; that's money laundering.;) Okay, that's my dad joke for the day.:p
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...