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.