It’s a good habit to clean and disinfect your gadgets and tech devices, such as your iPhone and/or Mac, every once in a while, but it has now become an added safety concern due to the recent coronavirus pandemic.
A recent study has found that the COVID-19 may be able to survive on some surfaces for up to nine days, and that includes your device screens/surfaces. Apple has recently updated its recommendations on how to disinfect its products. Apple had always recommended staying away from the use of disinfecting wipes and alcohol on a majority of their products but has recently updated its guidance to approve the use of Clorox or Lysol wipes on its products.
Apple has issued the following guidelines for cleaning your device:
- Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
- Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
- Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
- Keep liquids away from the item you’re cleaning unless otherwise noted.
- Don’t get moisture into any openings.
- Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
- Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.
These rules apply to cleaning your Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, display or peripheral device. It is also applicable for most of your gadgets. It’s always a good idea to turn off your device and unplug it from any power adapter before you starting cleaning it.
Even if your device is water-resistant, don’t simply put it under a tap and clean it off. The device is water-resistant, not waterproof, and the pressure of the water may damage it (especially the speaker and charging port).
In addition, to disinfecting and sanitizing your device, Apple recommends using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting wipe. With these, gently wipe the hard surfaces of your Apple product. The complete guideline is as follows:
Make sure you don’t aggressively wipe down the screen of any of your devices with a disinfecting wipe, since it may damage the oleophobic coating that covers the screen. This coating is present to resist fingerprints as well as resist oil damage. It wears over time with normal use, but aggressively using any cleaning products may further damage the coating. You may also opt to use a screen protector to cover and protect your screen and the coating. Another way to disinfect your phone without much effort is with ultraviolet light cleansers that are specifically designed to keep your phone germ free by bathing it in UV rays.
While these guidelines are provided by Apple for their devices, they are applicable on any other manufacturer’s device as well, as long as you don’t aggressively wipe the display. Still, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning techniques in order to clear any confusion you may have.