How to Clean Your iPhone

Keep germs at bay and your phone squeaky clean

With news coming out that COVID-19 may be here to stay, it seems like obsessive cleaning may become a more permanent fixture in our lives than we would like. But COVID or no COVID, it’s always a good idea to learn how to properly clean your iPhone without damaging the device or its accessories. Keep reading to learn more about how to disinfect your phone.

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How to Sanitize Your Phone

  1. Remove your phone from its case.
  2. Unplug all cables and turn your iPhone off.
  3. Use a dry microfiber or other lint-free cloth to wipe your phone down. Avoid using paper towels, toilet paper, or other materials with harsh fibers like wood pulp.
  4. Once your phone is clear of all obvious detritus, use an isopropyl alcohol wipe, or wet a lint-free cloth with 70-percent isopropyl alcohol, and wipe the iPhone down again. Apple Support also recommends Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
  5. Avoid any ports, openings, or microphone mesh on your phone.
  6. Wipe your iPhone gently. Rubbing on it too harshly may damage the oil-repellent finish.
  7. Do not use any compressed air, bleach, or any cleaning products other than Clorox Wipes (or their equivalent) or 70-percent isopropyl alcohol.
  8. Even if you have a water-resistant model, do not submerge your phone in water or any cleaning product.
  9. If you are using a screen protector, pay special attention to the areas where the protector adheres to your device’s screen, as those little cracks can be great places for germs to hang out.

Pro tip: You can use similar cleaning methods and products to sanitize your MacBook.

Related: Coronavirus Prevention: How to Clean & Sanitize Your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods & Apple TV Remote

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How to Clean Your Phone Case

  1. Make sure you have removed the phone from the case.
  2. Don’t use cleaning products on leather or fabric cases--it will discolor and otherwise damage them. Instead gently clean them with a cloth wetted with soapy water and let them dry. Since leather and fabric cases are harder to disinfect, you may want to consider switching to a hard, plastic case if cleaning your case is a priority.
  3. Wipe all surfaces of your plastic case with a disinfecting wipe or cloth dipped in 70-percent isopropyl alcohol.

After following these steps, you can enjoy some peace of mind and a sparkling clean iPhone. Stay clean and healthy, and for more on maintaing all your Apple devices, be sure to sign up for our daily tips. It's best practice to clean your phone often, regardless of the pandemic, because with our phones more like extra appendages than casual accessories, they get just as dirty as the rest of the our bodies. I wouldn't recommend bringing your phone into the shower with you (seriously, don't!), but you can think of taking the time to clean it as an extension of personal hygiene.

DenPhotos / Shutterstock.com

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is a Feature Web Writer for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, she has four years’ experience writing about technology for everyday users. As a former college writing instructor, she is passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why she loves helping people make the best use of the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. She has a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When she’s not writing for iPhone Life, she’s probably either reading (19th-century Russian literature or fantasy novels), writing fiction, or spending time with her adorable dog, Moosh.