Official: COVID-19 a Pandemic; Tips to Clean Devices

John Lister's picture

Apple has issued new guidance on how to clean iPhones, iPods and laptops. Though it doesn't mention the reason for the update, it's almost certainly a reaction to concerns about COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus.

Most of the medical advice for people to minimize the risk of catching or spreading the coronavirus has centered on regular hand washing with hot water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching the face. However, portable devices are certainly an area of concern, given how often many owners touch them during a day.

Apple already offers official advice for keeping devices clean, including using lint-free cloths, avoiding excessive wiping and avoiding spray cleaners. Now it's added a section on disinfectants. Cleaning aims to remove germs, which disinfecting aims to kill germs.

70 Percent Alcohol Wipes Recommended

The advice is to use either the branded Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or unbranded 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe. These contain a similar mix to hand sanitizer, but with much less risk of getting any liquid inside a device. (Source:

Apple says to wipe gently and only on "hard, nonporous surfaces" such as the screen and physical keyboards, taking care to avoid fabric and leather surfaces such as carry cases.

Such wipes haven't been proven to work on COVID-19 yet, as it's too new for such testing. However, such disinfections have been effective against previous types of coronavirus. (Source:

Do Not Use Bleach

Apple also specifically warns against using bleach, getting any moisture in openings such as charging ports, or submerging a device in cleaning agent.

Other cleaning products could also cause problems as they could damage the oil-repellent coating on screens which is designed to reduce greasy fingerprints building up. Apple says owners of iPhone 11 handsets can use a lint-free cloth with warm soapy water to remove stubborn stains as the range features a greater level of water protection than previous models.

What's Your Opinion?

How do you keep devices clean normally? Have you started cleaning portable gadgets more since COVID-19 hit the news? Will Apple's advice change your behavior?

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