page 2 of 2
How to Clean a Soiled iPhone
If your iPhone has become soiled with something beyond fingerprints and natural oils, you should still avoid using detergents and cleaners. Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth. With a little effort, you should be able to remove the dirt. If you spilled something on your iPhone, follow these steps to fix it.
Prevent Your iPhone From Getting Dirty
It’s a good idea to prevent your iPhone from getting dirty. Avoid using your iPhone with dirty or greasy fingers. Of course, if you wash your hands often, they will build up a residue of soap, which could also harm your iPhone.
You don’t need to over think this. Just use common sense. Don’t eat a bowl of buttered popcorn and smear grease on your iPhone. Just wipe your hands with a napkin before using it. Don’t apply hand lotion and then smear it all over your iPhone. It’s not designed to repel these types of oils. Think of it this way — instead of wiping off your iPhone, wiping off your fingers may also keep your device clean, without wearing down the oleophobic coating.
There are also cases designed protect your iPhone from virtually everything, including dirt and fingerprints. Some cases enable use of the touch screen while the device is completely encased. These are a great solution if you need to bring your iPhone into a messy environment.
Beware of Bad Advice
The Internet is full of bad advice. When it comes to cleaning the iPhone, there’s an abundance of misinformation. For example, some advise using alcohol or ammonia based products (such as Windex) to clean the device. Don’t use any detergent or cleaning product, no matter how gentle the manufacturer claims it is. There are brands of eyeglass wipes with pictures of iPods on the box. Don’t use them to clean your iPhone. They usually have alcohol or some detergent that will eventually wear off the oleophobic coating. Even if they are safe for eyeglasses and camera lenses, keep in mind, the iPhone has an oleophobic coating. Cleaning products will hasten the demise of this coating.
Some of the bad advice pertains to cleaning specific parts of the iPhone. For example, some people advise taking apart your iPhone, dislodging the camera and blowing air into it to clean it off. It is highly unlikely that dirt will get inside the camera. If that has happened, take it to a professional, unless you know what you are doing or have nothing to lose. After all, your iPhone may be old and you may be up for a subsidized replacement. If you break it while attempting to fix or clean it, that’s not as bad a breaking a brand new iPhone.
There is more bad advice when it comes to cleaning the speakers. I even read that one should use hydrogen peroxide applied with an ear swab. Don’t do that. Just use a microfiber cloth.
The advice in this article will ensure that your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will last for years to come. I strongly encourage you to invest in microfiber cloths and take care when cleaning your iPhone. It’s also a good idea to wipe off soiled or greasy fingers before using your device. If your fingers are clean, your device will be clean, which will minimize wear on the oleophobic coating.