Covid-19: Apple allows to disinfect devices (e.g. iPhone)

[German]A brief note for users of Apple products like iPhone, iPad, iPods or Macs. In times of the coronavirus, the manufacturer has made it clear that people are allowed to clean the displays and, if necessary, cases with mild disinfectants.


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The displays of smartphones or tablets as well as the keyboards of devices are often crowded with bacteria and viruses (germ sprouts). Anyone infected who touches a touchscreen, mouse or keyboard brings a bacterial or viral load to the surface. The same applies to other viruses such as Covid-19, so it would be obvious to clean the surfaces of devices used by different people with disinfection spray or cloths.

Apple’s previous instructions

In the document Cleaning Apple Products Correctly, the manufacturer provides its users with instructions for cleaning devices. The whole process is described under ‘Recommendations and guidelines for cleaning your Apple computer, iPad, iPhone, iPod, display and peripherals’. Here are the instructions:

  • 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 product, unless otherwise noted for specific products.
  • Don’t get moisture into any openings.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
  • Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.

Especially the last two items do not allow the use of disinfection sprays for cleaning surfaces. The aim is to prevent liquid from penetrating into the devices and to prevent the surface of the display from being damaged or scratched by cleaning.

Addendum in the English document

If you go to the English document How to clean your Apple products (the German edition don’t have that), you will find the following addition from Apple:

Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?

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.

So you may clean your iPhone, iPad or Mac with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or similar.


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