Apple just made a rather significant edit to its official list of best practices for cleaning hardware like iPhone, Mac, and iPad. A brand new section was added this morning to Apple’s full guide. This new section centered on disinfectant, and name-checked “Clorox Disinfecting Wipes” specifically.

According to Apple’s guidance, “Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol1 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.” The guide makes specific note of bleach, too – don’t you DARE use bleach on your iPhone.

Whenever there’s a note like this, where a product is mentioned specifically, it’s almost certainly there because Apple’s had to deal with people that’ve used bleach on their iPhone, then complained that their iPhone malfunctioned. It’d take a few times, too, they wouldn’t likely make a note like this if more than one person hand’t come to the Genius Bar to see why their bleached iPhone wouldn’t turn on.

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.” The rest of Apple’s tips for cleaning Apple products are not brand new this week, but remain good advice nonetheless.

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth2. 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 sprays3, bleaches, or abrasives4.
  • Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the item.

That goes for all Apple products – and any other gadgets you might want to clean around the house, while we’re at it. Don’t get extra wild trying to make sure you don’t get COVID-19 (aka novel coronavirus) by bleaching your entire collection of mobile devices. Bleach won’t do what you want – it’ll wreck everything.

It’s interesting that Apple notes Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, too. This isn’t the first time a major mention of Clorox products has appeared in the press adjacent to this latest health scare.

  1. A colorless, flammable, highly volatile liquid. *Chemical formula: C3H8O, but it can be written in different ways. *Used as a disinfectant, solvent and reactant. Also used for mechanical applications and preserving specimens ↩︎
  2. Lint free cloth is a special type of cleaning cloth that does not give up any fluff when used. Being free of lint means the cloth is less likely to build up a charge, which can cause ESD, damaging electronic equipment like HD televisions, computer monitors and digital cameras ↩︎
  3. Aerosol spray is a type of dispensing system which creates an aerosol mist of liquid particles. It is used with a can or bottle that contains a payload and propellant under pressure. When the container’s valve is opened, the payload is forced out of a small hole and emerges as an aerosol or mist ↩︎
  4. An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that is used to shape or finish a workpiece through rubbing which leads to part of the workpiece being worn away by friction ↩︎