Apple has updated its website to let iPhone, iPad and Mac owners know it's okay to clean their devices with disinfectant wipes. The new advice comes as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak worsens globally.
"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," the company says. "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."
Apple previously advised against using anything other than water to clean its products because some substances can wear down the oleophobic coating the company applies to keep its touchscreen devices looking their best. Health and safety take priority in this case. That said, there are a couple of things you can do to take care of both yourself and your device.
Your best bet is to use isopropyl alcohol. Apply a small amount to a soft microfiber cloth and then wipe down your device. If you don't own a microfiber cloth, they're not expensive to buy. In a pinch, an old but clean t-shirt will also do the trick. Avoid spraying anything directly on your phone's display. You'll also want to avoid paper towels as they can cause small abrasions. After you've cleaned your phone, wash your hands as well.