How to clean your iPhone and iPad

No matter if you keep your iPhone and/or iPad in a case or prefer to use them without, they will become dirty at some point. Let’s take a look at the best ways to clean iPhones and iPads and also how to make your own cleaning solution.

If you use a case, often times dust, dirt, and other matter gets trapped and builds up over time. If you don’t use a case your device is exposed to more elements and will also need cleaning.

Start by wiping down your iPhone or iPad with a microfiber cloth or lens cleaning cloth. If you don’t have one you can pick up a 6-pack of the slimmer lens cloth style for about $9 on Amazon and a 12-pack of the multi-purpose style microfiber cloths goes for $10 (I keep a couple in the car as well as my messenger bag).

In some cases you may find you need a cleaning solution or screen cleaner to fully shine up your device. There are plenty of choices for screen cleaner, but they’re quite overpriced for what you’re getting. They’re typically just water based with a proprietary synthetic additive to help with evaporation.

Let’s take a quick look at how to make your own screen cleaner and save a good amount of money. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Spray bottle: (check the travel section at Target or similar store, also available on Amazon)
  • 70% Rubbing Alcohol (often labeled as isopropyl alcohol)
  • Distilled water (tap water has minerals and such that can leave water marks and residue)
  • Funnel (helpful but not required 🤓)


All you have to do now is fill the bottle with 1 part distilled water and 1 part rubbing alcohol. Shake the bottle to mix up the solution and you’re all set. It’s not a bad idea to add a label on the bottle as well.

The alcohol helps the solution evaporate so you don’t have too much moisture sticking around on your devices as you’re cleaning them and it also kills bacteria and germs.

From here getting your iPhone or iPad is as easy as spraying your cleaning cloth with your solution and wiping down your device.

Make sure you don’t spray your screen or device directly and less is usually more as far how much to spray on your cloth. Apple and most manufacturers also recommend powering off your device before cleaning.

How to clean iPhones and iPads

Other issues with dirty devices

A few other issues you may run into include build up in ports, earpiece and speaker grills, and headphone jacks. In these situations, it’s best to bring your device into an Apple Store or an authorized service provider (you tell Siri “I need Apple support” to get some quick options). They will have the proper tools and resources to get you the best solution.

Apple does not recommend using compressed air, aerosol spray, household cleaners, etc. (read more about cleaning tips on their support page). One last tip, when you pocket your iPhone do so with the Lightning port facing up. This will reduce the amount of lint build up and keep your port(s) and speaker grill in better shape.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.