How to Clean an iPhone

Cleaning your iPhone is by no means a complicated procedure, but it is one that should be done slowly and carefully. It is not something that should be done in a rushed manner or haphazardly. Take your time, do it right, and your iPhone will reward you for the TLC you show it.

What You Will Need:

  • Microfiber or other similar lint free cloth.
  • Cool water
  • iPhone
  • Safe and quiet spot

The Cleaning Process:

  1. Disconnect all USB cables from your iPhone. The iPhone should never be cleaned while it is attached to a computer or any other device.
  2. Turn your iPhone off. To do this, depress the “sleep/wake” button (if you do not know where this button is, refer to your iPhone instruction manual). After about 3 to 4 seconds a red slider will appear on the screen. With your finger, drag the red slider across the screen. Your iPhone should now be off. Again, if you are having difficulty with this procedure, refer to your instruction manual.
  3. Dampen (Dampen, not soak!) the corner of a soft microfiber cloth with a trickle of water (Some people prefer distilled because it carries less impurities). Never apply water or cleaning solutions directly to your iPhone.
  4. With the damp corner, gently wipe the iPhone, paying special attention to the touch screen, but avoid wiping the ports. If your screen is especially dirty, you should attempt to remove surface dirt with a soft brush or compressed air first as you may inadvertently drag the dirt across the screen and cause scratching.
  5. Once your phone has been cleaned to your satisfaction, use the dry portion of the cloth to remove any moisture that remains on your phone.
  6. When your iPhone is completely dry turn it back on by depressing the “sleep/wake” button. The “Apple” logo should appear on the screen.
  7. Depending on how much you use your iPhone, this cleaning process can be done daily, or every couple of days or weekly, in order to keep your iPhone looking its best and performing well.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Before attempting to clean your iPhone, always refer to your user’s manual to make sure you are familiar with all the features and recommendations pertaining to your iPhone, including any manufacturer precautions with regard to cleaning.
  • Your iPhone should come with its own cleaning cloth, in which case, we recommend that you use their cloth, and follow any recommendations provided with the cloth, for cleaning your iPhone.
  • NEVER use any type of commercial or chemical cleaners on your iPhone—not even plain soap! The only thing you should dampen your cleaning cloth with is PLAIN WATER.
  • Again, be very careful not to saturate your iPhone with water—the cleaning cloth should barely be damp—or you will damage your iPhone.
  • If your iPhone does sustain water damage and will not turn on (or acts erratically when it is turned on) contact Apple iPhone Customer Support immediately to find out what can be done to remedy or repair the situation.
  • You may want to consider purchasing an iPhone case to help keep your iPhone clean and minimize the frequency of regular cleaning.
  • NEVER attempt to clean the iPhone touch screen (or any other part of the iPhone) with any kind of liquid or aerosol cleaners, especially ones containing alcohol, ammonia or other abrasive ingredients. These common household cleaners (including window cleaners such as Windex®) can damage the sensitive touch screen!
  • Of course, you should NEVER immerse your iPhone in water, but also be careful to keep your iPhone out of excessively moist or damp environments (i.e. indoor pool areas, health club saunas or steam rooms, steamy shower rooms, etc.),. Excessive moisture can damage the delicate inner workings of the iPhone. If your iPhone does get wet, unplug all cables, turn the iPhone off and allow it to dry out completely. After it is dry, try to turn it on and see if it works. If it does not turn on, or acts erratically when it does, contact Apple customer support to see what can be done to remedy the situation. You can contact customer support by using the contact information provided with your iPhone materials, or by going to their website.


  1. You shouldn’t use water to clean an iPhone.

    Water + Electronics = Bad Idea.

  2. Is this a joke or what??? I agree, getting water anywhere near your iPhone/iPod Touch is a recipe for disaster, increasing your chances of causing accidental damage. I’ve found wiping the screen with a soft tissue is very effective (and dry!).

  3. I simply breath on the screen, back, etc. (like fogging up glass), and then use my iPhone cloth to gently wipe away smudges, flakes, or any kind of lint or substance that gets on it.

    I’m also extremely careful with it anyway, and don’t trust cases, especially of rubbery materials, because dirt and dust swarm the back and sides.

  4. A few drops of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol on a lint free lens cloth works great. Be sure the phone is off and do not use so much liquid that it could get into the speaker or Home button. Wipe with a dry lens cleaning cloth for a nice shine. As an added benefit, it reduces the face grease as well and helps disinfect the screen.

  5. I agree with Zak, I always make it clean the same way he does and it works well, but I need to remove scratches on the ipod Touch from the back. How?

  6. Pyaolyangshen says:

    Um. I use disinfectant wipes. If it has scratches, I take them out by massaging a little toothpaste on the surface scratch, then wiping it gently off with a lightly moist napkin and it works.

  7. To whomever it may concern – getting water near an electrical item that is currently ON and has gaps in it is a bad idea. If it’s off, a damp cloth can clean it fine, just dry it and don’t turn it on for 30 minutes if you’re precarious.

  8. TOOTHPASTE! Just rub toothpaste on the back of your iPhone and then wipe it off and use a damp cloth to rinse, and dry it on a cloth! :)

  9. For $600 (about 10-times as much as some other cell phones, without a contract), one would think Apple could have made its iPhone waterproof, or at least water-resistant. Is this related to the “planned obsolescence” that Apple (and Jobs) are so infamous for?

  10. Advanced Users says:

    Do not use water to clean your iPhone, or any phone, in fact. Don’t risk it. Electronics and liquid do not work together! Just wipe the screen with a soft cloth, that’s about it. No big deal.

  11. Johnny Bear says:

    Can I use a Chux wipe? Is that fine enough, or will it scratch the screen?

  12. (I realize this is an old thread, but for those who happen upon it- read carefully.)
    Toothpaste? Toothpaste is a fine abrasive. You aren’t rubbing the scratch out, you’re wearing away the material next to it until it is as deep as a scratch. You can sharpen knives with toothpaste on a leather strop because of the fine silicates. Toothpaste will eat away the oleophobic coating on an iGadget. Don’t do it.

  13. Been wondering the same thing, if isopropyl alcohol could be used every once in a while to disinfect the touch screen. Using a dry piece of cloth to wipe the surface can hardly be called “cleaning.” I wouldn’t use household cleaning products, but some isopropyl alcohol on some microfiber cloth, let most of the alcohol evaporate so the cloth is only very lightly damp with it, and then gently wipe the surface? Could work?

  14. Just throw the phone in the bathtub and let it soak for a bit, then put it in the dryer for about 10 minutes – works miracles.

  15. Just buy a case that covers the ports and get a screen protector! Clean the phone once a month. Use canned air for the ports. Gees, it’s not rocket science!

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