For years, Apple warned us to never use alcohol wipes or disinfecting wipes to clean our iPhones because they are too abrasive and might scratch the protective coating on screens.
No more. On Monday, Apple flashed a new message: It’s now OK to use Clorox disinfecting wipes and 70% isopropyl alcohol on Apple products from the iPhone to the iPad.
The reason? Health officials are urging people to use these cleaning supplies on all kinds of surfaces to stop the spread of coronavirus as new evidence emerges that the virus can live on metal, glass or plastic surfaces up to nine days.
Don’t go too wild. Apple still urges people not to use aerosol sprays, bleaches or other “abrasives” that can really mess with the coating on screens that prevents smudges.
Still worried about using Clorox disinfecting wipes on your iPhone?
The Wall Street Journal wiped an iPhone 1,095 times with them and the coating “was still in good condition.”
So should you be concerned about coronavirus risk from your phone? Somewhat.
According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronaviruses “can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days."
But, these viruses "can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62–71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute.”