How to Safely Clean Your iPhone in 3 Steps

Keeping any piece of tech clean and free of dust, dirt and other contaminants is a great way to prolong its life. Smartphones, in particular, benefit from a periodic spruce up. Handled constantly throughout the day, they're also a magnet for germs – all the more reason for keeping them as clean as a whistle!
As smartphones continue to employ greater and greater degrees of water and dust resistance, cleaning them becomes easier, too. However, for older devices, it's important to take extra precautions. With this in mind, here's a closer look at how to best clean an iPhone, taking into account best practices for handsets across the board.
By and large, the same tips apply to almost any smartphone as well, including Samsung's Galaxy-branded devices, Google's Pixel, and phones from other manufacturers like OnePlus. Just remember to factor in water resistance or, more importantly, a lack thereof before starting to clean your iPhone!

Step 1: Start By Turning off Your iPhone

Unplug any cables and turn off your iPhone. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean every surface. A lens cloth used for cleaning glasses or sunglasses is perfect.
For newer, water-resistant devices, the cloth can be dampened slightly if necessary. Regardless of the model, avoid getting any liquid or moisture whatsoever in the phone's openings.
Where germs are a concern, careful cleaning with 70 percent isopropyl or 75 percent ethyl alcohol wipes exclusively on exterior surfaces is a great way to disinfect an iPhone. That said, don't be tempted to use products containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These products will almost certainly damage your device.

Step 2: Address Any Heavier Marks

Stubborn or dried-on dirt may need extra attention. Careful spot-cleaning with a small amount of warm, very slightly soapy water is often the best approach. Regardless of the iPhone model in question, avoid any openings in the handset and dry it off immediately afterward.
Never use traditional household cleaning products. Window cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, and abrasives are all potentially harmful to any iPhone.

Step 3: Cleaning Ports and Speakers

Where there's dust or lint in one or more of a phone's ports or speakers, a little further consideration will likely be necessary.
It's crucial that you do not use compressed air, or so-called canned air dusters, when you clean your iPhone. While these are widely used for cleaning various pieces of technology, including computer components, they must not be used on iPhones or other smartphones. Any aerosol or otherwise pressurized cleaning product has the potential to seriously damage a handset, even if used carefully.
Instead, use a piece of rolled-up tissue paper or—very carefully—a toothpick to slowly extract any blockages. Patience here is important, so take your time. Don't use a cotton swab, regardless of how appropriate they may seem for the task. That's because tiny fibers can be left behind, adding to or even aggravating the original issue!

Other iPhone Cleaning Tips

It's not necessary to remove every speck of dust at first sight. Still, some materials should always be cleaned off at the first opportunity should your iPhone come into contact with them. These include dirt, sand, ink, makeup, detergent, acids or acidic foods, and lotions.
In such instances, use the above three steps, remembering to pay special attention as far as avoiding any openings.
Apple also has a helpful guide on what is and is not appropriate for individual handsets.
Instructions here cover all iPhone 11 and 12 variants, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 models, iPhone 7 models, iPhone 6 models, iPhone 5 models, and first- and second-generation iPhone SEs.
More detailed dos and don'ts are also stipulated for the iPhone 5 and 5c, iPhone 4 and 4s, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and—finally!—the original iPhone.

Further Protect Your iPhone With an Extended Warranty

As we've established, keeping an iPhone clean and free of dust and dirt is an ideal way to help ensure that it remains in perfect working order. However, a smartphone is only a drop away from a potential disaster. The same goes for other accidental damage, mechanical defects, and additional unforeseen circumstances – many of which can be extremely costly to deal with.
A great way to safeguard any smartphone is with an extended warranty or service contract. For iPhone owners, Apple offers precisely this via its AppleCare+ program. Many big-box retailers also provide their own packages, such as Best Buy, Costco and Target. Carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, and their competitors all sell policies, too.

Choose Upsie iPhone Protection and Save

Alternatively, smartphone owners across the board can, and should, choose Upsie instead. Upsie plans cost less than competitors, including manufacturers, retailers, and phone carriers. They cut out the middleman and pass on the savings to their customers.
Upsie iPhone subscription warranty packages offer comparable or superior coverage to the protection provided as a part of AppleCare+. Much the same is true of warranties for other smartphones and coverage sold by their respective manufacturers, including Samsung, Google, HTC, Huawei, LG, Nokia and Sony.
The benefits of an Upsie smartphone warranty include protection for:
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Battery, power, and mechanical failures
  • Issues with cameras, touchscreens, audio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
  • Liquid spills and submersion
  • Drops and screen cracks
  • And more
Expert local repairs are included, but customers can ship in their smartphones for attention instead, should they prefer. Furthermore, iPhone owners are also invited to use Apple's in-store Genius Bars for any approved claims, including where accidental damage is to blame.
To find out more, head to or download the Upsie smartphone app to get started.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.