How to Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen

Two Methods:Cleaning Your DeviceAvoiding Damaging Cleaning Tactics

iPhone and iPod Touch screens are made with an oleophobic coating that repels oil. These screens must be handled with care to keep them working properly. Learn how to properly clean an iPhone or iPod touch screen and how to avoid causing long-term damage.

Method 1
Cleaning Your Device

  1. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 1
    Unplug the iPhone or iPod Touch and shut it down. If you attempt to clean the screen of the device while it is still turned on, you risk permanently damaging it.[1]
    • Refer to the instruction manual that came with your device if you have trouble turning it off.
  2. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 2
    Wipe off fingerprints with a microfiber cloth. Your device may have come with a small, soft cloth that is made to be lint-free. This type of cloth won't scratch the surface of the iPhone or iPod touch. Gently wipe the screen from top to bottom with the cloth to remove fingerprints.[2]
    • Use a circular rubbing motion to remove substances that don't wipe away easily.
    • Don't press down to hard on the screen, or you may remove some of the oleophobic coating.
  3. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 3
    Dampen the cloth to remove sticky substances. If your device's screen has a bit of dried soda or some grime that you couldn't wipe away with the cloth alone, you can wet it a little with clean water. Moisten it with a few drops, squeeze it out, and use the dampened cloth to remove the stuck-on substance.[3]
    • Do not soak the cloth in water. Excess water will harm the screen on your device, so it's important to get it just a little wet before cleaning.
    • Don't let moisture sit on the screen. Wipe it away immediately with a dry part of the cloth.
    • Avoid wiping the ports. If moisture gets into these areas it could cause permanent damage to your device.

Method 2
Avoiding Damaging Cleaning Tactics

  1. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 4
    Don't use household cleaners to clean your iPhone or iPod Touch screen. All chemicals, including substances like window cleaner or antibacterial cleaner, have the ability to remove the protective coating on the screen, which will inevitably result in a shorter life for your device. Never use a substance other than water to clean the screen.
    • Don't use cleaners meant for LCD screens, either. Those are meant for a different type of material, and they're harmful to iPhone and iPad Touch screens.
    • Even natural substances like vinegar and lemon juice are too abrasive for cleaning the screen of an iPhone or iPod screen.
  2. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 5
    Don't soak the device in water. Water is fine to use in very small amounts, but it should never be directly poured or dripped on the screen. Always use a microfiber cloth to transfer a little moisture to the screen, and make sure to wipe it off right away with a dry cloth.[4]
    • Submerging an iPhone or iPod Touch in water is a sure way to ruin it. Don't try to soak it in an effort to remove a stubborn stain.
    • If you accidentally get too much water on the screen, examine the user manual that came with your device to determine what steps you can take to fix it.
  3. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 6
    Clean stains and spills immediately. If you spill coffee, juice, or another substance on the screen, grab a microfiber cloth and wipe it off right away. This will prevent it from drying on the screen and becoming difficult to remove at a later date.
  4. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 7
    Always use a lint-free cloth. Using an abrasive towel, or even a paper towel or napkin, can scratch and damage the screen of an iPhone or iPod Touch. If you lost the cloth that came with your device, you can pick up a new one at a computer store, or use a cloth meant for cleaning the lenses on glasses.
  5. Image titled Clean Your iPhone or iPod Touch Screen Step 8
    Be willing to get your device professionally cleaned. If your device's screen has been damaged by a stain that won't wipe away, check out the warranty that came with it to determine whether you can take it in to have it cleaned or repaired. Trying to do so yourself may result in further damage.


  • This also works with the iPad and any other smartphone or tablet, but those may come with dedicated cleaning tools. Check to see if you got one before cleaning with a towel.


  • When cleaning with the wet towel, do NOT soak the device with water. If you do, the screen and/or device may not work and could lose data.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone/iPod Touch
  • Microfiber cloth

Article Info

Categories: IPods