Can You Clean an iPhone With Alcohol?

Cleaning your iPhone regularly is an excellent practice for several reasons: it removes microbes and bacteria that can affect your health and removes the grease from your fingers that ends up on your screen. But what should you clean your iPhone with? Is alcohol the best thing to disinfect and clean it with?

You can’t clean your iPhone with alcohol because it can strip the oleophobic coating on your screen. Use bleach-free Clorox disinfecting wipes or wipes with 70% isopropanol or 75% ethanol to clean the body of your iPhone, and just water for wiping down the screen.

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain why you should avoid cleaning your iPhone with alcohol. I’ll also explain the procedure for cleaning it and how it differs between older and newer iPhone models.

Can You Clean an iPhone With Alcohol?

Although you can use it if you are in a pinch and have nothing else handy, cleaning your iPhone with alcohol is not recommended. Instead, use bleach-free Clorox disinfecting wipes to clean your phone and other Apple devices.

Since these aren’t available worldwide, you can also use wet wipes containing 70% isopropanol or 75% ethanol.

What Should You Clean Your iPhone Screen With?

When cleaning your iPhone screen, use a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth and water. The screen is water and oil-resistant in itself, but a good clean now and again is recommended, mainly to prevent the accumulation of germs.

Avoid using paper napkins, towels, or anything abrasive since they might scratch up your screen, and you won’t be able to buff these scratches out.

How To Disinfect Your iPhone

Keeping your iPhone germ-free is extremely important, especially with viral diseases becoming a part of our everyday lives. Here is the most effective way to disinfect it:

  1. Power off your phone.
  2. Prepare a mixture of 50% water and 50% isopropanol.
  3. Moisten a soft, lint-free cloth and gently clean your screen.
  4. When cleaning models older than iPhone 7, avoid the liquid entering the headphone jack.

How Do I Deep Clean My iPhone? 

To deep clean your iPhone, you must remove the device from the case and turn it off. Wipe down the screen and remove any grime from the ports with a needle or a toothpick. Remember the home button and photo lenses—wipe them with the same cloth you used on the screen.

Here is everything you will need if you decide to do a deep clean of your iPhone at home yourself:

  • a flat surface you can work on
  • a soft towel (ideally microfibre)
  • warm water with a non-abrasive detergent
  • cold filtered water
  • isopropyl alcohol 
  • a lint-free cloth (cloth for cleaning glasses or photo lenses works best)
  • a needle and a toothpick
  • a toothbrush with soft bristles

Deep clean your iPhone by doing the following: 

  1. Clean the case. First, clean the iPhone case. If you don’t have manufacturer instructions for cleaning it, submerge it in a bowl of warm water and detergent and clean it well. After that, leave it to dry.
  2. Wipe down your screen. To avoid stripping the oleophobic coating on your screen, make sure not to use any household cleaning products. Cold distilled water and a soft cloth will do the trick quite nicely. Always drag the fabric in the same direction—this is the most effective way to strip the grease and dirt from the phone. 
  3. Keep repeating the process until you are happy with the result. Remember to clean the photo lenses and the sensors at the top of the screen.
  4. Clean the charging and lightning port. To clean the charging port and the Lightning port, use a needle to clean the accumulated dirt. Clean the needle and repeat the process until it comes out clean. Do the same with the volume buttons: stick a toothpick carefully between the button and the phone’s body, and make a full circle around it, removing the grime.
  5. Clean the speaker and microphone. The speaker and the microphone are located on either side of the charging port and are the most fiddly parts to clean. 

Don’t use compressed air to clean them as this can cause damage to your iPhone. Instead, take a toothbrush with soft bristles and gently brush them to remove the dirt from the hole. If you have some expertise with cleaning phones and delicate electronics, you can use a toothpick to clean the speaker and microphone. 

Be extremely gentle, especially if using a toothpick instead of a toothbrush.

When cleaning older models of iPhones, remember to clean your home button thoroughly. A soft cloth and a little elbow grease will be enough to keep this most often-used button clean. 

Since all the iPhone models before iPhone 7 weren’t waterproof and dustproof, take care when cleaning them—any moisture that ends up in the ports and slots can do irreversible damage to your iPhone.

Can I Use Isopropyl Alcohol To Clean My Phone Charging Port?

You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the phone charging port. If cleaning the charging port with a needle didn’t get rid of all the dirt, moisten a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and gently and carefully clean the port with circular motions.

Isopropyl alcohol breaks down oil and other residues quickly and efficiently and dries quickly, so no moisture will stay in the charging port after the cleaning.

Does Alcohol Remove Oleophobic Coating (Screen Coating)?

Alcohol removes oleophobic coating. Anything with more than 50% alcohol content will destroy your phone’s very useful protective fluorine-containing composite coat. The coating will wear off in time from heavy use, but using alcohol on it will speed up the process.


The best way to prevent bacteria transfer from your phone to your face is to give your phone a regular clean. Use 70% isopropanol, 75% ethanol, or bleach-free Clorox disinfecting wipes for cleaning the body of the iPhone and wipe the screen with water.

If you follow the cleaning instructions from this article, you will lengthen the lifespan of your phone and save on paying for cleaning in an Apple store.

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