Don't Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Your Apple Devices

Strong disinfectants may damage hardware; Apple suggests ethyl alcohol instead

Apple has added hydrogen peroxide to the list of Things You Absolutely Should Not Use To Clean Your Device, and instead suggests using gentler disinfectants like isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.

The official support page for How To Clean Your Apple Products has seen several updates since early 2020, with its most recent addition being a warning against using hydrogen peroxide. According to Apple, the commonly used antiseptic has a good chance of damaging the finish and/or display of just about every kind of Apple device and accessory.

Cropped shot of a young woman cleaning the surface of smartphone with antibacterial tissue at home

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Notebooks, desktops, displays, peripherals, AirPods, HomePods, iPhones, iPhone cases and accessories, iPads and iPad accessories, iPods, and Apple Watches are all susceptible. Repeated use of hydrogen peroxide or cleaners that contain it could cause irreparable damage, even if you avoid getting any into your device's openings.

Cleaning the surface of a MacBook

Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images

Apple does say it's okay to use more gentle types of cleaning chemicals, however. Clorox disinfecting wipes, 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, and 75% ethyl alcohol wipes are approved for use. But despite these products getting a thumbs-up, you'll still want to be careful when cleaning your device with them.

The recommendation is to "...gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces," and to "avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don't submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents." If liquid does get inside your device, Apple suggests taking it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store right away.

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