Apple Store table sanding sends Twitter into coronavirus meltdown

Dublin Apple Store Cleaning
Dublin Apple Store Cleaning (Image credit: Gary Young)

What you need to know

  • A video showing the Belfast Apple Store being "deep cleaned" is going viral on Twitter.
  • We see three people working on a table.
  • But really, they're just sanding it to make it look nice and new.

If you've been near Twitter today you've probably seen a video doing the rounds. It shows three people in the Belfast Apple Store, apparently carrying out a deep clean of a table. Given the current coronavirus situation, people assumed that the store was being disinfected. But that isn't actually what's going on here.

We called and spoke to the store in question, and while we were told that team members cannot comment on posts to social media, we do know what's really going on. And it's nothing to do with coronavirus. It's all much more mundane than that.

As we've learned from former Apple Store employees, stores regularly have their huge wooden tables refinished to make sure they always look like new. And that, it appears, is exactly what's going on here. If you watch the video above you can see someone sanding the table.

It's also worth noting that if some sort of antiviral deep cleaning was taking place, all three people would be wearing specialist masks. Only one person in the video is. The others, not so much. We don't imagine anyone would be doing a deep clean of anything while wearing a T-shirt and shorts, either.

So there we have it. Another viral video debunked. Move along folks.

I've also reached out to Apple to ask whether they do have any plans for specialist cleaning given the coronavirus outbreak. I'll update this article when I hear back.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.