How to clean your iPad

Space Gray iPad 2021 in landscape orientation
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Are you walking around with an iPad that looks like it's seen better days? Dirt, fingerprints, and grim can all build up over time on your iPad's display or casing. Worse of all, dirt left unchecked might cause scratches or another tiny amount of damage to your iPad — you don't want that.

Much like anything in life, giving your iPad a good cleaning now and then is a good idea for keeping your iPad in tip-top condition! Here are some recommendations to ensure you use the right products and tools. 

Cleaning your iPad: Stay away from heavy cleaners, but a wipe might be okay

(Image credit: iMore)

I know it's tempting to grab whatever cleaning products you have on hand and give your iPad a good rub down, but Apple warns against this for a good reason. These harsh chemicals may ruin the coating on your devices and cause discoloration or other permanent damage. The last thing you want is the anti-reflective coating on your iPad Pro (opens in new tab)'s display to fade away.

What about disinfecting your iPad?

Apple has given some guidance on what type of cleaning products might be okay to use if you're looking to disinfect your iPad. After all, carrying it around and having it in your hands all day makes it prone to carry around germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

Apple states:

"Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75 percent ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces."

Just be careful when using those wipes; we have all reached for a Lysol or Clorox wipe and have had it be sopping wet. 

Cleaning your iPad: No water-resistance

I know what you're thinking; if harsh chemicals are harmful, then plain old water should do the trick. However, we wouldn't suggest using water either. While it may not cause discoloration or affect the coating of your iPad

You see, unlike an iPhone, iPads don't have a water-resistance rating. That means it's entirely possible that using water to clean your iPad Air 5 could get into the internals and really mess something up.

That being said, using a little bit of water with a cotton swab or cloth (more on this later) isn't going to ruin your iPad as long as you're careful. You want to be extra cautious that you aren't using too much liquid, stay away from any ports — like the USB-C or Lightning port — and don't let water get into any of the tiny crevices by the buttons or speaker grills. 

Cleaning your iPad: It's all in the cloth!

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / Future)

The simplest and quickest way to clean your best iPad is to do it often to maintain its appearance and prevent the build-up of any grime or dirt. Using a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth is the best and almost the only tool you should need to keep looking its Sunday best.

When you want to clean your iPad, simply just unplug it from any cables or accessories, turn it off, and then wipe it down gently with your soft cloth. This should take care of oily fingerprints or dust build-up you might see on your iPad. 

Need a cloth to clean your iPad — grab this one

Whether you need a suitable cloth for your current iPad or just preparing for the new 10th-gen 2022 iPad to arrive, grabbing this pack of microfiber cloths is a great way to ensure you have what you need to clean your iPad correctly. 

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.