Apple says not to use hydrogen peroxide to clean its products

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has updated a support document to state that customers shouldn't use hydrogen peroxide to clean its products, but added ethyl alcohol to the list of safe-to-use cleaning agents.




More specifically, Apple has subtly changed the wording in a support document titled "How to clean your Apple products."

The company has added two short lines to the recommendations stating that Apple device owners can use 75% ethyl alcohol wipes safely. It added that hydrogen peroxide, along with bleach, shouldn't be used on iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.

The previous update to the document was made during the height of the pandemic.

Although aligned with Apple's recommendations, continued use of solvent on a display could result in damage to the oleophobic coating. Because of that, care is recommended.

Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings and says that its products should not be submerged in any cleaning agents.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 785member
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.
    Xed
  • Reply 2 of 17
    XedXed Posts: 1,030member
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.
    Something like this is better than a hairdryer for truly getting rid of moisture without risk of damage. It's good to have these on hand before you need it.

    https://www.amazon.com/wisedry-Indicating-Rechargeable-Desiccant-Drawstring/dp/B07QRRHJV3/
  • Reply 3 of 17
    maltzmaltz Posts: 278member
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.

    This is the way.  Water to rinse it clean, isopropanol (higher % is better) rinse to displace the water, air dry.  Denatured alcohol is probably an acceptable (and easier to find right now) substitute for step 3, but keep skin contact to a minimum - it often contains some methanol.  Also imo, the rinse water in step 2 doesn't have to be distilled, it's just to dilute and remove anything that was in the beverage/liquid that the device was originally dunked in.  The isopropanol will displace the rinse water and its solutes anyway.

    No rice/etc necessary - isopropanol evaporates MUCH faster than water, even in the presence of a desiccant.

    Note that some alcohols cosmetically damage some plastics, so it might be worth test-dabbing the alcohol you plan to use on a small, non-obvious spot before you dunk/rinse the whole device, if the device has any plastic.
    fastasleepapplguy
  • Reply 4 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,763member
    Probably lay off the sulphuric acid too.
    ArchStantonFileMakerFellermaltz
  • Reply 5 of 17
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 282member
    Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings”

    So much for that IP68 rating. 
    fred1
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mr lizard said:
    “Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings”

    So much for that IP68 rating. 
    Lizard Brain, it is. An IP68 rating doesn’t mean it’s a mask and snorkel for swimming in the ocean. The manufacturer of a sensitive electronics device recommends, not you must.  Most of the thinking world already knows it’s best to keep sensitive electronics away from water. Unfortunately because of dimwits like you, manufacturers must include “do not eat your phone”, “do not put your phone in the oven”. 
    melgross
  • Reply 7 of 17
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,080member
    mr lizard said:
    “Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings”

    So much for that IP68 rating. 
    The IP68 rating is for distilled water, like rain water. It’s good enough to cover most lake or tap waters, it’s certainly not a rating that cover sea water with corrosive salt, or any cleaning solution with tensides, solvents, acid, etc.

    IP68 ratings don’t say or imply: “impervious to any liquid”
  • Reply 8 of 17
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 949member
    I was tiling a shower a couple of weeks ago, and dropped my iPhone (XR) into a 5 gallon bucket of water I was using to rinse mortar spills with. After pulling it out, I just rinsed it under the sink and kept working. The phone seems no worse for wear, even with the lime infused bath. 
  • Reply 9 of 17
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 440member
    I can’t imagine an iPhone getting so dirty that it requires drastic moves to get clean. What are people doing? Wiping there a** with their iPhone?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,035member
    mr lizard said:
    “Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings”

    So much for that IP68 rating. 
    No. iPhones have worked after being submerged for weeks. The problem that every manufacturer has is that they don’t know what their users are doing. If you exceed their ratings and moisture gets in the phone, how will they knew? That’s why no manufacturer warrants against water ingress. When I was scuba diving, long ago, I had an Omega diving watch rated to 1,000 meters. That watch, back then cost about $5,000. The warrantee stated that THEY would determine whether they would repair it under warrantee. If there was water ingress, that would only be the case if they decided that it was due to a factory defect. No appeal of that decision could be made.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 17
    What about a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? Can I use those?
  • Reply 12 of 17
    XedXed Posts: 1,030member
    mr lizard said:
    “Apple also recommends that users avoid getting any moisture in device openings”

    So much for that IP68 rating. 
    There's so much wrong without comments. First of all, nothing made made is waterproof (see exhibit A).

    Second, even if an iPhone comes from the factory with an IP68 rating that is tested to the extent of the rating, it doesn't mean that it will always have that rating. Wear and tear from use, a cracked display, to just the eventual breakdown of seals  over time means that you should always take care when submerging your electronic devices. If it's something you plan to do often then get an external water resistant case, but even then water could get inside.

    Finally, Apple's recommendation to avoid moisture isn't admitting that their IP68 rating works (and it clearly does by the many stories we see every month), but because it 1) voids the warranty if the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) is red and 2) moisture, films, and eventual corrosion in the speaker, microphone, and Lightning housings can affect how well your device functions. Different pH levels and cleanliness will affect the components differently.

    Exhibit A: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56879933
  • Reply 13 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,696member
    What about a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? Can I use those?
    I wouldn't, it's abrasive.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    maltz said:
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.

    This is the way.  Water to rinse it clean, isopropanol (higher % is better) rinse to displace the water, air dry.  Denatured alcohol is probably an acceptable (and easier to find right now) substitute for step 3, but keep skin contact to a minimum - it often contains some methanol.  Also imo, the rinse water in step 2 doesn't have to be distilled, it's just to dilute and remove anything that was in the beverage/liquid that the device was originally dunked in.  The isopropanol will displace the rinse water and its solutes anyway.

    No rice/etc necessary - isopropanol evaporates MUCH faster than water, even in the presence of a desiccant.

    Note that some alcohols cosmetically damage some plastics, so it might be worth test-dabbing the alcohol you plan to use on a small, non-obvious spot before you dunk/rinse the whole device, if the device has any plastic.
    DO NOT USE DENATURED ALCOHOL.

    Denatured alcohol also usually contains benzene which is a known carcinogen. Denatured alcohol is essentially ethanol with toxins (and carcinogens) added to make it unsafe to drink. In addition to isopropanol, you can use ethanol, which is available in laboratory grade (100%, hard to get) and in the form of grain alcohol (e.g., Everclear), the 190 proof (95%) obviously being better than the 150 proof (75%), although the former may not be available where you live.

    It's probably also worth noting that hydrogen peroxide won't sanitize anything unless it has iron to react with. So most of your phone wouldn't be sanitized by hydrogen peroxide anyway, although it might react with and corrode any steel bits. The reason it can be effective in sanitizing cuts, abrasions and other wounds is that it reacts with the iron in your blood.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    maltzmaltz Posts: 278member
    maltz said:
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.

    This is the way.  Water to rinse it clean, isopropanol (higher % is better) rinse to displace the water, air dry.  Denatured alcohol is probably an acceptable (and easier to find right now) substitute for step 3, but keep skin contact to a minimum - it often contains some methanol.  Also imo, the rinse water in step 2 doesn't have to be distilled, it's just to dilute and remove anything that was in the beverage/liquid that the device was originally dunked in.  The isopropanol will displace the rinse water and its solutes anyway.

    No rice/etc necessary - isopropanol evaporates MUCH faster than water, even in the presence of a desiccant.

    Note that some alcohols cosmetically damage some plastics, so it might be worth test-dabbing the alcohol you plan to use on a small, non-obvious spot before you dunk/rinse the whole device, if the device has any plastic.
    DO NOT USE DENATURED ALCOHOL.

    Denatured alcohol also usually contains benzene which is a known carcinogen. Denatured alcohol is essentially ethanol with toxins (and carcinogens) added to make it unsafe to drink. In addition to isopropanol, you can use ethanol, which is available in laboratory grade (100%, hard to get) and in the form of grain alcohol (e.g., Everclear), the 190 proof (95%) obviously being better than the 150 proof (75%), although the former may not be available where you live.

    It's probably also worth noting that hydrogen peroxide won't sanitize anything unless it has iron to react with. So most of your phone wouldn't be sanitized by hydrogen peroxide anyway, although it might react with and corrode any steel bits. The reason it can be effective in sanitizing cuts, abrasions and other wounds is that it reacts with the iron in your blood.

    I didn't say to drink it.  And I also said to keep it off your skin.  But if it splashes on your wrist, you won't go blind and get insta-cancer.  lol  For the purpose of displacing water with a liquid that evaporates more quickly and thoroughly without causing further damage, it works just fine.  Though yes, it is less safe to handle than isopropanol.  (Which is also poisonous - don't drink that either!)  People use denatured alcohol as a solvent all the time.  They sell it by the gallon at just about any hardware store.

    If you have a business (or you're just REALLY clumsy  :)  ) and you're doing this sort of thing regularly, then you should take more stringent precautions about handling it, but it can still be done safely.

    Also, none of this is for sensitization purposes, or even about the iPhone specifically - this conversation thread is about general recovery of electronics from water immersion.  However, I don't think your assertion about hydrogen peroxide requiring iron to sterilize is true.  The CDC website discussing it doesn't describe its disinfection action that way, anyway.  But it's very corrosive, and like bleach, should NOT be used on electronics.  I think the iron is just required to see it foam.  lol

  • Reply 16 of 17
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    maltz said:
    maltz said:
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.

    This is the way.  Water to rinse it clean, isopropanol (higher % is better) rinse to displace the water, air dry.  Denatured alcohol is probably an acceptable (and easier to find right now) substitute for step 3, but keep skin contact to a minimum - it often contains some methanol.  Also imo, the rinse water in step 2 doesn't have to be distilled, it's just to dilute and remove anything that was in the beverage/liquid that the device was originally dunked in.  The isopropanol will displace the rinse water and its solutes anyway.

    No rice/etc necessary - isopropanol evaporates MUCH faster than water, even in the presence of a desiccant.

    Note that some alcohols cosmetically damage some plastics, so it might be worth test-dabbing the alcohol you plan to use on a small, non-obvious spot before you dunk/rinse the whole device, if the device has any plastic.
    DO NOT USE DENATURED ALCOHOL.

    Denatured alcohol also usually contains benzene which is a known carcinogen. Denatured alcohol is essentially ethanol with toxins (and carcinogens) added to make it unsafe to drink. In addition to isopropanol, you can use ethanol, which is available in laboratory grade (100%, hard to get) and in the form of grain alcohol (e.g., Everclear), the 190 proof (95%) obviously being better than the 150 proof (75%), although the former may not be available where you live.

    It's probably also worth noting that hydrogen peroxide won't sanitize anything unless it has iron to react with. So most of your phone wouldn't be sanitized by hydrogen peroxide anyway, although it might react with and corrode any steel bits. The reason it can be effective in sanitizing cuts, abrasions and other wounds is that it reacts with the iron in your blood.

    I didn't say to drink it.  And I also said to keep it off your skin.  But if it splashes on your wrist, you won't go blind and get insta-cancer.  lol  For the purpose of displacing water with a liquid that evaporates more quickly and thoroughly without causing further damage, it works just fine.  Though yes, it is less safe to handle than isopropanol.  (Which is also poisonous - don't drink that either!)  People use denatured alcohol as a solvent all the time.  They sell it by the gallon at just about any hardware store.

    If you have a business (or you're just REALLY clumsy  :)  ) and you're doing this sort of thing regularly, then you should take more stringent precautions about handling it, but it can still be done safely.

    Also, none of this is for sensitization purposes, or even about the iPhone specifically - this conversation thread is about general recovery of electronics from water immersion.  However, I don't think your assertion about hydrogen peroxide requiring iron to sterilize is true.  The CDC website discussing it doesn't describe its disinfection action that way, anyway.  But it's very corrosive, and like bleach, should NOT be used on electronics.  I think the iron is just required to see it foam.  lol

    Benzene will vaporize, so no matter how careful you are not getting it on your skin, it will get into your lungs. Denatured alcohol is a hazardous substance.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    maltzmaltz Posts: 278member
    maltz said:
    maltz said:
    I haven't done this with an iPhone, but with a few other electronics that had a 'beverage' spilled all over it, this has usually worked.

    1)  Shake it off. (Remove battery if possible)
    2)  Dunk it in distilled water briefly and shake it off.
    3)  Dunk it in 99% isopropanol and shake that off.
    4)  Dry slowly with a blow dryer at arm's length in a well ventilated room.

    This is the way.  Water to rinse it clean, isopropanol (higher % is better) rinse to displace the water, air dry.  Denatured alcohol is probably an acceptable (and easier to find right now) substitute for step 3, but keep skin contact to a minimum - it often contains some methanol.  Also imo, the rinse water in step 2 doesn't have to be distilled, it's just to dilute and remove anything that was in the beverage/liquid that the device was originally dunked in.  The isopropanol will displace the rinse water and its solutes anyway.

    No rice/etc necessary - isopropanol evaporates MUCH faster than water, even in the presence of a desiccant.

    Note that some alcohols cosmetically damage some plastics, so it might be worth test-dabbing the alcohol you plan to use on a small, non-obvious spot before you dunk/rinse the whole device, if the device has any plastic.
    DO NOT USE DENATURED ALCOHOL.

    Denatured alcohol also usually contains benzene which is a known carcinogen. Denatured alcohol is essentially ethanol with toxins (and carcinogens) added to make it unsafe to drink. In addition to isopropanol, you can use ethanol, which is available in laboratory grade (100%, hard to get) and in the form of grain alcohol (e.g., Everclear), the 190 proof (95%) obviously being better than the 150 proof (75%), although the former may not be available where you live.

    It's probably also worth noting that hydrogen peroxide won't sanitize anything unless it has iron to react with. So most of your phone wouldn't be sanitized by hydrogen peroxide anyway, although it might react with and corrode any steel bits. The reason it can be effective in sanitizing cuts, abrasions and other wounds is that it reacts with the iron in your blood.

    I didn't say to drink it.  And I also said to keep it off your skin.  But if it splashes on your wrist, you won't go blind and get insta-cancer.  lol  For the purpose of displacing water with a liquid that evaporates more quickly and thoroughly without causing further damage, it works just fine.  Though yes, it is less safe to handle than isopropanol.  (Which is also poisonous - don't drink that either!)  People use denatured alcohol as a solvent all the time.  They sell it by the gallon at just about any hardware store.

    If you have a business (or you're just REALLY clumsy  :)  ) and you're doing this sort of thing regularly, then you should take more stringent precautions about handling it, but it can still be done safely.

    Also, none of this is for sensitization purposes, or even about the iPhone specifically - this conversation thread is about general recovery of electronics from water immersion.  However, I don't think your assertion about hydrogen peroxide requiring iron to sterilize is true.  The CDC website discussing it doesn't describe its disinfection action that way, anyway.  But it's very corrosive, and like bleach, should NOT be used on electronics.  I think the iron is just required to see it foam.  lol

    Benzene will vaporize, so no matter how careful you are not getting it on your skin, it will get into your lungs. Denatured alcohol is a hazardous substance.

    I mean... it's a common product many people use on things as a solvent or in stoves as fuel.  Some are even specifically labeled as glass cleaner.  How much benzene do you think is in there?  Actually, some very brief googling failed to turn up a source that there even is benzene in denatured alcohol, is it just some trace amount?  The far more common denaturant is methanol, which is also not good for you, but again, this is a common product used by millions of people.  It's not nerve gas.  Another common additive is denatonium benzoate as a bitterant, maybe that's what you're thinking of?  But that's no more benzene than table salt is chlorine.

    Anyway, take the same precautions you'd take for using it as a solvent when you're using it to rinse your electronics, I guess?

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