If your Apple devices are like mine, they seem to get grimy within minutes of cleaning them. The iPhone screen is an especially heinous offender in the grime department. How do you keep a Mac screen clean, yet still touch and use it? And what about keeping the rest of the device as clean as the display screen?
How to clean your Mac safely
Keep all of your Apple branded devices free from grime with these easy cleaning tips.
How to clean a Mac display screen
The secret to a clean display screen is distilled water and distilled white vinegar. By mixing these two liquids, you will have a clear solution that makes for clean and streak free screens. You can mix up a liter of this in advance to use as needed.
You need two soft microfiber cloths and your vinegar solution. Dampen one cloth with just enough vinegar. The cloth should in no way be dripping (wring it out and let it dry a bit if it is). Take your damp cloth and gently wipe the screen. Pay particular attention to any areas with visible dirt, fingerprints, sneeze residue, or other grime. Check your work as you go around the screen to ensure that you don't miss a spot. Continue until the entire screen is clean. Take your second cloth to dry wipe the clean screen. If it looks spot free, you are done with the display screen.
How to clean a Mac device
When you are finished with the screen, you can proceed to the rest of the device. Remove the protective case if you are using one on your device. Gently wipe down the back of the device with the damp cleaning cloth. You can re-moisten your cloth as needed so long as you check that the cloth is merely damp rather than dripping wet.
For a keyboard, dampen a cotton swab and clean both the surface of each key and the space between the keys. Use a fresh dry cotton swab afterwards.
Hard cases should be cleaned in the same manner once removed from the device, but let them dry thoroughly between re-encasing your device (about an hour or two is usually sufficient).
If your device's cable (USB or otherwise) seems grimy, it can be cleaned in the same manner as the case with a gentle wipe.
Storing your cleaning solution
When you are finished cleaning your Mac, store the excess cleaning solution in a plastic bottle to use next time your Mac needs to be cleaned.
Store accessories to keep them clean
A few simple additions to your Mac accessory stash can prevent grime buildup. I recommend a silicone keyboard cover over the keyboard area. When it wears out, replace as needed. Cases are effective in keeping the main body of the device clean, particularly for an iPod, iPhone, or iPad which is held in the hand during use. When not in use, store laptops in a laptop bag and smaller devices in a soft Neoprene sleeve. I also recommend that users wind up unused cables with a silicone cable tie for storage.