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  • Apple has updated its product guidelines to say that it's okay to clean devices with 70% isopropyl alcohol or disinfectant wipes.
  • Previously, the company suggested against using cleaning products and advised device owners to clean their products using a damp, lint-free cloth.
  • But iPhone owners should still follow previously suggested guidelines, like unplugging your device and avoiding getting any moisture into the product.
  • The updated support page comes as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Apple has updated its guidelines for how to safely clean products like the iPhone to say that it's safe to use certain disinfectant products when sanitising devices. The update comes after Apple previously advised against using traditional cleaning products on electronic devices.

According to Apple, it's safe to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or the Clorox brand of disinfectant wipes popular in the US on "hard, nonporous" surfaces of Apple products, like the screen and keyboard. The company says you should still avoid getting moisture inside any openings and shouldn't submerge your Apple device in any cleaning products. The change was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Apple's support page also reiterates previously issued guidelines like using a soft, lint-free cloth, avoiding excessive wiping, unplugging devices before cleaning them, and avoiding spraying cleaners directly onto the product. Apple previously advised that those who wish to clean their iPhone should do so with a damp, lint-free cloth rather than using traditional cleaning products.

Although you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or wipes, you should not use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasive products to clean your Apple devices, the company says.

The updated guidelines come as the coronavirus behind Covid-19 continues to spread, killing nearly 3,900 people globally, with more than 111,000 infected.

Experts had previously advised against using disinfectants on electronic devices like smartphones because doing so could strip away the coating that prevents oil and grease from your fingertips among other substances from sticking to your phone.

But in recent weeks, the general public has been advised to ramp up efforts to maintain proper hygiene and wash hands frequently to combat the spreading coronavirus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organszation are advising that the general publish wash their hands often and disinfect often-touched surfaces.

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