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How to Clean an Apple iPad

Updated on April 15, 2015
Smudged and smeared oily iPad
Smudged and smeared oily iPad

But How Do I Clean The Screen?

Not to fear!

The answers are all here!

Care and Preventative Maintenance of iPads

One of the first concerns of most Apple iPad users is that the screen becomes so smeared and oily.  Apple’s shiny and beautiful device looks a bit less appealing when its covered in smudges and oily finger prints. 

The question is: How does one clean an iPad?

The steps and process is very similar to how you clean your iPod or iPhone screens.  Below I will explain how to keep your iPad clean.

First and Foremost: Use an iPad Case

In order to keep the outer edges of the iPad protected it is be a great idea to buy an iPad case.

Personally, I prefer the clear silicone cases that keep the outside and back of the iPad free from scratches.

Per the iPad manual from Apple:

Handle iPad with care to maintain its appearance. If you’re concerned about scratching or abrasion of the screen, you can use a case or a cover, sold separately.


The iPad Screen Has an Oleophobic Coating

The iPad screen has an oleophobic (oil-hating) coating, which protects the screen from the natural oils from our skin. The ability of this special coating to repel oil from our skin will diminish over time, with normal usage.

However, rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will decrease the oleophobic effect even faster, and may scratch your iPad screen.

From Apple iPad manual:

Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPad.

Or, a sandblaster.

Use a clean, slightly damp, lint-free cloth
Use a clean, slightly damp, lint-free cloth

Cleaning the iPad in Three Easy Steps

Step by step process to clean an iPad

  1. To clean your iPad, unplug all of the cables and turn off your iPad (press and hold the Sleep/ Wake button, and then slide the onscreen slider).
  2. Use a slightly damp, soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings.
  3. Using a corner of the micro-fiber cloth, simply wipe the screen to remove oil left by your hands.
  4. On occasions where coffee is spilled or makeup gets on the screen, you may need to lightly dampen the micro-fiber cloth. With tough stains, it may take a fair amount of elbow grease to get the screen sparkling clean again.

For more information about handling iPad, see the iPad Important Product Information Guide at

Also DO NOT use window cleaners!

Some screens, such as those on the Apple iPad and iPhone, have a special coating that can get wiped away by harsh chemicals if you clean the screen with them.

Video: How to Clean Your iPad Using a Cleaning Cloth


If you have questions about how to clean an iPad, please use Ask a Question, in the upper right area of this page.


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