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How to Clean Rubber or Silicone iPhone Cases

Updated on August 13, 2015

If your protective phone case is made of soft silicone gel (often referred to as a bumper case) then you know how easily they stain. Even if you are careful, stains can develop when the case rubs against dyed fabric. Depending upon the color of your case, you might see a slight stain even after sliding your phone into your jeans pocket a few times.

Sometimes a phone cover leaves marks on the phone it is protecting. These can range from scratches, smudges, and dirty residue caught between the case and the phone.

We've researched and tried all types of remedies to clean phones and their cases. Here is a round-up of the very best solutions. Some require chemicals that could harm or damage your case if not used carefully. Use these at your own risk. We don't claim responsibility for any damage that might come to you, your phone, or the case.

Do You Need to Clean Your Phone Case?

You'll be able to get most stains out by scrubbing with a soft brush after soaking your case in warm water and dish soap. Only use bleach as a last resort, as the chlorine can eat away at the silicone. If your case is very stained and you want to try bleach, dilute one tablespoon bleach in a sink of warm water.

Removing Marks Left by Phone Bumper

Some phone cases leave marks or small scratches on the phone. If this happens, take the cover off and use a microfiber cloth to rub the phone well. If scratches are still visible, apply some Mequiars Scratch X or denatured alcohol to the microfiber cloth and rub the phone again.

If your phone is significantly damaged by the case and you have an iPhone and have only ever used the original Apple phone case, consider taking the phone and case into the Apple store. Show them the marks and scratches on your phone and see what they will do for you.

Otherwise, once you've cleaned your phone go ahead and clean the case following the tried-and-true techniques below.

Drop Your Phone Case in the Washing Machine

A run through the machine's gentle cycle will remove light, but not tough, stains from your phone case.
A run through the machine's gentle cycle will remove light, but not tough, stains from your phone case.

One obvious solution you might not have thought of is to simply put your case into the washer along with your other clothes. Use the gentle cycle. It really doesn't get simpler than this. While this might work for light dye stains, it's not likely to remove dark, heavy-set marks.

Please note that this technique can damage your case. Depending upon your case's design, it could be damaged in the machine as it's clearly not designed for this kind of treatment. If you're hesitant, use an organic soap that's light on chemicals to avoid permanently damaging the case's finish.

Use a Toothbrush to Clean Your Case

To remove mild stains, dust, and grime from your silicone case, use warm water, dish soap, and a toothbrush.
To remove mild stains, dust, and grime from your silicone case, use warm water, dish soap, and a toothbrush.

If you have only mild stains or your case is dirty with dust and grime, then all it needs is a good wash. Grab a small bowl and fill it with warm water and dish soap. Use a toothbrush or similar gentle brush to scrub the dirty or mildly stained areas. This solution is great for giving your case a quick clean. It will look good as new.

Using Windex or Citrus-Based Cleanser

Let your phone case soak in warm water and Windex or a citrus-based cleanser. Then use a soft brush to scrub away grime.
Let your phone case soak in warm water and Windex or a citrus-based cleanser. Then use a soft brush to scrub away grime.

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Add about a tablespoon of Windex, dish soap, or citrus-based cleaner. Place something heavy on your case to keep it submerged and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a soft brush to gently scrub to remove stains or dirt. Repeat as needed and rinse with cold water. Make sure to dry your case well before installing back onto your iPhone.

Clean Your Case With Bleach

Chlorine is a strong chemical, so be sure to dilute the bleach before using. Add one tablespoon of bleach to a sink of warm water.
Chlorine is a strong chemical, so be sure to dilute the bleach before using. Add one tablespoon of bleach to a sink of warm water.

Bleach is almost sure to remove any stains, but it can damage your case if not diluted properly. Use bleach as a last resort and only if your case is purely white. If your case is colored, then it's likely to bleed or fade.

Fill a large container, something about the size of your sink, with warm water and add about a tablespoon of bleach. Let your case rest inside the container for a couple minutes. Remove and gently scrub the stained areas. If results are desirable but the stain persists, then repeat until the stains are completely removed. Afterwards make sure to rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove any bleach left behind on the case's surface.

Remember to take good care of your case and it will protect your iPhone for a long time!

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Have You Cleaned Your Case? What Worked for You?

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    • profile image

      Rimz 

      2 years ago

      the best way i found is : take a deep container and add the following: detergent powder, handwasher and dish washer. now add hot water and soak the cover. after about 3 min remove it and coat it with baking powder, n rinse it with a tooth brush. then, take lemon juice and coat it leave it for 5min and soak again in the hot water mixture it will come clean as new :)

    • profile image

      name 

      2 years ago

      I'll try this

    • profile image

      sbmanatee@gmail.com 

      3 years ago

      Soak in very strong solution of oxyclean powder and hot water, then brush with an old toothbrush. Or your new toothbrush; who am I to say? No bleach damage or smell. Use leftovers to clean grout similarly stained by bare feet, lol

    • profile image

      Gaylo 

      3 years ago

      Cat liter. A little lime juice and tee tee.Works wonders....

    • profile image

      mk 

      3 years ago

      What about something like Windex Wipes for a quick wipe down or spot cleaning? May need to then wipe excess with paper towel (or inside of your T-shirt to dry if you're in a hurry). That's my first inclination, but was wondering about windex's effect on silicone, though i'm now realizing (duh) silicone holds up to bath & shower cleaners so i'll give it a try. Convenient, easy, no over-spray or pooling so no need to remove cover. Comments?

    • socialmarketing7 profile image

      socialmarketing7 

      5 years ago from United States

      Awesome article. A lot of insights! Thank you for posting this!

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