How To Clean iPhone Screen Protector

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It may never have occurred to you that you might want to know how to clean an iPhone screen protector. But given how much you use your phone on a day-to-day basis, it's important that you keep it clean. After all, some studies suggest that a smartphone may have up to 10 times more germs than a toilet seat.

As unpleasant as that may sound, it is surprising how few of us clean our phones on a regular basis. Additionally, if you have a screen protector on your device, you'll want to look after it as best you can, to keep your phone in the best condition possible.

So in an effort to address that, here are some tips to help keep your iPhone screen protector clean. You'll thank us later.

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How To Clean iPhone Screen Protector

Usually, you will only need to clean the front of your screen protector. But for the sake of completeness, we'll cover what you can do to clean both front and back, should you need to.

How to clean the front of your screen protector

We'll start with a list of things to avoid. When cleaning your screen protector do not use anything with harsh chemicals in it, such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Many screen protectors come with a special oleophobic coating, and harsh cleaners can remove this. In turn, this will make your screen protector less pleasant to use.

You also don't need to use hard-bristled brushes or other abrasives. Essentially, treat your screen protector with care. Here's what we suggest:

  • Start by turning off your phone.
  • Next, use a soft, lint-free cloth such as a lens cloth. Depending on how dirty your screen protector is, it can be dry or slightly damp.
  • If there is still dirt or material still present, you can use a microfiber cloth with a mild dish soap and water solution. You don't need to soak the screen. While most iPhones now are water-resistant, you still don't want to risk getting water into any of your phone ports.
  • Once you've cleaned the screen, use a dry cloth to wipe any soap residue.
  • You can rinse and repeat this process to remove any particularly stubborn bits of grime.
  • Alternatively, if you're out and about, you can use a simple isopropyl alcohol wipe to give your screen protector a once-over. These are great to stash in your wallet or bag and are great if your phone gets dirty while you're on the go.
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This will usually be all you need to do to clean your screen protector. But occasionally, there may be a time when you also need to try to clean the underside of the screen protector. This is a more difficult job. But not impossible.

Clean The Underside Of Your Screen Protector

Zagg screen protector for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro
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Credit: Zagg

Once again, we'll mention a few caveats: removing a screen protector isn't something you should do regularly. In most cases, removing your screen protector will mean it loses some of its efficacy. It's also very easy to break them in the process, so for many, it will be easier to just replace your screen protector with a new one.

But, for the purposes of this article, we'll assume you want to try cleaning your screen protector before spending more money. Here's what you can do:

  • Start by making sure you are in a clean environment, with as little dust as possible floating around.
  • Before removing the screen protector, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any excess oil from your skin.
  • Next, you'll need to very gently and carefully remove your screen protector. Use a flat-edged tool or something like a bank card or toothpick. But don't be surprised if your screen protector cracks.
  • Get some sticky tape and loop it around your hand, with the sticky side out. Stick these to the front/outer side of the screen protector. Then use this to secure the screen protector to your work surface, to keep it held in place while you clean it.
  • This will leave the sticky side facing upwards. Get some more strips of tape, and use these to clean the inner side of your screen protector. Stick them on, then gently and carefully peel them off again, to remove any dirt or dust that has accumulated.
  • Give your phone screen a clean as well, again an alcohol wipe or microfiber cloth will do the job.
  • Finally, stick your screen protector back onto your iPhone.
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Once you've done this, both sides of your screen protector will be clean, and your phone will be cleaner than a toilet seat. Everyone wins. Except for the germs.