Cleaning iPads

Read our strategy for cleaning Pads without ruining the screens.

How we clean our classroom iPads

Preschoolers are many things.  They are sweet, they are cute, they are entertaining, they are creative, they are clever, but most of them tend not to be very clean.  Which is why after just a few weeks of use, our iPads were filthy. They have been sneezed on and screens have been swiped with snotty fingers. It was so tempting to grab a bottle of Windex and go to town. But, I resisted the urge, unwilling to risk damaging our expensive devices.  And I’m  so glad I did.

After visiting the Apple Support website about cleaning iPads, I learned that iPads have an oleophobic coating, which will erode over time. Cleaning with harsh or abrasive substances can hasten this process.  So instead of grabbing the Windex, I dug into our classroom fabric stash and pulled out some of the softest flannel I could find.  It turns out that a barely damp piece of flannel returned the screens to their original, pristine glory.  The screen was streak free! (Nothing irritates me more than a streaked iPad screen!)

clean ipad with soft cotton clothCleaning Clothes for iPad

So now, in addition to headphones, there’s also a soft flannel cloth for each iPad.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to ask the kids to start cleaning their own iPads. I think the concept of “barely damp” may be too much for them, and an excessively damp cloth could be deadly for our iPads.  Our iPads will now be cleaned regularly though, if not by the children then by me. And they will be cleaned with just a damp cloth so we protect those screens! I’m also considering implementing a pre iPad use hand-washing policy.  We already wash our hands a lot in our classroom. One more time probably wouldn’t hurt.  How do you keep your iPads from getting grimy?

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  1. Rhuggs says

    I use a micro-fiber cleaning cloth made for cleaning tv screens. I bought it at wal-mart for around 3 bucks. It’s made to be used dry but i use it with a TINY (size of a pea) squirt of germ-X if the screens are really nasty and especially during cold season.

  2. Wh says

    The Garmin iPad case has a screen cover -so you are cleaning the screen cover, not the actual ipad screen.

    • says

      I’m so impressed that you’ve read enough of my website to know what kind of cover we use! You’re right, the Garmin cover does have a screen protector. What I haven’t had a chance to write about is how I ripped the screen protector off one day in the middle of centers during the very first week we used iPads because it drove me bananas. :) Maybe someday I’ll have time to write about all of the modifications we’ve made to the Garmin cases to make them more workable for preschoolers. Until then, you can rest assured that we were indeed cleaning the actual iPad screens and not the protective cover. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. says

    Thanks for this! I was updating our ipads last week and noticed that they were a little janky. Ours have a protective screen, so I definitely don’t want to use Windex on those. Damp cloth it is!