Why is alcohol bad for cleaning iPhone (iPad?)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JS82189, May 11, 2010.

  1. JS82189 macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2010
    #1
    Is this because of the oleophobic screen cover? (oil repellant cover), it is supposed to rub off with time (prob estimated like 2 years), but I *think* this is why Apple reccomends not to use abrasives (obviously), and I am wondering if alcohol also deteriotes oleophobic screens, since Apple doesn't reccomend it either.

    I always use alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer + a towel/shirt/TP on my iTouch which has a screen cover.

    I just used hand sanitizer + a paper towel on my iPad, and it cleaned it flawlessly, but then I realized that I shouldn't ever do that again because it isn't recommended, and I was wondering if this is why?
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #2
    Or a slightly wet papertowel.
    I wouldnt suggest hand sanitizer on it.
     
  3. JS82189 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2010
    #3
    does this harm the oleophobicity of the screen? is this why you don't recommend it?

    I think im ok with this one-time use, but I wont use alcohol on the actual iPad screen, or any iPhone screen (screen covers are debatable)
     
  4. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3GS (OS4.0b3): Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/8A260b Safari/531.21.10)

    In my experience (three iPhones) the oleophobic coating starts wearing off within the first month or so and is completely gone (or at least seems to be) within two-three months, give or take.

    IOW, I wouldn't sweat it. Alcohol can't hurt the oleophobic coating if it's not there to begin with. ;)
     
  5. tnisatard macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #5
    i remember someone posting a pic of their 3gs with that coating and the middleof the screen started to wear off
     
  6. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3GS (OS4.0b3): Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/8A260b Safari/531.21.10)

    Right, that was a French Flick Fishing fan, if I recall correctly. And I think it was within days of the 3GS' launch.

    My experience hasn't been so dramatic - there's no visibile degradation when the coating starts to wear off - besides the increased fingerprints, that is. It just starts to collect prints and smudges more quickly and doesn't clean up nearly as well as a new 3GS does.
     
  7. tnisatard macrumors 6502

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #7
    kind of off topic

    when apple replaces your 3Gs screen, do they replace it with a 3Gs screen or a 3G screen

    because i dont think i have the oleophobic (sp?) coating on mines because i see a whole bunch of scratch marks
     
  8. JS82189 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2010
    #8
    wow really? hmm... well I'll avoid it, though didn't realize the shelf-life on that..

    you dont play "Rub your thumb all over the screen" app im guessing..
     
  9. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

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    #9
    I could go deep into the chemistry and what happens at the molecular level, but ultimately it will wear away the glossy coating on the back of your iPhone, it will get rid of the oleophobic coating pretty quick and it will cause damage to the circuitry of the dock connector. THAT SAID, the oleophobic coating is going to wear off quickly either way, in order to remove the gloss off of the casing it would take at least a month of full immersion within an alcohol solution, which if you were to clean it once a week with an alcohol prep pad or an alcohol soaked cotton ball or whatever it would take at least ten years to wear that coating off. I'm sure you're careful around the dock connector and while it can corrode it pretty quickly, I'm sure it won't be something you need to worry about.

    I do it all the time with alcohol prep pads, and I've never had a problem.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #10
    The coating on my iPhone (now going nearing a year old) is still going strong.
    I only use water, damp cotton cloth.

    While the coating is not impregnated in the glass, it is fairly durable, but in the course of time it will eventually wear off. I've not seen too many examples of it wearing off within a month though.
     
  11. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Connecticut, USA
    #11
    The oleophobic coating on my 8-month-old 3GS is still going strong. I use only a soft cloth to clean it (no water or solvent). It's not got quite the feel of a brand new screen, but fingerprints still wipe off far faster more easily than they did on my first-generation iPod Touch.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    All things being equal, I don't like the coating because of the risk of wearing off. as I mentioned the coating on my iPhone is still intact but overall, I'd prefer not having it.
     
  13. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

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    #13
    Odd. I've never used water or cleaning solutions of any kind, but the coating on my launch day 3GS wore off within a month or two, as did the coating on the replacement 3GS I got in Feb/Mar. The coating on my wife's launch day 3GS is also gone, despite the fact that she pretty much never cleans it (I do from time to time, and therefore noticed that it was gone) ... Guess I've just had a string of bad luck?
     
  14. Springerrr macrumors newbie

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #14
    coating curiousity

    How can you guys tell if the coating is there or not??
     
  15. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #15
    I personally wouldn't use chemicals when cleaning any of my screens (tv, laptop, phone, PSP) Just seems like a bad idea.
     
  16. saving107 macrumors 603

    saving107

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    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #16
    I know I am replying to an old thread, but for those who are curious if they still have an oleophobic coating, you can try this very simple water droplet test.

    Simply add a drop of water to the front of your iPhone screen, and if it holds it shape (image to the right), then you sill have the coating, but if it doesn't (image to the left), then your oleophobic coating has worn off.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #17
    Time to raise this thread from the dead again (it probably looks pretty nasty by now)

    Is there any way to re-apply an oleophobic coating to the phone? Commercially available solutions that work?
     
  18. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #18
    I highly doubt it. If there was it wouldn't be something you could do yourself id have thought.

    You could get a new screen fitted If you really needed to replace the coating.
     
  19. gaanee macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2011
    #19
    Does anyone know how much applying/removing screen protectors affect the coating on the screen because of the glue?
     
  20. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #20
    Buy one of the oleophobic screen protectors, such as the ones made by Spigen.
     

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