iPhone Tips: How to Clean and Care For Your iPhone

Are you starting your car with the iPhone plugged into the charger? To avoid electrical spikes and other problems that could zap your patience, follow these tips on how to safely clean and care for your iPhone.

Wed, July 29, 2009

CIO — It's a wonder Apple sales folks aren't dressed up like storks when they sell you an iPhone. The storied device has taken on a life of its own, and iPhone owners cradle them like newborns.

Like new parents, though, most iPhone owners have no idea how to care for their new iPhone. So here are some tips to keep the iPhone in tip-top condition, many of them courtesy of Aaron Vronko, CEO of Rapid Repair, an iPod and iPhone repair shop, and one of the first technicians to take apart the iPhone 3GS and write a repair guide.

[ Check out three tips for breathing life into the iPhone battery. | Having problems with your iPhone? You might be holding an iPhone lemon. ]

1. Audio Problems: Clean the Screens

At the bottom of the iPhone, there's a speaker on the left and a mic on the right. If you can't hear anything or if someone can't hear you, most people fear the worst: internal damage in the sound system. But there's a good chance that the holes are merely clogged with debris, Vronko says.

If you're experiencing sound degradation, Vronko gives this advice: try putting a dab of strong rubbing alcohol— 90 percent alcohol—on an old tooth brush and use the brush and a can of compressed air to clean the holes. But don't use too much alcohol. You don't want any liquid to find its way into the speaker or mic, says Vronko. The potential of liquid getting into the phone would make anyone nervous, so proceed at your own risk.

2. Cracks in the Casing, Scratches on the Glass

A common problem with the iPhone 3G: cracks would appear around the dock connector and headphone jack where the plastic is the thinnest. Apple is apparently aware of the problem because many iPhone owners report that Apple Geniuses are adept at evaluating the crack and quick to replace a unit. With a crack near the dock connector, for instance, a Genius will examine the area with a lighted scope and likely swap the SIM chip into a new iPhone.

Vronko recommends a hard case for your iPhone, as well as a thin skin protector on the glass. Although the iPhone glass is fairly scratch resistant, it's defenseless against keys in a purse or pocket. Don't be afraid to replace the hard case and skin protector regularly, Vronko says, because they wear out.

3. iPhone Over-heating

An iPhone shouldn't be exposed to extreme temperatures—100 degrees Fahrenheit on the high end, 40 degrees on the low end—because that will quickly degrade battery performance. If your iPhone is heating up, try to determine if it's heat from the iPhone itself or reflected heat from the sun.

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