by Jim Lynch

How does Apple clean its refurbished products?

May 17, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsiPadiPhone

Refurbished Apple products can be a great bargain, but how does the company clean them before selling them to its customers?

Apple’s refurbished products can often be great bargains, and they are one of the best kept “open secrets” of the company. But how exactly does Apple clean its refurbished products?

The question came up in a recent thread in the Apple subreddit, and some redditors there had some informative answers:

WillPrlySugstClassix: “How does Apple get its refurbished products clean? Not even just refurbished; I had a repair done to my MacBook pro and they handed it to me in pristine condition! No smudges, greasy keys, it was immaculate. Does anyone on the inside know what they use to clean? I’d love some advice.”

I- Helped: “Do not use alcohol wipes, as it will remove coating from your screen. Generally we only use something called “Whoosh”.


Prairie_Dog: “Can confirm, I was in an Apple Store after closing while a Genius was trying to resolve my spouse’s iPhone issues. Apple staff members began cleaning everything with Whoosh and microfiber cloths. I made a note of it and subsequently bought some Whoosh at my local Office Depot. Pretty good stuff, seems to clean things nicely.”

Iamthestigg: “Can confirm, we use Whoosh as well. Started using it in the store, immediately bought some for at home.”

TurdPilot: “Whoosh is a terrible product. It has nothing in its ingredients that actually disinfect or remove bacteria. Also weak as far removing greasy prints; it’s basically water in a spray bottle. Not sure why Apple chose this product, probably as it’s as safe as it gets, but it is a poor cleaner.

Cleanse is a much better product. While it contains a small amount of alcohol, this alcohol cuts grease and also disinfects.”

Martialplum: “Retail visual merchandising buff here. Whoosh is used rather than higher-alcohol-content products because alcohol (even at very weak concentrations in other products) can cause the lacquer on the store tables to discolour and strip away over time. The tables only get resurfaced twice a year—at considerable cost—so it’s preferable to use a very mild solution day to day from a preservation standpoint.

Side note for anyone mildly interested, Whoosh isn’t used on the glass of the Apple Watch display table as it causes smears and over time will cause damage to the surface of the glass; instead the standard practice is to use filtered water and a soft microfibre cloth. Same goes for the diver blue Italian leather mats used when trying on the Watch. So now you know!

(Also, in response to it being a poor cleaner: use it liberally and put in some effort and it does a pretty damn good job; you should see the state of some of the iPads on the Kids’ tables at the end of the day. They look like they’ve been dipped in wax or have an anti-glare film on they’re coated in so much scum.)”

More at Reddit

Resources for refurbished Apple products

Well now that you know how Apple cleans its refurbished products, you might be wondering about where to buy them and what sort of guarantees Apple offers its customers.

Here’s a list of resources for Apple’s refurbished products:

The main page for refurbished Apple products

Apple’s refurbishment process FAQ

Buy refurbished Macs

Buy refurbished iPads

Buy refurbished iPods

Refurbished Apple products can be great deals

One thing that has always surprised me about Apple’s refurbished products is how often people don’t seem to even know about them. I’ve mentioned them to friends who wanted to buy one Apple product or another, while still wanting to save a few bucks. And most of the time they are shocked to find out that Apple even sells refurbished iPads, iPhones, and Macs.

It’s too bad because you really can save a lot of money by buying refurbished Apple products. Just remember though that if you see a refurbished product you are interested in, buy it! While many remain unaware that Apple sells refurbished products, there are definitely hard-core bargain hunters out there who will snap up high quality refurbished products as soon as they appear on Apple’s site.

The early bird definitely gets the refurbished worm!

Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.