How to clean Macs and other Apple hardware

It’s natural in times like these to ask how you might clean your Mac to ensure that it can’t spread the new Coronavirus or COVID-19 virus. Apple has recently revised its guidelines to include mention of my favourite liquid for both cleaning and disinfecting keyboards, mice, trackpads, and almost anything else: 70% isopropyl alcohol. This is the same chemical used for cleansing skin prior to injections and other procedures which breach the skin. Isopropyl alcohol is very effective at killing viruses like COVID-19, and is excellent at removing accumulated grime from keys and other hard surfaces.

Apple’s detailed article on cleaning its hardware is here. Some regional versions of that page may not include the new box mentioning isopropyl alcohol, though: the words in the British English version currently read:
“Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?
Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”

Oddly, that article links to an archived article on disinfecting keyboards, trackpads and mice, which recommends “Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting wipes”. As far as I can tell, neither of those products contains isopropyl alcohol, which would remain my first choice.

I hope that you stay healthy and safe.

Thanks to Michael Tsai @mjtsai for drawing our attention to this.