• Your iPhone carries tons of dirt, bacteria, and grime from everyday use. If you have a case for your phone, it is also infected with the same contaminants. You should clean your phone and case on a regular basis. Depending on the type of case you have, your cleaning regimen will change. If you’re wondering how to clean a plastic or leather iPhone case, read on to learn more! 

    Plastic Cases

    For plastic cases, cleaning and maintenance is much easier, as you don’t have to deal with the sensitivities of materials like leather. It’s very easy to clean your plastic iPhone case when you follow these instructions:

    1. Take your phone out of its case. You should never clean your case with the phone still inside.
    2. Set your phone aside, so it won’t get wet to avoid water entering the cracks and causing damage.
    3. If your iPhone case has a secondary silicone component, separate it from the hard-plastic outer case.
    4. Mix one cup of warm water and a drop of dishwashing soap in a bowl. DO NOT use too much soap, as this will make the mixture too sudsy.
    5. Stir the soap and water thoroughly before dipping a toothbrush or clean cloth into the water.
    6. Gently scrub the surface of your iPhone case with the soaked toothbrush or cloth in a circular motion. Make sure you scrub all the cracks and seams.
    7. After scrubbing both the hard plastic and soft silicone inside and out, rinse off the case pieces with water and dry with a soft cloth.
    8. Let the iPhone case pieces air dry for an hour before trying to put your phone back in. If your case is not completely dry, do not put your phone back inside.

    You should clean your phone case once a month, or any time you notice dirt and stains on it.

    Additional Disinfection

    While cleaning your iPhone case with soap and water once a month is ideal, you may still want to take additional steps to completely disinfect it. Follow the directions below to get your phone case completely clean:

    1. Remove your phone from the case. Do not try to disinfect the case while your phone is still inside, as the disinfectant could damage internal parts.
    2. Separate the multiple components of your case, if you have them. Usually, there is a soft inner plastic that can be pulled apart.
    3. Take some rubbing alcohol (70% or higher) and use it to soak part of a soft cloth. The soft cloth is essential to ensure you don’t scratch up your case.
    4. If you have access to a sprayer bottle, spray the rubbing alcohol directly onto the phone instead of using the cloth.
    5. Wipe down all the components of your phone case with the alcohol and cloth — both
    6. inside and out.
    7. Wipe off the rubbing alcohol with a completely clean dry cloth. Get off as much alcohol as you can.
    8. Set the case to dry in the open air and wait at least an hour before trying to put your phone back in the case.

    Regardless of whether your phone is showing signs of dirt and staining, you should be disinfecting it once a month.

    Leather Cases

    If you have a leather iPhone case, these can be a little more complicated to clean, as the leather is very temperamental to moisture and disinfectant. Read on to learn about specific maintenance for each part of the leather case.

    Fixing Scratches

    You’ve found a scratch mark on your leather case and you aren’t sure how to get rid of it! Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix once you know what to do. Find the scratch and use your clean finger to If you have a leather iPhone case, these can be a little more complicated to clean, as the leather is very temperamental to moisture and disinfectant. Read on to learn about specific maintenance for each part of the leather case.

    Fixing Scratches

    You’ve found a scratch mark on your leather case and you aren’t sure how to get rid of it! Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix once you know what to do. Find the scratch and use your clean finger to gently rub over the marks. Rubbing back and forth allows the oil and friction from your hand to erase light scratches. Over time, you’ll notice the scratch fade away to nothing.

    Unfortunately, this will not work on deep scratches in the leather. This fix is only for minimal damage.

    General Maintenance

    Since leather is well known to absorb the grease and oils from its surroundings, you should be keeping your leather case as far as possible from makeup, oil, water, and dyed materials like denim or viscose. You can clean and condition your case each month by applying a thin layer of mink oil or leather conditioner. If you choose to use the mink oil, be careful how much you apply, as it can darken the leather over time. Conditioning the leather provides mild protection and keeps it supple for everyday use.

    Additional Cleaning

    When you clean leather, often the color is affected, but there are times when there is no other choice. If your phone case has reached a point where it must be cleaned, use warm water and mild hand soap to create a gentle solution. You can also use leather cleaner with a soft cloth for a deeper clean.

    Water Stains

    Since water affects all real leather types, your iPhone case may be prone to water staining. Often, when a case gets droplets of water on it, rings form around the original point of impact as the spots dry. Avoid these rings by using a water-soaked sponge to dampen the area around the spot. As you move away from the stain, use less and less water on the leather. When it dries, you’ll see a very limited effect on your leather case.

    Waterproofing

    Some cases come with waterproofing included, but if you want to waterproof your own case, follow the steps below:

    1. Combine one cup extra virgin olive oil and two ounces of beeswax into a jar and place it into a pan of cold water.
    2. Heat the pan over the stove and stir the olive oil and beeswax pieces until everything has completely melted together.
    3. Take the pan off the heat and remove the jar from the pan. It will be hot, so use a pair of gloves.
    4. Keep stirring the mixture until it completely cools — anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. At this point, it will stiffen.
    5. Clean your case thoroughly and then apply the mixture in a test spot to a small area of your leather case.
    6. If you’re happy with the result, apply the cream to the entire case. Repeat several times, buffing gently, to build up a waterproof surface.

    Patina

    Over time, most leather cases acquire a natural patina from years of use. It will naturally soften as oils from your skin and exposure to sunlight begin to affect the leather. Remain aware that this is happening, and don’t worry when you notice these changes.

    Final Tips

    If you want long lasting iPhone cases, make sure you care for them regularly. Whether you have a leather or a plastic case, protect it — so that it can protect your phone!

    Tess DiNapoli

    Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.

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