Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Yes, Apple is now selling a $19 polishing cloth to keep your screens clean

Apple starts retailing a special Polishing Cloth for any Apple display, including nano-texture glass.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

If you're paying over a $1,000 for an iPhone or $6,000 for a new Mac, what's an extra $19 for a special Apple polishing cloth to clean the screen?

Apple started offering the Apple-branded 'Polishing Cloth' after its big "Unleashed" event, where it unveiled a new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the new Apple Silicon M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and its new new AirPods.

Though the cloth didn't get a showing at the conference, its $19 price tag caught the attention of many tech observers and has been the subject of a fair number of jokes.  

SEE: MacBook Pro launch: Things you may have missed

However, Apple does have fairly stringent recommendations when it comes to cleaning the screens on Apple devices. They should only be cleaned with a "soft, lint-free cloth" and definitely not paper towels or abrasive cloths. 

The Apple cloth, featuring an Apple logo in the corner, meets this requirement, including for nano-texture glass. 

"Made with soft, nonabrasive material, the Polishing Cloth cleans any Apple display, including nano-texture glass, safely and effectively," Apple says on the product page

While the cloth's price has been ridiculed, it could serve a purpose. Apple includes an Apple-branded black cloth with the $6,000 Apple Pro Display XDR and iMacs with nano-texture glass screens. It recommends only using the Apple-provided cloth to clean these computers' screens. Until now replacement cloths have only been available by contacting Apple support. Now everyone can buy one separately, even those who've bought sub-$6,000 Apple devices.

Apple's "compatibility" list for the Polishing Cloth includes iPhone, iPad, Macs, Apple Watch, iPod, and the Pro Display XDR. In other words, every Apple device with a screen. 

SEE: Apple finally admits it made a mistake and backtracks on three foolish MacBook Pro design decisions

The Apple Polishing Cloth could become the equivalent of water-proofing sprays at the footwear retail checkout. A good percentage of consumers, just having spent a $150 on new shoes, end up buying the spray to protect their shiny new shoes. 

And now at least Apple doesn't have to direct customers to support staff for Apple cloth replacements. 

Image: Apple
Editorial standards