In an about-face amid the novel-coronavirus outbreak, Apple (AAPL 0.64%) updated its iPhone cleaning guidance, saying that customers can now use disinfectant wipes to clean their iPhone, iPads and other Apple devices. 

Apple had long advised customers not to use those wipes because the chemicals in the wipes may harm coatings on the screen. Nevertheless, with the coronavirus raging and people going to great lengths to keep germs off of them and their devices, Apple has relented.  

Apple iPhone 11 Models

Image source: Apple.

As of the last count, 113,777 thousand people around the world are infected with coronavirus with 3,991 deaths caused by the outbreak.  The reported cases in the U.S. are rising, causing technology companies to close offices, curb travel and cancel conferences and events. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 423 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., which have caused 19 deaths. Thirty-five states have reported cases of the virus. 

It doesn't help that Journal of Hospital Infection found based on a study coronavirus can live on glass surfaces from two hours to nine days but can be killed easily by using isopropyl alcohol. 

In Apple's update,  the iPhone maker said "using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes" is ok granted customers "gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces." Apple cautioned against using bleach and urged customers to avoid getting moisture in any of the openings.