The iPad surface, (as well as most mobile devices), has a thin glass screen that is coated with a polymer that cuts down on grimy residue. This coating is a plastic that prevents our skin oil from sticking to the iPad. The finished surface is referred to as "oleophobic”, which literally means, “afraid of oil” or “lacking affinity for oils”. There are do’s and don’ts to keeping this surface clean and keeping the coating from disintegrating, which it will if you aren't careful. About this oleophobic coating on our iPads; our brand new, out of the box iPads were covered with prints, smudges and chunks right out of the starting gate so apparently, they aren't as fingerprint proof as they'd like to think. I would like them to see our iPads after one class usage. I digress…..
To clean iPad, unplug all cables and turn off iPad (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, and then slide the onscreen slider). If your iPads aren't that bad, you could get away with using a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth to clean the surface. Please avoid getting any moisture in openings, in other words, don't use a sponge! You also NEVER use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean your iPad or iPhone or any mobile device! I know you will be tempted if your iPads look anything like mine, but trust me, do this and your screen will soon lose the coating and leave your touchscreen without any protective coating and that will lead to an eventual loss of sensitivity on your screen. Also keep in mind that rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will not only scratch your screen, but will accelerate the wearing away that special coating. What is considered abrasive? Paper towels! Yes, you heard me right, paper towels are made from wood fibers, and no matter how soft you think they are, they will put micro-scratches your screen. Eventually the coating will diminish over time with normal usage, (I’ve heard around 4-5 years) which means that your iPad will be harder to clean and will become less responsive to your touch – time to replace the device!
When I really want to clean my screen and not just rub away the smears, I use The Original Beeswax. This product cleans the iPads by removing the dirt and grime, leaves no waxy build up and does not strip away the oleophobic coating. DO NOT USE MICRO CLOTH with Original Beeswax. I use a soft cloth like an old washcloth and keep a few in the classroom. I not only use this with my own devices, but I also use it to clean the computer monitors. It’s a bit pricey, but worth every penny! I’ve not found it in any stores so for that reason, I purchase mine at Annie’s Good Old Days Store where she sells it for $9.95 a can which beats $16.90 on the Beeswax Polish.com.
Remember, to keep your devices clean, don't use abrasive material or any cleaning fluids on your surface. If you do want a nice clean, polished surface, Beexwax (not Pledge) will do a nice job.