CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Apple's $19 Polishing Cloth supports years of devices, is on back order

Commentary: Apple's cloth can't seem to stay in stock, but you have other cleaning options.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
Expertise Phones, texting apps, iOS, Android, smartwatches, fitness trackers, mobile accessories, gaming phones, budget phones, toys, Star Wars, Marvel, Power Rangers, DC, mobile accessibility, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, RCS
Mike Sorrentino
2 min read

Apple's new $19 cloth is designed to clean anything from an iPod Nano up through Apple's Pro Display XDR.


Apple's Polishing Cloth made its debut in the Apple Store following the company's October Unleashed event, where it joined Apple's product lineup alongside substantially more expensive devices. The newly redesigned MacBook Pro and the third-generation AirPods may have been the biggest highlights of the show, with the former bringing back the HDMI connector, as well as offering MagSafe charging, a full SD card reader and a choice between the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips

Meanwhile, the AirPods 3 include several features previously exclusive to the AirPods Pro like spatial audio with head tracking, water resistance and longer battery life. But all of these reveals could be considered quite expensive, with the most powerful MacBook Pro costing as much as $6,100 and with tons of competing wireless headphones that offer much of what the AirPods 3 offer for less money.

So if you really want to buy a new Apple product right now without taking out a line of financing, Apple's $19 (£19, AU$29) Polishing Cloth comes at a much lower price and with perhaps the most extensive backward-compatibility list in recent memory. If you thought it was amazing that iOS 15 works on 2015's iPhone 6S, how about an Apple product in 2021 that's endorsed to work on the iPod Nano from 2012? And on the high end, this cloth also supports the $6,000 Apple Pro Display XDR monitor. 

What a range. But hopefully you're already aware that Apple's Polishing Cloth has wandered into a field full of competition and much cheaper rivals. How cheap, you ask? Well, you can buy a 36-pack of Amazon Basics microfiber cleaning cloths for $18.86, saving 14 cents off the price of a single Apple Polishing Cloth. Apple's cloth may also take some time before reaching customers -- as of this writing, Apple's store says delivery could take 10 to 12 weeks.

We'll have to reserve judgment until we actually get to use Apple's Polishing Cloth. It may very well be the best polishing cloth out there. But if you find yourself at the Apple Store making a purchase and this accessory is offered, it may be worthwhile to take a second and compare pricing with other vendors. 

In the meantime, if you're curious about what it's like to unbox Apple's Polishing Cloth, YouTube channels iJustine and Unbox Therapy were both able to procure the cloth and show off what's inside.

Do you have a favorite microfiber cleaning cloth for keeping your gadgets clean? Tell us in the comments.