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I bought the $19 Apple Polishing Cloth so you don't have to

Apple Polishing Cloth
Apple Polishing Cloth (Image credit: Windows Central)

Whenever Apple launches new products, the internet, nay, the world, seems to go into overdrive. The hype is hard to contain. Well, apparently. But with the last batch, everyone was going crazy over a $19 polishing cloth.

Has the world gone mad, or is this truly the greatest piece of cloth ever sold?

More importantly ... what's it like when you use it to wipe a Surface? Bet Tim Cook didn't see that one coming.

The $19 Apple Polishing Cloth

Apple Polishing Cloth

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Lots of us like to be critical of the so-called "Apple tax" and the inflated prices compared to the competition. And I have to say, hand on heart, there might be something to it with this polishing cloth, guys.

It's got a lot to live up to if it wants to replace the Razer polishing cloth I currently wipe my mucky fingerprints away with. And that one was free.

The unboxing experience is quite something, though. That is to say, there is an unboxing experience. It's mad enough that a courier delivered this, knocked on my door, and handed it to me, proudly passing on another Apple delivery to an eager owner. Wonder what he would have said if I'd told him it was a cloth?

This really is the GOAT of polishing cloths.

Once you peel back the tape and pull apart the tabs, you're greeted with something quite magical. On first impressions, this really is the GOAT of polishing cloths. It looks so pretty, nestled there in its white security blanket as it makes its grand debut into the world.

And kudos to Apple. This is the first polishing cloth I've ever owned that came with paperwork. You don't see that attention to detail everywhere.

So true to Apple's usual form, it looks nice and costs quite a lot of money. But what's it like to use?

Wipe all the things

Apple Polishing Cloth

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Is it heresy to wipe down a Surface Go 2 with an Apple Polishing Cloth? I mean, I have an iPad, but that's no fun, is it? So, the wipe test. What's this thing truly made of. I had my doubts, after all, Apple's description doesn't mention non-Apple products:

"Made with soft, non-abrasive material, the Polishing Cloth cleans any Apple display, including nano-texture glass, safely and effectively. "

It's pretty magical, though. It glides across the display, demolishing smudges and fingerprints with ease. And it's so soft in the hand, wiping away the greasy finger marks from last night's kebab is a joy. It's effortless. I don't know how Apple did it, I really don't.

It's so good I found myself wanting to wipe everything. My phone, my laptop, my kids' faces (OK, not that last one really). How can a bit of cloth be so good?

Apple has succeeded pretty well in making you want to clean up after yourself and make your devices a little less disgusting every day.

On a serious note to close out, I won't tell you not to buy a $19 polishing cloth if you really want to. I buy dumb things all the time. It is genuinely a good cloth, but $19? Really, Apple?

There are more questions to be asked about why this thing costs so much than I care to begin with. The Apple Tax is alive and well, folks.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

32 Comments
  • I don't know why I read this whole piece.
  • I don't know why I wrote this whole piece
  • Where were you when they made the bump battery case? Where, damnit?
  • Using a Pixel 😂
  • To see if anybody read it?
    It drew more comments than most articles.
    Snark and tongue-in-cheek draws attention: inquiring minds and all that.
  • We live in a world where for environment they are not putting chargers in the box. But are putting in paperwork for a piece of cleaning cloth! Whats next? Apple needle 🪡 in premium packaging to sew the cleaning cloth?
  • Roflmao, thanks I needed the laugh!
  • That was... different.
    Not that I didn't like it.
    I kinda did.
    Which gives me pause.
    Probably shouldn't, though.
    Who knows?
  • Roflmao, thanks I needed the laugh!
  • I can get a window cloth that's 4 times that size from Norwex for that price that works equally as well. I've been using the same one to clean my glasses and surface screen for months now. When it gets dirty it can be washed, I wonder what Apple says about that.
  • Funny the norwex cloth was the first thing I thought off when I touched this cloth
  • I am all in waiting for the iFixit video for this... whatever it is called.
    I am anxious for the reparability score.
  • I know this is the wrong site to say anything positive about this. Apple sells a $6K 32" monitor, the Pro Display XDR, with nano-textured glass. That last part is etched into the glass to reduce glare in a different way than just a coating. With that sort of an investment, you might want to use what the manufacturer recommends to clean it, not a paper towel, or your T-Shirt. They supply this cloth with that monitor. After a year, you might want a new one. Now you can get one.
    Funny read though. If you liked it, I suggest you also read Paul Thurrot's review of the Surface Pen Loop, a $5 piece of plastic you stuck to your Surface to hold your pen. https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/microsoft-surface/2857/an-ode-to-surface...
  • I read the entirety of the link you provided, you made my day.
    (FYI that loop came with my daughter's SP3 when it came out. Red because the Keyboard-cover was Red) In my comment just above yours, I said I am looking for the Ifixit video and score of the Apple cleaning cloth, Thurrott gave the Loop a iFixit score of 8.
  • Actually Thurrott gave the *packaging* a score of 8 because it was glued shut, even more hilarious.
  • Did you read the comment on the Thurrott article? Even funnier (in sad kind of way).
  • To this day, that is Thurrott's great piece of journalism, and that's a compliment to the Surface Pen Loop piece, not an insult to his other coverage.
  • $19?? What a rip-<sees Apple logo> oh it's so velvety and superior.
  • https://media.giphy.com/media/3o8doT9BL7dgtolp7O/giphy.gif
  • I got 100 non apple cloths for 5 dollars, anyone that pays 19 for one should be taken out and shot. Fools and their money easily parted.
  • You said there was "paperwork". Does that mean you could REGISTER your "Apple Cleaning Cloth $$$" Do you HAVE to "register" it to get the warranty to be valid? Does it have a serial number? Inquiring minds want to know.......
  • Are there instructions for cleaning the cloth? I’m scared to use mine until I know how to clean it.
  • Yes, in fact there are. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210229
  • This article only barely mentions the main reason for the Apple polishing cloth's existence: it's prime function is to polish/clean the screen of Apple's "nano-textured glass" Pro Display XR monitors. You know, the ones that cost $6K USD and whose screens are coated with a fancy glare reducing layer that can be easily damaged if you aren't careful? When you consider the cost of damaging a display like that, what's $19 towards the right cloth? Sure you can use it to polish your iPad, Surface, or whatever else you have laying around too, if you really want. (also: last I checked Best Buy and other AV companies sell more expensive polishing cloths/pads for OLED TVs ... so yeah, while I'm not going to run out and buy an Apple polishing cloth, it isn't *that* ridiculous)
  • *sigh*
    🖥️+👕 Hanes = gets the job done. Just Sayin'
  • Didn't realize the plan was to have you buy it so we didn't have to haha I ended up buying it. Dumb purchase but still. Fedex came about a month ago to deliver but I wasn't home and a signature was required (unlike my Surface laptop studio, go figure) it ended up back at the depot and I wasn't going to spend an hour to go pick it up. Rather get the refund. All of a sudden FedEx relented and brought it to me today.
  • Beyond the usual shock at the fact that Apple has a follower base that will actually give something like this the time of day (anyone remember those $900 wheels for Apple's desktop a few years ago), it has to be worth taking a moment to think about the environmental impact. A box, care instructions, plastic covering and courier service to get a 6inch piece of cloth to your house. Now, multiply that by the millions of dolts stupid enough to buy something this unnecessary and you're looking at hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste.
  • Is there instructions how to "hold" it? as in the past Apple has been finger pointing iPhone users they were holding their iPhon incorrectly resulting in bad phone quality. So before we get sued by Apple lawyers I really want crisp and clear instructions on how to hold the cloth correctly. In addition does the cloth warranty get void when you do use it on non-Apple devices? questions questions questions....
  • Be careful before ordering it, and have a look at its compatibility list of devices. Hilarious.
  • Just wait for the Apple Polishing Cloth 2.0......... 1" bigger and more cleaning capabilities.......hahahha all for just $29.99
  • In Canada it's $25, and on the web site you can scroll through 3 different picture angles of it...
  • The perfect gift for all the corporate apple polishers.