The Apple Card is not just another credit card. Apple is a hardware company, after all, so your card is special, okay? If Jony Ive hadn't disappeared from Apple's lot, then we would probably have a video Making Of with Whispering Joni burning with a silent passion about how this is the thinnest and strongest card Apple has made any time. How Apple designers needed to invent a completely new production process to recycle titanium plates recovered from broken legs. Etc.
So, if you have an Apple Card, Apple wants you to treat it with respect. And that is why there is now an official support document that tells you how to clean it.
You need a clean Apple card
Yes, a support document. It even has a fragment of a possibly abandoned Joni script:
The Apple Titanium card is laser engraved with the name of the cardholder and the Apple logo. A white finish is achieved through a multilayer coating process that is added to the titanium base material.
That introduction leads to inevitably obvious cleaning instructions. And remember, this is a credit card we are talking about. The type of object that generally earns so little respect that it is used to scrape snow and ice from the windshield, or to fit the leg of a wobbly table.
Even, willingly, we inserted our ATM card into the dirty slots of the ATMs, to collect dirt and bacteria deposited there by all those other previous cards.
I will paste the Apple instructions here, since they really can't be improved:
The official way to clean an Apple Card
- Gently wipe with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free, microfiber cloth.
- Dampen a soft microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the card.
In other words, in the same way that it cleans any device, always. In fact, has Apple itself copied and pasted these instructions? Why, after all, would you need to use a lint-free cloth for a credit card? I understand that I don't want to get caught in the cracks of a real mechanical device, but a card?
Simply wipe the damn thing on the thigh of your jeans, as you do with your hands when you can't bother drying them in a public restroom. It's not that that evil fluff is going to fill the Lightning port, or get trapped under the notoriously volatile keys of a modern MacBook keyboard.
Lint, the silent killer
How much fluff throws a cloth, anyway? These guides always make it seem that rubbing your device with a lint-filled cloth would be like scraping your nails on a scalp infested with dandruff, and raining greasy flakes on pristine shoulders covered in tweed.
A case for keeping things clean
A permanent joke for people who read and write about the Apple team is that there is a case for everything. You can get a case for your AirPods case, which is the easiest to store (and rugged) Apple device. You can even get a protective case for the Apple Pencil.
Which means that you can soon buy a protective case for the Apple Card, since the next iPad will be thinner than today. And something good too, because seemingly ultra-resistant titanium is not as resistant after all. Here is the official advice on babying your Apple Card. And remember, again, that this is a credit card .
How to safely store and transport your Apple Titanium Card
Store your Apple Titanium Card in a wallet, pocket or bag made of soft materials.
Place your card in a slot in your wallet or wallet without touching another credit card. If two credit cards are placed in the same slot, your card could be scratched.
Do not place or store your Titanium Apple Card near magnets. If your card is placed near a magnetic closure in a purse or bag, the magnetic strip can be demagnetized.
Do not place your Apple Titanium card in a pocket or bag containing loose change, keys or other potentially abrasive objects.
Of these, only the point on the magnets makes a lot of sense. Still, as I said, it may not be long before there is a special case for the Apple Card. And I don't mean an RF blocking case either. (Actually, it's a pretty sensible idea).
Still, if all else fails, and your previously cleaned Apple Card is scratched or infested with lint, you can always request a replacement.