$25 Apple Polishing Cloth Review vs AmazonBasics $0.79 Cloth

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The Apple Polishing Cloth is new and one of the apparent must-have products of the year, if its current extended delivery times into early 2022 are any indication.

Coming in at $25 CAD ($19 USD), the Apple Polishing Cloth is supposed to make your life better. Let’s see how ours compares to a basic microfibre cloth from AmazonBasics at $0.79 CAD each.

We ordered our Apple Polishing Cloth ‘late’, as in the next day after the company’s special event back in September. Luckily, our Polishing Cloth arrived last week, within the 4-5 week timeframe Apple had originally stated.

Unboxing the Apple Polishing Cloth

There’s not much to see here. The Apple Polishing Cloth comes inside a cardboard box and plastic helps keep it secured during transit. We’re not quite out of the woodwork yet when it comes to plastic in shipping boxes.

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The box here is thin and its dimensions are slightly larger than Canadian currency, like the $100 bill you’ll be spending to pick up some of these for 2022 stocking stuffers. Here’s the front of the box:

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…and here’s the back:

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A paper pull-tab opens up the box and you get to see the Apple Polishing Cloth in all its glory:

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Inside is a card that explains the cloth is “safe for use on all Apple displays and surfaces.”

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The cloth itself feels like the synthetic Alcantara interior you find inside some cars today. The cloth is actually two pieces sealed together. You can pinch and pull apart to reveal a hollow interior. It sort of resembles a square whoopee cushion, but without fart sounds. The only sounds you’ll hear are the tears from your bank account after dropping $25 on a cloth.

You do get a nice Apple logo embossed in the lower corner, which is worth $25 at least:

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Here’s the back side of the cloth:

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Trying out the Apple Polishing Cloth for the first time

I’ll be the first to admit I never clean the screens of my devices, especially my M1 MacBook Air, as it’s connected to an external monitor most of the time. So I proceeded to clean half of the display with the Apple Polishing Cloth and some 70% isopropyl alcohol as there were some tough stains. Apple Polishing Cloth seemed to be able to make it an easy process (one should never let their display get this disgusting):

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I then tested cleaning half the display of an older MacBook Air with the Apple Polishing Cloth and the other half with the $0.79 AmazonBasics microfibre cloth. Alcohol was used on both sides and we tried to use an equal amount of strokes and wipes.

The conclusion? We couldn’t tell which cloth was better, as both performed the same. The screen was equally clean using both, but the Apple Polishing Cloth is smaller and easier to hold. It picked up a lot of dust and grime easily but quickly ran out of cloth real estate to store it. So subsequent wipes needed to either shake the cloth out before wiping. Or you get dust onto your next glass surface.

But with the larger AmazonBasics cloth, it’s larger and also double-sided, with a huge surface area for you to clean devices and anything else with. It doesn’t feel as sexy using the AmazonBasics cloth.

You feel like tossing the Amazon cloth into the trash after using it a few times, while with the Apple Polishing Cloth you want to handle it with care, like a baby (my precious). The Apple Polishing Cloth is also small enough to take with you anywhere.


The Apple Polishing Cloth looks cool and does a good job of cleaning displays and Apple products. Cleaning your electronics is now cool again, thanks Tim. But there’s an “Apple tax” attached to it and the surface area is quite small compared to larger cloths. Once covered in dust it needs to be cleaned or dirt transfers to devices you’re cleaning.

Only buy if you need a pick-me-up in life and want to kick off 2022 with a bang. It may be the best $25 you’ll ever spend? Otherwise, stick to AmazonBasics, as you can get 24 cloths for less than one Apple Polishing Cloth, plus change to spare (for the bus ride home from the Apple Store).

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