Apple Released a $19 Polishing Cloth, and It’s Selling Out Fast

Polishing cloth Credit: Apple
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Following the unveiling of its powerful new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro lineup, Apple quietly added an official Apple-branded $19 Polishing Cloth to its online store, and it’s surprisingly been selling like hotcakes.

When the new cloth appeared on the Apple Store, many pundits were quickly dismissive of the idea of paying $19 for a cloth just because it had the Apple logo on it. After all, you can buy a 50-pack of microfiber cloths from Amazon for less.

The assumption on the part of the peanut gallery is that this is another example of Apple charging far too much for a product just because it had the iconic Apple logo on it. Many expressed disbelief that anybody would pay this much for a mere cleaning cloth, but it turns out there’s a lot of people who will.

As of today, the Polishing Cloth, which is available exclusively from Apple’s online store and not at retail locations, is showing shipping dates of 10–12 weeks, so if you were hoping to buy one as a stocking stuffer for Christmas this year, you could be out of luck. There’s a slim chance you could get one by December 20th, but most locations show delivery dates into early 2022.

To be fair, we don’t really know how many of these polishing cloths Apple made, and it’s difficult to gauge demand without understanding supply. However, it’s also reasonable to assume that polishing cloths will not be affected by global chip shortages and many of the other supply chain problems Apple has encountered lately. So there’s no reason to believe a company the size of Apple can’t crank out massive quantities of a product like this.

Who Is Apple’s Polishing Cloth For?

While a $19 Polishing Cloth may sound ridiculous, it’s important to keep in mind that some of Apple’s newest displays feature a nano-texture glass coating. This includes not only the Pro Display XDR but also last year’s 27-inch iMac, where it’s available as a $500 upgrade option.

The nano-texture glass is designed to provide an extremely anti-reflective surface, allowing for optimal viewing under just about any lighting conditions. But unfortunately, it also requires an extra level of care when cleaning.

In fact, this is so serious that Apple includes a polishing cloth with the Pro Display XDR and the 27-inch iMac, along with a special support article on how to clean the display.

This means that the Polishing Cloth on the Apple Store probably isn’t even a new product. Most likely, Apple simply took the cloth that it was already bundling with its nano-texture displays and packaged it to be sold on its own.

Previously, Apple offered replacement cloths for Pro Display XDR and 27-inch iMac owners, but these had to be obtained by contacting Apple Support directly. This provides an easier method for these users, and frankly, if you’re already paying $5,000 for an Apple Pro Display XDR, or even $500 to jump to the nano-texture display on your 27-inch iMac, you’re probably not too concerned about the price of a special polishing cloth.

To be clear, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks Pros don’t use a nano-texture glass, so they don’t require such careful and meticulous cleaning with a special cloth. In fact, even Apple says that any soft, lint-free cloth will do.

Nonetheless, it’s positioning the new Polishing Cloth as the best way to clean any Apple display, thanks to its soft, non-abrasive material. Still, unless you really want an Apple-branded Polishing Cloth, or you’re looking for a gift for the Apple fan in your life, you can do just as well with almost any microfiber cleaning cloth by simply following Apple’s basic cleaning and care instructions.

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