But help is at hand. Enter the AM Pillow 4:3 Phone and Tablet cleaner in high dudgeon, well in a black and blue blister pack in fact. This interesting package offers cleansing goodness for your devices in a neat and handy package. Inside the box is a pen-sized vial of cleaning fluid with a spray top and a dual-sided cloth padded out to become a small pillow. The ratio of the pillow dimensions is in fact 4:3, which rather beggars the question in these modern times why it isn’t widescreen? What we have here is a spray cleaning fluid and a dual sided padded cloth, slightly coarse on one side and finished in microfiber the other.
The spray vial is easy enough to use and the liquid content is clear and has very little odour. It is not as volatile as some cleaners and sprayed on the back of the hand it takes a good couple of minutes to evaporate off. Given that this will almost certainly be used on a warm screen (despite the manual saying to turn off the screen and let it cool) I suspect this cleaner might offer many more seconds of cleaning effectiveness than some of the higher alcohol based cleaners.
I had to eat a whole pack of Pringles for this review to ensure I had really greasy fingers before surfing the web on an iPhone 4S and an iPad3. I spilled a drop of Guinness on the screen of each and rubbed it around to further soil the screen.
The manual suggests one or two sprays and from past experience of more volatile cleaners this is rarely enough to make the whole screen damp for long enough to remove the grease. However to my surprise the AM fluid did an admirable job with just two quick quirts on the iPad and one solid spray on the phone. The fluid remains moist long enough to engage the rougher side of the cloth for removal of sticky solids and still have time to polish the glass with the microfibre side without it drying up.
Looking into the mirror surface of the iPad made me realise just how much digit-grease one carries about on the screen under normal circumstances. The AM system had left it almost spotless with just a few swirly smears. I tried buffed these off with the microfiber cloth.
The strangely titled Pillow 4:3 cleaner from AM is pretty good and despite what looks like very little fluid in the vial it does go a long way and produces a good, and apparently bacteria free, clean. The spray bottle has a pen top to stick in your top pocket for al-fresco random cleaning tasks throughout the day and the pillow concept is as good as it is strange. The spray top can be a little fiddly and you need to concentrate on which way it is pointing. The one time I got it wrong and sprayed it straight back in my eyes I can assure it really, really, hurt. Otherwise, a great buy.
AM cleaners are available on eBay.