How To Clean a Laptop Screen

How to clean laptop screen? We usually search the internet once we’ve had a shocking look at our laptop screen in daylight and notice the smudges and dirt all over it. 

So, how to clean laptop screen? You start by shutting down the device. Then use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the laptop clean and remove the dust accumulated on the screen. Next, spray 70% isopropyl alcohol onto the microfiber cloth, or you can also use an alcohol-based wet wipe or a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe to clean the laptop screen and remove fingerprints and smudges. Do not use bleach. 

That sums up your most basic laptop screen cleaning. But there is a whole cleaning regimen that you must follow to properly clean laptop screen and make it look as good as new. Let’s get started on cleaning your computer screen as quickly as possible.

How to Clean Laptop Screen: Step by Step

Laptop screens come in various shapes and sizes, and your cleaning method will depend on the one you have. The active chemicals in cleaning solutions might impair the display of delicate crystals or cause irreversible damage to your screen in the form of spots and scratches if you don’t clean it carefully. 

So, we think it is best to give you a few pointers before we begin the step-by-step process guiding you on how to clean laptop screen. 

Important Tip On How To Clean Laptop Screen 

  • Never wipe a computer or display when it is actively running. You need to shut it down first.  
  • When cleaning around ports and connectors, be careful not to use too much liquid. 
  • Do not use anything harsh or abrasive while cleaning, and always use a microfiber cloth.  
  • You must steer clear of directly spraying the cleaner on the screen. Instead, spray the cleaner on the microfiber cloth first and then wipe the screen. 
  • If you’re unsure about the type of screen you have, see the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations in the user manual or the official website. 
  • When wiping the screen, don’t use firm pressure. This is likely to cause harm to the screen’s internal components, as well as scratches, discoloration, or dead pixels that remain after cleaning.
  • Your keyboard and mouse’s surface could be the breeding ground for germs and also dust; wiping them down when cleaning laptop screen isn’t a bad idea.  

Supplies Needed

Sometimes the choice boils down to whether or not there is glass on the laptop display: This is generally the case with Mac users, although a glass cover may not protect PC LCD panels. There are a variety of supplies you’ll need for laptop screens, including those using LED/LCD technology, as well as those that are glass-coated.

Supplies needed for a standard screen:

  • Two microfiber cloths for wet and dry cleaning, respectively
  • A non-abrasive cleaning solution 

Supplies needed for an LED/LCD screen:

  • If you have a matte or touchscreen display, you may want to visit your manufacturer’s website to see what cleaning products are suitable for your display type. 
  • You can prepare your own cleaning solution using white vinegar and water (in equal parts) if you don’t want to purchase a dedicated cleaner for your screen.

Supplies needed for glass-coated screen:

If your computer screen is glass-coated, you have a few additional cleaning alternatives, but you should exercise caution still. You can go with one of the options above, but you can also go with the following: 

  • Windex/Clorox disinfectant
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol

Substances To Avoid

There are so many laptop manufacturers, and they all promote different solutions. Although products like Clorox disinfecting wipes are safe to use on Apple products if used carefully, the company updated its advice for customers in 2020 during the pandemic. It clarified that specific devices, like the Apple Pro Display XDR, might have their own instructions separate from the general guidance.

But still, we recommend steering clear of the following:

  • Never use a fabric that feels coarse to the touch. Always go for a microfibre cloth.
  • Avoid anything that contains bleach. 
  • Never use solvents, aerosol spray, or abrasives (this implies that you should resist the urge to go for the Windex under your sink.)
  • As a general rule, avoid these substances at all costs: Acetone, Ammonia, Ethyl acid, Ethyl alcohol, Methyl alcohol, Methyl chloride, Surface cleaners, Toluene, Window cleaners, or any other corrosive substance.

Preventative Steps To Keep Your Screen Clean Longer

Try to keep the laptop screen clean once you’ve done some work on it. Your keyboard is a significant factor in the frequency with which your screen becomes filthy. When you shut your laptop, dust and dead skin cells from your fingertips end up on the keyboard and the screen. 

Preventing dirt and filth from being transferred is as simple as closing your laptop and placing a small microfiber towel on top of the keyboard. 

Since laptops generate a tiny electrical charge while not in use, they tend to accumulate extra dust than other objects in your home or workplace. 

Always store your laptop in a zipped laptop bag or plastic wrap while not in use for a prolonged period. If your laptop is kept out in the open, dust and filth will accumulate quickly. When not in use, place your laptop in a case or bag to keep dust from the internal components.

How to Clean Laptop Screen: Mac vs PC

Cleaning a Mac screen vs. a PC screen has various concerns. There are numerous computer and monitor types to choose from, but in general, screens either are backlit LED with LCD (liquid-crystal display) pixels or a glass-coated surface without LCD pixels. 

Also, some of the newest matte glass screens use nano-texture glass, which requires a specialized cleaning cloth bundled by the manufacturer and should be cleaned only with water. 

While cleaning chemicals can harm LCD panels, LCD screens are common on PC laptops and stand-alone computer monitors, making various convenient cleaning solutions readily available. While cleaning them isn’t tricky, one must practice caution and diligence to avoid damaging the surface or LED components. 

Ammonia-based cleaners will leave a film behind. The usage of soap and water might have negative consequences. It’s best to use an LCD cleaner devoid of alcohol, ammonia, and acetone for cleaning an LCD panel. Still, if you’re looking for a homemade fix, a microfiber cloth sprinkled with a vinegar-and-distilled-water solution will work just as well. 

Compared to LCD devices, most Mac screens have a glass coating, making cleaning and removing streaks easier with glass cleaners like Windex or an alcohol-sprayed cloth. The Apple Pro Display XDR and iMac both have nano-texture glass displays that must be wiped using a specific cloth provided by Apple.

How to Clean Laptop Screen: Non-LCD Screen

Here are the steps that you should follow when cleaning a non LCD screen. 

  • Remove the plug from your laptop and turn it off.
  • To begin, wipe the screen clean with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any dust.
  • Use 70% isopropyl alcohol on a cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges off nonporous surfaces like the screen; do not use bleach. You may also use a wet alcohol wipe or a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe.
  • Do not exert pressure on the screen. Wipe the screen lightly.
  • Be cautious not to allow the wipe or cloth to soak up any moisture while wiping or cleaning the glass surface and edges.
  • Dry the screen by letting it air dry.
  • A microfiber cloth can be used to rub away any last-minute smudges.

How to Clean Laptop Screen: LCD/LED Screen

Here are the steps that you should follow when cleaning an LED/LCD screen.

  • Unplug and turn off your laptop.
  • Using a dry microfiber towel, wipe away any stray dust.
  • To remove dust and fingerprints off the screen, spray the dust-free surface of your microfiber cloth with an LCD cleaning spray. You may also use a homemade solution of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.
  • Clean the laptop screen, but don’t get any water on the borders.
  • To dry the screen, let it out in the sunlight-filled corner of your home to air dry.
  • You may use a dry microfiber cloth’s edge to brush away any stray smudges.

How to Clean Laptop Screen: Touch Screen

Touchscreen laptops are useful contemporary devices, but they get dirty after a while due to constant usage. A buildup of filth and dust on your touchscreen laptop might make it unusable to a certain degree as it won’t register a touch. Maintaining your touchscreen’s cleanliness and functionality is simple. Follow the process below. 

  • Before cleaning your touchscreen laptop, make sure it is completely off and unplugged from the power source. This will protect your gadget from overheating during cleaning while also reducing any potential electrical hazards. 
  • Dust can be removed using a microfiber cloth. Swipe a microfiber cloth from side to side across your touchscreen to fully clean laptop screen. Then use your fingertip to press some cloth into any gaps so that you can wipe all around it.
  • To quickly remove fingerprints smudges, gently push down on the affected area. However, extreme pressure might harm your LCD’s crystals, so use caution while handling it. 
  • To get rid of greasy smudges and fingerprints, use a soft cloth and wipe your screen in tiny circular strokes. Avoid getting cleaner on your touchscreen laptop screen and spray it on the microfiber cloth first.  
  • Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the moisture from your screen. This will reduce staining, and any remaining moisture will dry as a result. 
  • Finally, leave the laptop to air dry at room temperature. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we have explained different ways to clean laptop screens let us answer some related questions about how to clean laptop screen. 

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my laptop screen?

Don’t use any alcoholic cleaner on your laptop’s screen. Alcohol was formerly an alternative for cleaning screens, but modern displays contain coatings incompatible with alcohol, ammonia, or acetone-based cleansers. In other words: no rubbing Alcohol, ISOPropanol, Nail Paint Remover, or Skoal Vodka.

Can I clean laptop screen with sanitizer?

No, you cannot use sanitizer as it contains a high percentage of alcohol. You can use it to wipe your keyboard but never the screen. 

Is it safe to use wipes on laptop screen?

Disinfecting wipes can harm LCD screens in laptops because of active chemicals present in Clorox and Lysol wipes, according to manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard. But to be on the safer side, you can use special screen cleaning wipes by brands like 3M. 

Conclusion 

It’s better to practice caution while understanding how to clean laptop screen. Your laptop costs a lot of money, which is why you can make a minimal investment in their upkeep and maintenance. Purchasing a microfiber cloth and cleaning solution package for your laptop and keeping them on your desk may cost you a few dollars, but replacing a damaged laptop screen as a result of negligent cleaning would be far more expensive.

We hope our guide helps you learn the best ways to clean laptop screen at home and use the right products to do so. Let us know in the comments. 

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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