Laptop screens often get dirty in various ways. The most common way is when dust sits on them, perhaps after staying open for a long time. They also get smudged when they are constantly touched, and when closed, the keyboard may also transfer dirt and oil smudges onto them.
Furthermore, if you have a touchscreen laptop, you will notice that your fingertips are your own worst enemy when it comes to smudging the screen. This is very common with laptops that have a bigger screen.
This is why it is so important to clean laptop screens regularly. This is the only way to get rid of all the dirt and smudges. It also helps to maintain the screen’s vivid color definition. This article will elaborate in detail how to go about cleaning laptop screens without damaging them.
1. Removing dust with a microfiber cloth
Microfiber cloths are not new to camera lovers and people who wear glasses. They are specially made pieces of cloth that are used to clean delicate surfaces that could otherwise get damaged when cleaned with a different material. Microfiber is the best method of cleaning eyeglasses and camera lenses because it is designed solely to clean debris or dust from surfaces without leaving lint and scratching sensitive surfaces. And this is the reason why when it comes to cleaning laptop screens, microfiber cloths are the best choice.
Make sure to take the screen type into consideration when choosing a laptop, because if you choose a shiny screen, you will have to clean that more than a dimmer screen.
Using other pieces of cloth and other materials is not appropriate for one simple reason: they leave their own detritus behind as you use them. This means that as the pieces of the material fall off as you clean, it further dirties the screen surface or even scratches it. It is for this reason that using tissue papers, paper towels, and random pieces of cloth to clean laptop screens is a bad idea.
How to clean your laptop screen with a microfiber cloth:
- Step 1: Get a microfiber cloth, specially made for cleaning lens and glasses.
- Step 2: Switch off your laptop display so that you can see dust clearly. It is safer to work with a machine that is completely off the power.
- Step 3: Wipe in a single direction while pressing gently on the screen. Wiping in circles and scrubbing the screen could easily damage the laptop. Such movements are also not effective because they tend to move the dust around the screen and not off it. Also note that dust is often attracted by static energy, wiping across will effectively remove them as compared to scrubbing which will increase the static energy.
- Step 4: Continue cleaning across your laptop’s display until it is rid of all dust.
2. Using damp sponges to remove grime
Apart from dust, laptop screens will also develop dirt and grime. These two are hard to clean with a microfiber cloth, and if you try to do so, you’ll only end up dirtying your cloth. However, grime and dirt will come off well when you use a damp sponge.
The damp sponges you use should be brand new. They could be household sponges, deionized or distilled in water. In this case, filtered water could also work perfectly. You should avoid regular tap water because it could leave marks on your laptop’s display.
Here is how to clean your laptop screen with a damp sponge and water:
- Step 1: Switch off your laptop. If it’s plugged directly to the power source, unplug it. You can also remove your laptop’s battery if possible.
- Step 2: Wet your sponge with deionized or distilled water then wring it properly. Dripping water could damage your laptop once it gets inside it.
- Step 3: Identify dirty areas on your laptop then gently wipe them clean. Again, watch for dripping water, and if you find any, wipe them immediately.
- Step 4: Once you are done cleaning the screen, wait for it to dry completely before you can close the lid or use the machine.
3. Using bottled cleaning solutions
This method is what you should use when both the cloth and the sponge fail to work. It is simply the use of screen-cleaning solutions. These solutions can be found in different specialty stores and they come with a lint-free cloth.
When you are using a bottled solution, make sure you use it very carefully. Although a large percent of these liquids are alcohol, which dry up very quickly, it can still affect the health of your laptop.
You can also make a DIY version at home by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and distilled or deionized water. White vinegar is great for general cleaning and stain removal because it does not leave any colorization behind. Isopropyl alcohol could also be used in place of vinegar. Refrain from using glass-cleaning fluids.
This is how you clean a laptop screen with a cleaning solution:
- Step 1: Completely shut down the laptop, make sure it is unplugged from the socket. Remove its battery if you can. It is safer this way.
- Step 2: Apply or spray your cleaning solution onto a lint-free cloth. Make sure it is damp enough to do the job. It should not be too wet.
- Step 3: Identify the affected area then gently rub them in small circles avoiding streaks. Do not use too much force as you could damage your screen’s display.
- Step 4: Repeat this action where necessary, careful not to drip the cleaning fluid on the display and keyboard.
- Step 5: When done, wait for the screen to completely dry out before closing it or powering up the laptop.
Important things to note
Here are a few important things to note as you handle your laptop:
- Some of the dirt and stains you find on the screen often comes from the keyboard. These stains can be very hard to clean sometimes. To prevent stains from forming on your screen, consider placing a lint-free piece of clothing between the screen and the keyboard. Paper towels or tissue papers are made with wood fiber; they will easily scratch your LCD screen even when they are recycled, so avoid using them.
- Lint-free screen cleaners can also be used to wipe the rest of the laptop. They can easily be found in office-supply stores.
- Cleaners with ammonia or alcohol in them, like Windex, will damage your laptop’s screen. You should avoid using them at all costs.
- Cleaners are meant to be applied on a soft medium first before you clean your laptop. Do not squirt them directly as they could also damage the laptop.
- Never put the moist fabric in any of the laptop’s ports.
- Things to totally avoid include all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and dish soap or any other type of soap.
- Consider including cleaning your laptop in your house cleaning routine. You don’t have to do a thorough job; you can do light dusting with your microfiber cloth. This will prevent dust from accumulating and eventually making its way into your laptop.
After you are done with the cleaning, make sure the laptop is working properly. If the laptop is plugged in, but not charging, then something could have malfunctioned, which needs a repair.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Laptop Screens
There are a few questions coming up on the internet about cleaning your laptop screen. We have gone ahead, compiled a list of the most popular questions and answered them here for you!
What is the best way to clean a laptop screen?
The best way to clean you laptop screen is either with a cotton ball or a microfiber cloth.
First, turn off your laptop, then apply some 90%-100% isopropyl alcohol on the cotton ball or the microfiber cloth and gently run it across the screen in a horizontal motion, back and forth. If there is tough dirt on the screen, apply water on the microfiber cloth (just dampen it) and do the same motion.
What can I use to clean my laptop?
To clean your laptop screen, you can either use a cotton ball or a microfiber cloth. Don't use regular cloth or paper towels as these can scratch the surface of the screen.
Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my laptop screen?
We wouldn't recommend using alcohol wipes, as those are usually contain oils and gels which might make the cleaning harder.
Can you use Windex on a laptop screen?
No, we don't recommend using Windex on your laptop screen as it can damage it.
Can I use lens cleaner on my laptop screen?
No, don't use lens cleaner on the laptop screen as it doesn't evaporate as fast, and it makes your cleaning effort harder.
Can I use Clorox wipes on my laptop screen?
No, we don't recommend doing that, as it can damage the screen, just like Windex Wipes.
How do you clean a laptop screen without damaging it?
You have to pay attention to several things: Make sure you don't use paper towels or regular cloth as these are too hard for the delicate screen of your laptop.
Make sure you don't use regular water. Don't press too hard on the screen when cleaning it.
Can I use water to clean laptop screen?
No, you shouldn't ever use water to clean any parts of your laptop, since it can damage the screen and the internal electronics of the laptop if it manages to get inside it.
Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my laptop?
No, we don't recommend using hand sanitizers on your laptop as these usually come in two forms: soap and gel, which neither are a good thing to apply to your laptop screen.
How do I clean a touch screen laptop screen?
You can clean a touch screen laptop screen, just as you would a normal laptop screen, with a microfiber cloth. You will have to make sure the computer is turned off, since you don't want to accidentally click on anything in your operating system!
How do I clean my HP laptop screen?
You can clean a HP laptop screen, like any laptop screen, HP laptops don't have different screens. Just use a microfiber cloth and some isopropyl alcohol and that should do the magic!
Can I use glass cleaner on my MacBook screen?
No, we don't recommend using a glass cleaner on your MacBook screen, as it can scratch it because Laptop screens are more sensitive than regular glasses. Use a microfiber cloth an isopropyl alcohol insead!
How do I get fingerprints off my computer screen?
You can get rid of fingerprint very easily, with a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Make sure you gently press on it and don't use more than a few drops of alchol. Don't soak the microfiber cloth!
What should never be used to clean an LCD screen?
You should never use any paper towel, regular towel to clean an LCD screen. These can scrape the delicate surface of an LCD screen. Also, never use acetone, ammonia, ethyl alcohol or distilled vinegar.