What to Use to Clean Laptop/Computer Screen?

Microfiber cloth laptop cleaning (Source: Amazon)

Cleaning equipment and electronics around your home office are pretty easier with the use of general cleaners like soap, index, and other commercial cleaners.

But, knowing what to use to clean a Laptop screen is essential to keep your screen protected during clean-up as it is very delicate.

Users can clean glass-protected Laptops and Computer screens using household products like isopropyl alcohol, baking soda, white vinegar, etc., and commercial cleaners like disinfecting wipes, eyeglass cleaner, etc. Meanwhile, we can clean LCD Laptops and Computer screens using distilled water or specific LCD cleaners.

Cleaning Laptop screen
Cleaning Laptop screen (Source: Pexels)

Not every General-purpose commercial cleaners are suitable for your Laptop screen as it is very sensitive.

Harsh chemicals present in them might damage your screen’s outer coating layer.

Read on to find out what to use to clean Laptop and Computer screens with details of suitable household and commercial products along with safe equipment for cleaning.

What to Know Before Cleaning Laptop/Computer Screens?

Before you clean your Laptop or Monitor screens with household products, you first need to know the screen types and their sensitivity.

Glass-covered LCD screens are more resistant and can even tolerate some moisture levels. Meanwhile, non-glass-covered LCD screens need extra care for cleaning.

Let’s break it down to the screen types and their cleaning needs for detailed information.

1. Glass Protected Screens

Glass-protected screens like Mac Laptops are more resistant to cleaning products and can be cleaned using products with less percentage of alcohol.

However, it should be noted that abrasive cleaning equipment should not be used as the glass can be scratched.

Laptop on charge
Mac Laptop on charge (Source: Unsplash)

2. LCD Screens

LCD screens are present in most touch screen Laptops and Monitors.

They are very sensitive to chemicals present in general cleaning solutions and require delicate care when cleaning.

LCD screens are easily damaged, and the use of chemicals removes their glare-protecting layer. They can easily stain and cloud too.

3. LED Screens

LED touchscreens are very sensitive and require extra care while cleaning.

They have an oleophobic coating that can be removed from oils in cleaning components.

Moreover, since LED screens do not have outer protection layer like glass, liquids can easily damage the screen.

What to Use to Clean Laptop/Computer Screen?

When we think about cleaning the Laptop and Monitors, we consider keeping its exterior dust-free.

However, the Laptop screens need attention, too, as dust, dirt, and germs can build up on the screen.

The dusty layer or smudge marks can be quite distracting while using your Laptop or Computer.

Moreover, keeping your appliances germs-free has been more of a concern since the beginning of the SARS- CoV-2 pandemic.

Safe Household Products to Clean Laptop/Computer Screens

You should be extra careful while using any products on your Laptop or Computer screen as they can be easily damaged when the wrong chemicals come in contact with it.

If you prefer to stick to household products to clean your screen, you should know which products work well with screen cleaning.

1. Isopropyl Alcohol

Dilute the Isopropyl alcohol using 50% distilled water and 50% Isopropyl alcohol. This formula works for glass-protected screens like Mac screens.

Mix the solution and pour in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on a microfibre cloth and wipe down your screen.

Do not use rubbing alcohol instead of Isopropyl alcohol as it may contain perfume oils.

Oils do not dry up quickly, so they can get inside your Laptop or Computer through cracks and damage your screen.

In addition, you should never use alcohol to clean your LCD screen. Diluted isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean LED screens.

what to use to clean laptop screen
Isopropyl alcohol (Source: Amazon)

2. White Vinegar

White vinegar is acidic, so it can only be used in diluted amounts on glass-protected screens.

Mix one part each of Distilled water and Distilled white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray on a microfiber cloth.

Wipe down your screen with the wet cloth.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda has a mild abrasive that rubs away minor scratches without damaging the surrounding plastic.

Combine two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of water to form a paste.

Use a microfiber cloth to gently apply the paste to any spots on the screen. Take another piece of microfiber cloth to wipe the paste away.

Baking Soda
Baking Soda (Source: Amazon)

This works for glass-protected screens but is not recommended for LCD screens as they are very sensitive.

However, before applying this repair to big areas, test it on a tiny area.

Safe Commercial Products to Clean Laptop/Computer Screens

We use cleaning products like Lysol, rubbing alcohol, and other disinfectants to clean most of our furniture and equipment.

So, what to use to clean the Laptop or Computer screen?

Commercial products like cleaners can also be used to clean your Laptop screen. However, you must only use these products if you have a glass-protected screen.

1. Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes like Lysol wipes are safe on electronics like Apple Laptops with glass protection.

Apple Support says it is safe to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, and Clorox wipes on Apple products with gentle use.

what to use to clean laptop screen
Disinfecting wipes (Source: Unsplash)

Disinfecting alcohol wipes cannot be used on the LCD screens as the chemical components in them can remove the anti-glare layer and damage the anti-reflective coating on them and potentially leave marks on the LCD screen.

Baby wipes or any facial wipes should not be used for LCD screen cleaning as they may contain alcohol and even oils. Oil can cloud your  LCD screen permanently.

Oils in baby wipes can also remove the oleophobic coating on touch screen LED screens used to repel oils.

2. Cleaning Solutions

You can only use cleaning solutions like Windex with a glass Laptop screen. Use a microfiber cloth to clean with Windex sprayed on it.

Other cleaning solutions for glass-protected screen cleaning are Cinch Glass Cleaner, Colin, etc.

Windex and other cleaning solutions are made for cleaning glass and may contain ammonia and alcohol, harmful to the screen.

Bryson Screen Cleaner, WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner and other specially formulated products can be used to clean LED and LCD screens.

3. Eyeglasses Cleaner

Most eyeglass cleaners are safe to use on glass surfaces, making them suitable for use while cleaning glass-protected surfaces.

However, this would not be a good choice for LCD screens due to their chemical composition.

Equipment for Cleaning Laptop/Computer Screen

Equipment for cleaning Laptop or Computer screens should be non-abrasive and delicate.

Microfiber cloth, non-abrasive sponge, dusters can be used to clean your Computer screens routinely.

1. Microfiber Cloth

You can use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your glass-protected LCD and LED Computer screens to remove layers of dust.

They have more surface area, which traps dust, dirt, and germs from your Laptop or Computer screen.

A polishing cloth is handy for Apple Pro Display XDR, with Nano-texture glass screens. You can only use the polishing cloth by Apple to clean them.

The nano texture is etched on this special glass for its enhanced contrast display, which is very sensitive and can be easily damaged by using other cloths to clean it.

However, you can use other polishing cloths for general Laptops and Computer screens.

Microfiber clothsFeatures
Progo Microfiber Cleaning ClothsRemoves dirt, grease, dust and grime
Reusable
Camkix Cleaning Cloth Compact carry case
Wipe away dirt and smudges
Antistatic
Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning ClothsSoft non abrasive surface
streak-free and lint-free
Very absorbant
Buff Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber ClothsSoft cloth
Non abrasive
Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning ClothsLint free
Cleaning for glass surfaces

2. Non-abrasive Sponge

The smooth surface of non-abrasive sponges ensures that your screen is not scratched while cleaning.

An abrasive sponge made of plastic is too harsh on the delicate Laptop screen. The non-abrasive sponge can be used for cleaning all kinds of screens.

3. Duster

Feather dusters can scratch your screen as they can leave behind feather particles that can be abrasive on the screen when rubbed.

However, dusters like Swiffer 360 Dusters are soft enough to lightly dust the screen and screen edges.

what to use to clean laptop screen
Duster (Source: Amazon)

Equipment to Avoid While Cleaning Laptop/Computer Screen

Not all cleaning equipment you can use on other Computer parts like casing and hardware is suitable for screen cleaning.
  • Using pieces of cloth to wipe the screen can lead to scratching due to lint and pieces of cloth residue left behind.
  • Paper towels and newspapers are too coarse for your screen and can scratch them easily. It can also damage the antiglare coating on the screen.
  • Toothbrushes have abrasive bristles, which can leave scratch marks on the screen.
  • Never use cloths with polyester composition while cleaning screens. Polyester contains abrasive filaments which can scratch your delicate Laptop or Computer screen.
  • Never use normal clothes to clean the LED touch screens. Lint from the cloth residue can interfere with the touch command.

Products to Avoid for Cleaning Laptop/Computer Screens

Commercial cleaners can contain chemicals that are not suitable for cleaning your screen. Using the wrong products can harm your screen’s display and cause clouding, marks, etc.

1. Soap and Water

Soap and water should not be used to clean your non-glass-protected Laptop or Computer screens. Some soaps may contain harmful ingredients like; alcohol, benzene, ammonia, or acetone.

2. Cleaning Products

You should not use cleaning products like Windex to clean LCD screens.

These cleaning products can have ingredients like Acetone, Ethyl alcohol, Toulene, Ammonia, etc., which can damage your Laptop or Computer screen.

These solutions can corrode your screen or leave streaks that are hard to remove.

Harmful ingredientsEffect on screen
AmmoniaLeaves a glare-causing film
Propylene glycolUpper layer of screen is sensitive to its high acidity
AcetoneDissolves plastic components and glue inside the electrical parts
Ethyl AlcoholSmudges due to high acidity

3. Tap water

You should never use tap water on an LCD screen to clean them. It contains minerals that can coat and damage the screen display.

It can also have strong chemicals which are harmful to your screen. You need to use deionized or distilled water to clean.

4. Bleach

Bleach can leave stains on your Computer or Laptop screen, which is irreversible damage. The plastic layer of the LCD screen can easily react with components in bleach and become cloudy.

Avoid using bleach to clean your Apple products as well.

5. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers have higher percentages of alcohol with glycerin which dries up very fast when applied on screens which can damage the LCD and LED screens.

They can not be used on glass-protected screens like Apple products as well. It is not the recommended method for screen disinfection.

Tips to Clean Laptop/Computer Screens

  • Turn off your Computer or Laptop before cleaning the screen.
  • Never spray cleaning agents directly on the screen as they might trickle down and reach inside the screen through edges and gaps.
  • Do not apply excess pressure on the screen as it may damage the display.
  • Read the manufacturer’s guide before cleaning electronic devices like Laptops or Computers.
  • Firstly, unplug your Laptop or Monitors before cleaning the screen and turning them off.
  • Never use excess liquids or water on your screen.
  • Allow your screen to air dry after cleaning; never use air blowers and dryers to dry them quicker.
  • Place something over your keyboard for protection against potential drips.

While on the topic, you might be interested in reading about; How to Clean PC and Laptop Without Compressed Air?

Best Laptop/Computer Screen Cleaners

There are specific products for cleaning your Laptop or Computer screens that are free of chemicals and gentle cleaners.

Refer to the table below for best-recommended products.

ProductsBest FeaturesImage
Bryson Screen Cleaner Kit-Computer
$16
Specially Formulated To Clean Fingerprints
Will Not Leave Streaks On Screens
Alcohol-Free, Ammonia-Free, And Phosphate-Free
Bryson Screen Cleaner Kit-Computer
GreatShield Universal Screen Cleaning Kit
$9.99
Soft and durable cloth
Alcohol-Free, Ammonia-Free solution

GreatShield Universal Screen Cleaning Kit
3-Pack Touch Screen Cleaner
$14
Microfiber side of the screen cleaner ball for marks.
Terry cloth side for dust, fingerprints and smudges.
Free of chemicals
3-Pack Touch Screen Cleaner
Oxo Good Grips cleaning brush
$7.99
Soft bristles
Useful for reaching the crevices
Oxo Good Grips cleaning brush
Weiman Anti-Static E-Tronic Electronic Cleaning Wipes
$7.99
Anti-static formula
Useful for LED, LCD, plasma screens
Weiman Anti-Static E-Tronic Electronic Cleaning Wipes

FAQs About Cleaning Laptop Screens

How do we Disinfect the Laptop Screen for Protection Against Coronavirus?

According to studies, SARS- CoV-2 can survive four days on grass surfaces and six days on plastic and steel surfaces.

So, it is imperative to disinfect your Laptop and Computer’s screens. But do we use sanitizers on them like we sanitize our hands?

Absolutely not! You can disinfect your Laptop or Computer screen with wipes or products made explicitly for screens and LCD screens like Screen Cleaner Spray Kit.

How do I Remove Stains and Fingerprints from the Laptop or Computer Screen?

Laptop or Computer screens can stain easily, especially if you touch them with oily or greasy fingers.

You can remove the stains and fingerprints on glass-protected screens using eyeglass cleaner or diluted commercial glass cleaners.

For LCD screens, it’s best that you use distilled water to wipe the stain. If the stain can’t be removed by water, try Screen Cleaning Kit.

Stained screen (Source: Wikimedia)

Final Verdict

Laptop or Computer screens are sensitive and require careful cleaning supplies. You should always check the composition for any cleaners before you use them on the screen.

Routine dust removal and cleaning up can make your screen look as good as new. Also, don’t forget to disinfect your screen with disinfecting wipes to be safe from covid-19.

Read about; How Often should you Clean your Computer?

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