How to clean your laptop screen

How to clean your laptop screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Learn how to clean a laptop screen with this guide. Your window to the digital world is crucial to your computing experience. But it also has a habit of attracting all sorts of dirt and dust, whether that’s from food stains like errant spaghetti sauce splatter to imperceptible bacteria and particles.

It’s even more important that you know how to clean a laptop screen properly because the coronavirus that’s plunged the world into a pandemic has been found to survive on certain surfaces for several days.

While the glass screens of older CRT displays had an extra layer of protection, newer LCD laptop screens do not. That means you want to avoid using harsh products like glass cleaner or window cleaner to clean a laptop screen.

While some screens, like certain MacBook displays and touchscreens, come with an oleophobic layer, which offers some protection against fingerprints and smudges, you can wear that layer off if you use alcohol-based cleaners.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You can use 99% isopropyl, but if you’re feeling cautious about it being too strong, you can just as well use 75% or gentler stuff instead. In fact, isopropyl diluted down as far as 60% with purified water can even be more effective than 99.9% isopropyl, because the water makes the solution better at permeating microorganism cell walls and slows the solvent’s evaporation time, increasing the time it spends in contact with the microorganism.

Do not spray your screen cleaner directly onto your laptop screen. Instead, spray or dab the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth, then from there gently wipe it onto your laptop screen in small circular motions or from one end to the other. Do not drench your cloth in the cleaning solution, just dampen it.

(Image credit: Future)

As we’ll cover in other tech-cleaning guides, isopropyl can be used on just about any surface you may want to disinfect.

Isopropyl is an effective germ-killer, but doesn’t have any anti-static or specifically anti-streak properties that dedicated screen cleaners contain. So after (or instead of) wiping your laptop screen with isopropyl, you should use a non-alcoholic screen cleaner to finish the job.

Gently rub the cloth around your laptop screen, making sure you do not press down too hard.

Ecomoist and WHOOSH! are two of the more popular laptop screen cleaners, though there’ll be plenty of similar ones out there that probably work just as well. They’re alcohol-free, biodegradable, and their anti-static formulation will keep those dust particles off your screen for a bit longer. 

We also think it’s a nice touch that Ecomoist bottles are designed to be refilled, and you can actually buy refills directly from Ecomoist so that you’re using the same spray bottle over and over again. 

Robert Zak

Robert Zak is a freelance writer for Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, TechRadar and more. He writes in print and digital publishing, specialising in video games. He has previous experience as editor and writer for tech sites/publications including AndroidPIT and ComputerActive! Magazine.