How to Clean a Laptop Screen. Everything You Need to Know

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how to clean a laptop screen
If you’re reading this article, it’s very probable you’re already having a problem with your filthy laptop. The good news is that today’s “how to” also works for TV owners, i.e. the same theory/practice goes to laptops and TV sets, as both are LCD screens (the vast majority of them anyway). So, what you have here is a “two for the price of one” kind of a deal.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning a Laptop Screen

Life in plastic is fantastic

And here’s the deal: an LCD screen, as well as an OLED, is protected by a plastic sheath. Plastic has the bad habit of attracting dust particles, and it’s also an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. The point being, whether we’re talking how to clean a laptop or a TV screen, the same principle applies: you’ll have to get rid of invisible bacteria and microbes, dust and, who knows, maybe ancient food stains and spit, that provided you enjoy yelling at your screen when playing games and watching movies or football.

Avoid Scratching Your Screen

To begin with, you must keep in mind that the best way to clean a laptop screen is to avoid scratching it in the first place. The thing is, plastic scratches easily and forever, and laptop screens are particularly sensible, as they don’t benefit from the same glass protection old CRT monitors used to have back in the day.

So, ideally speaking, the first step is to avoid damaging your laptop screen when trying to clean it, i.e., never use window cleaner or glass cleaner on your laptop or TV set. Any harsh products are to be avoided like the plague. It’s true that some high-end laptops, like MacBooks for example, use an oleophobic coating to protect the display, but even that coating can be damaged by alcohol-based cleaners, so check that out before you go-go.

What is the best stuff to clean your display and why is it isopropyl?

If you’re looking to kill off germs, as in if you’re obsessed about that (though you shouldn’t really), you can go for isopropyl cleaner on non-oleophobic screens, such as touchscreen displays, which are prone to getting dirty due to heavy use. This substance is an alcohol-based solvent, yet it’s pretty mild and widely used for its antiviral/antibacterial properties.

The best way to clean a touchscreen Windows-10 laptop is to dilute isopropyl down to 60 percent (it usually comes at 99 percent) with purified water. Basically, you will add one-part purified water and two parts isopropyl 99% in a recipient, and voila, you’ll end up with 60 percent (give or take) isopropyl, which is great for cleaning touchscreens.

Remember to not spray isopropyl directly on the screen, even if we’re talking about big-screen laptops; the right way is to spray/dab diluted isopropyl on a microfiber cloth, and then use it to gently wipe the laptop screen in circular motions, and then from one end to the other. Just dampen the cloth with isopropyl, don’t drench it, okay?

Beside laptop screens, you can actually use diluted isopropyl for cleaning/disinfecting any other surface, that’s a cool life-hack, and remember where you read it first. Now, isopropyl is great for non-oleophobic screens, and it’s also pretty cheap, but this is not a panacea to solve all your germ-infestation high-tech issues. The problem with isopropyl is that it’s somewhat lacking in certain properties dedicated screen cleaners have.

Shop for a high-quality dedicated screen cleaner solution

And by that we mostly mean anti-static and anti-streak properties. The point being, if you’re using isopropyl to clean a filthy display, it would be ideal to use a dedicated screen-cleaner solution to finish the job. There are plenty laptop screen cleaners out there, and probably most of them work great, and have similar features, offering anti-static properties, and being biodegradable. The anti-static thing means that your laptop screen will not be a magnet for dust once it’s treated with a solution like Whoosh! or Ecomoist, i.e., it will stay cleaner for longer.

Maintenance tips

You probably already know, but we will tell you anyway: before starting the cleaning process, always turn off your display and allow it a couple of minutes to cool off; if you’re the clumsy type, as in you have a history with spilling stuff, play it safe and disconnect the laptop from the power cord and remove the battery.

Doing so will eliminate the risk of totaling your laptop if you spill cleaning solution all over it by mistake.

Be gentle

As we already told you, TV and laptop screens are delicate, and you don’t want them damaged, especially if you’re making money with your high-end work-laptop, so remember to employ a gentle touch at all times, because yes, cleaning an LCD screen is a delicate procedure.

Also remember that if you want the best for your screen, go for a high-quality microfiber cloth, and stay away from paper towels or rags, which may damage your screen. It may sound like obvious, but RTFM, okay? As in, if you’re not sure, always read the instruction manual and see what the manufacturer recommends for your laptop. Never, like ever, apply cleaning product directly on the display, alright?

Use Microfiber Cloth and/or a soft sponge

Here’s a short tutorial about what type of gear to use to avoid inflicting damage to your laptop or TV: for dust, the best thing to use is microfiber cloth. If you wear glasses, you already know that, right? The thing about microfiber is that it’s specifically designed to remove debris and dust without scratching surfaces and without producing lint.

For grime and dirt, you can first use a damp sponge, but only if the laptop screen is exceptionally filthy and the microfiber cloth is not enough to get the job done. Always use a brand-new household sponge damped in deionized or distilled water, and after you get rid of the filth using the sponge, you may proceed with the microfiber cloth and finish the job.

For oils and sticky stuff, we would definitely recommend to use safe screen spray only, and always go for a high-quality microfiber cloth.

Big Don’ts

Here’s a list of substances that must be avoided like the plague if you want to keep your laptop screen alive and well: Acetone, Ammonia, Ethyl acid, Ethyl alcohol, Methyl alcohol, Methyl chloride, Surface cleaners, Toluene, Window cleaners and basically any corrosive substance.

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