Never, ever clean your laptop screen or any computer display with Windex. Maybe you always leave your display open. Or perhaps you do close your laptop and oil from your fingers on the keyboard transferred onto the screen. Either way. After a while dust, food particles, and other debris collects on the display making it look filthy. There’s a right way to clean a laptop screen without damaging it. And if your laptop display has added functionality like touch capabilities, it’s not long before it becomes a blotch of fingerprints. Cleaning a laptop screen with gentle supplies is vitally important so no damage is caused to the screen.
Important Cleaning Tips
Do not use any kind of glass cleaner to your screen. Not only is it likely to leave streaks, but it can wipe away the protective film on an LCD screen.
And do not spray anything directly on the display. Droplets can seep in around the bezel and keyboard. Application of any solution should always be applied to a sponge or microfiber cloth.
STEP 1: Shut-Down Your Laptop, Completely
You don’t just want to put your laptop to Sleep. Instead, unplug it from its power source, and remove the battery before you start cleaning.
Some users don’t find this step necessary. But why be sorry if you can be cautious? Since there may be some liquid involved depending on the level of cleaning you’re doing. You want to eliminate any risk of getting a shock or other electrical damage.
Plus, a blank screen will help you see the area you’re cleaning better so you get at all the stubborn specks of dust.
STEP 2: Use a Soft Cloth
More to the point, you’re going to need a static-free, fiber-free, microfiber cloth. If you wear glasses, you most likely already know how awesome this fabric is. In addition to being very soft. It doesn’t produce lint. And it’s great at cleaning dust and debris, without leaving scratches on delicate surfaces.
You can use other materials to clean a laptop screen, who’s going to stop you? But we don’t recommend it. To clean your display the right way requires the right products. Paper products (like napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper) can leave behind their own debris, as well as small scratches that will damage your screen.
STEP 3: Start by Cleaning the Frame
Next, if the bezel framing the laptop screen appears particularly smudgy or dirty. You can use a standard household cleaning solution and paper towel to bring it back to its former luster. Just be mindful of the display.
STEP 4: For Particularly Grimy, Dirty Screens
If there’s a lot of noticeable dirt and grime, you can start the cleaning process with a light, damp sponge. For this job you’ll want to use a brand-new household sponge and distilled or deionized water. Avoid using tap water as it can leave behind mineral marks across the display. At minimum, use filtered water.
Avoid using a drippy sponge. Wet the sponge with water and wring it out when you clean your laptop screen so it doesn’t drip. With gentle pressure wipe the affected area, watching out for drips along the way. You’ll want to wipe off any arrant drips immediately so they won’t seep into the system and cause damage to the display.
STEP 5: Sweep in One Direction
After removing the larger bits of detritus, it’s time to use the microfiber cloth. You want to press gently on the display as you wipe away dirt–carefully sweeping in one direction.
Wiping gently in small circles with a dry microfiber cloth will lift-up some tougher spots. But for the most part, this will only push the dust particles around.
Similarly, pressing too firmly could damage the sensitive display. And scrubbing the screen in any way could cause pixel burnout.
STEP 6: Done
Once you see that you have a clean laptop screen. Wait for the display to dry out completely before closing the lid or using the machine.
What About Cleaning Stubborn, Stuck-on Dirt?
So, that’s the best way to generally clean your laptop screen. But what about when the dirt doesn’t seem to want to come off? Then it’s time to hit it with some heavy artillery.
Step 1: Clean an Oily, Sticky Screen with Liquid Solutions
The perfect solution has equal parts distilled water, and white vinegar (which is great for general cleaning, too). Avoid using any other type of vinegar to clean your laptop screen to avoid damage. We also advise against using alcohol, ammonia or strong solvents on LCD screens.
STEP 2: Use an Atomizer Bottle
For easy use, you’ll want to pour the solution into a small atomizer bottle. When you press the top of this spray bottle, it should create a fine mist.
This makes it easier to control the amount of solution you’re applying to the microfiber cloth so you can avoid soaking it and causing damage to your laptop from droplets entering the machine.
STEP 3: Shut-Down Your Laptop
As before, you’ll want to make sure your laptop is completely shutdown, unplugged, and you want to remove the battery for safety.
STEP 4: Small Even Circles
This is best way to clean a display.
Apply the solution onto just one corner of the cloth at a time making sure its damp, but not too wet. Apply gentle, even pressure to the cloth.
You want just enough pressure to keep contact with the display. Lightly rubbing the area in small circles. (Rapid circular movements tend to eliminate streaks.)
STEP 5: Be Gentle
Avoid heavy pressure or using too much force as you clean your laptop’s display so you won’t permanently damage the LCD matrix.
As you work, handle the screen toward the very top or bottom to avoid re-smudging. And make sure that as you apply pressure that there are no drips on the display or keyboard. Repeat as necessary.
STEP 5: Done
When the display looks clean, wait for it to dry completely before closing the lid or using the laptop. And that’s it!
As you use your laptop, the display is going to get dirty. Especially if it has touch capability. A job like this requires the right products, which you may already have. Follow these steps to clean your laptop screen when it looks like its seen better days, and you won’t cause damage to it. And please, be sure to turn off your laptop and make sure no electrical power is going through it before attempting any work of this kind. And whatever you do, do not use Windex on your computer screen.