What can I use to clean my laptop screen?

Keeping your laptop screen clean is important for maintaining visibility and preventing damage. There are a few safe, effective options for cleaning laptop screens depending on how dirty it is.

Quick Answers

Here are quick answers to common questions about cleaning laptop screens:

What should I use to clean my laptop screen?

Use a soft, lint-free cloth like a microfiber cloth. You can also use specially formulated screen cleaning wipes or spray.

Can I use water to clean my laptop screen?

No, you should not use water, household cleaners, or glass cleaners on a laptop screen as they can damage the coatings.

How should I clean my laptop screen?

Gently wipe the screen with a soft cloth, using minimal pressure. Start with a dry cloth to remove dust and debris. For tougher smudges, use a small amount of screen cleaner.

How often should I clean my laptop screen?

Clean your laptop screen at least once a week. Clean it more frequently if you notice visible dust, fingerprints, or smudges.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Tools

The key to safely cleaning your laptop screen is using the right tools designed for the job. Here are some good options:

Microfiber Cloths

A microfiber cloth is the ideal choice for wiping down a laptop screen. Microfiber traps and lifts away dust and oils without scratching the screen. Dampen the cloth slightly with water or screen cleaner if needed.

Screen Cleaning Wipes

Pre-moistened screen wipes provide an easy, convenient way to clean your laptop display. Look for wipes formulated specifically for LCD/LED screens. Gently wipe the surface and allow to air dry.

Screen Cleaning Spray

Screen cleaning sprays contain mild cleaners that are safe for laptop displays. Spritz a small amount onto a microfiber cloth and wipe the screen. Avoid oversaturating the cloth.

Distilled Water

In a pinch, you can dampen a microfiber cloth with a small amount of distilled water. The purified water helps cut through grime without minerals that can deposit on the screen.

Cleaning Methods to Avoid

While certain tools and techniques can keep your screen pristine, other cleaning methods can actually damage your display. Avoid the following:

  • Glass cleaner – Contains ammonia which can hurt coatings.
  • Disinfecting wipes – May include bleach or alcohol harsh for laptop screens.
  • Paper towels – Lint and wood fibers can scratch the surface.
  • Dirty cloths – Can grind debris into the screen.

Also, never spray any liquid directly onto the screen. Spray onto your cloth first, then wipe.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Follow these steps to safely clean your laptop screen:

  1. Power off and unplug the laptop.
  2. Inspect the screen for any stuck-on debris. Gently dislodge with a dry microfiber cloth.
  3. Wipe the entire screen surface with a dry microfiber cloth to remove loose dust and dirt.
  4. For fingerprints or oily residue, dampen the cloth slightly with distilled water or screen cleaner. Wipe with minimal pressure.
  5. Start in the upper left corner and work your way down. Use a folding motion rather than circular rubbing.
  6. Flip the cloth and make a second pass if needed. Change cloths if they become dirty.
  7. Let the screen air dry before turning on the laptop again.

Special Tips for Touchscreens

Laptops with touchscreens require a little extra care when cleaning. Here are some useful tips:

  • Disable the touchscreen sensitivity before cleaning to avoid accidental taps and swipes.
  • Apply screen cleaner to the cloth rather than directly on the touchscreen.
  • Wipe gently in one direction rather than scrubbing.
  • Rinse microfiber cloths frequently to prevent oil buildup during cleaning.
  • Inspect closely for stuck pixels and re-clean if needed.

How to Clean Tough Screen Stains

For more stubborn stains on your laptop screen, you may need to use a little extra cleaning power. Here are some tips for removing tough gunk:

Dried Liquid Stains

If you have a dried liquid stain such as coffee or juice, gently scrape off any crusted material with a plastic scraper or credit card. Wipe the area with a damp microfiber cloth.

Grease and Oil

Break down oil residue by rubbing the area gently with a soft eraser. Then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth dampened with screen cleaner or isopropyl alcohol.

Ink Marks

Try using a dry erase marker to draw over the ink stain, then immediately wipe off with a dry microfiber cloth. The solvent in the marker can help dissolve the ink.

Hard Water Spots

For water stains containing mineral deposits, use a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Dab onto the stain with a microfiber cloth and rinse with plain water.


Following the right cleaning techniques can keep your laptop screen looking like new. Be sure to use microfiber cloths, specialized wipes, or sprays designed specifically for screens. Avoid household cleaners and always use a light touch when wiping. With proper regular care, your display will provide crisp, vivid images while extending the life of your laptop.

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