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page title icon How to Clean a Laptop Screen

| Updated on August 1, 2017

If you’re ever contemplating using – or even if it’s ever crossed your mind to use – a spray like Windex to wipe that annoying smear on your laptop’s screen, you should seriously reconsider your next steps wisely.

First of all, we’ve had countless of people ask us that very same question before. Can I use Windex to clean my laptop screen? Can I use a multi-purpose surface cleaner to clean the screen? Can I just spit on a piece of tissue and use that to wipe the screen? How about water? It goes on and on and on.

Truth is, when it comes to cleaning your laptop’s screen, there is a right way and a wrong way to doing so. The wrong way is pretty much everything you just read above – you could only imagine the look on our faces when those questions were posed to us.
The right way is… well, we’ll be focusing on that in this article.

Preliminary Stuff You Should Be Doing

Before you even consider cleaning your laptop’s screen, you need to ensure your monitor is turned off. In fact, just shut down your laptop and pull the main plug off the wall. You really do not want to risk any shock to yourself or any electrical damage that will render your laptop obsolete.

Although this may seem over the top, it’s always better to be safe than sorry as there have been cases of people just spilling a little bit of water on their laptops which eventually led to a massive internal shock on the circuit boards. Shit happens. Prevention is always better than cure.

When you start cleaning your laptop screen, there will be the unavoidable particles of moisture lingering around your laptop. The absolute last thing you want is for any liquid particles to come into contact with any of the power circuits or cords.

Time for Some Cleaning Operations

Cleaning a laptop screen with a microfibre cloth

The next step is the actually cleaning process itself. Find a clean soft cloth (preferably microfibre). If you have none within reach, an old t-shirt or handkerchief can do the trick. Other substitutes include using folded up newspapers or a paper towel although these aren’t our first choice picks.

Assuming you are using a cloth, dampen it with some lukewarm water. The warmer it is, the easier it will be to clean any stubborn residue left on your screen. Do not use anything that is too hot as this will not only hurt yourself but may impair the screen as well.

When dampening the cloth, make sure it isn’t soaked wet. Ensure that there is no dripping of water as that’s when you know there is too much liquid which will eventually run all over the place and possibly into the nooks and crannies of your laptop. All you have to do is get the cloth moist.

Do not use anything other than water. Cleaning liquids that contain ammonia or alcohol run the chance of ruining your LCD screen. If you really can’t get rid of that seriously stubborn stain on your LCD screen despite using lukewarm water to try and get the job done, try using this recipe for a homemade laptop screen cleaner.

Essentially, it’s a 50/50 ratio of distilled water and white vinegar. You have to make sure it’s distilled water as using mineral water or tap water runs the risk of leaving mineral or calcium deposit stains on your LCD screen which will damage your screen over time.

If you are using a spray bottle to help clean your laptop screen, you must ensure that you do not directly spray the liquid onto the screen. The issue with direct spraying is how the droplets of water or vinegar mixture can penetrate through the bezel or even land on the keyboard and seep into nooks and crannies.

With a little bit of common sense, you’ll know that electronics and water just don’t do well together. If you’d like to use the spray bottle, you can spray your water or mixture onto the cloth which can then be used to wipe your screen in a controlled fashion.

Circular motions work very well to help eliminate streaks left on your screen. Do not apply heavy amounts of pressure as light pressure ought to do the trick.

Patience is a Virtue When it Comes to Drying

Seeing as you had to use a damp cloth to clean the laptop screen, it is important to allow your screen to fully dry. It only takes a few minutes. To finish off, gently wipe the screen with a dry cloth.

And You’re Done

When you are certain that your laptop screen is 100% dry, plug in and play. You’ll have before you a really clean screen that looks as good as new.

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