How to clean a laptop screen

It is easy for dust and dirt to accumulate on the laptop screen. In the sample pictured above, the dirt may look heavy, but this laptop just came back from some trips and was carried in a briefcase, not its own bag/cover. Some pasta/spaghetti may also have been consumed while using this laptop as well.

This is a traditional non-touch laptop, so the screen surface is a flexible plastic sheet, with a non-glare finish. As such, you can’t use a rag and a spray of Windex, isopropyl alcohol, or furniture polish, for example – these will be too harsh and/or unsuitable.

So, please read on to find out how to thoroughly clean your laptop screen with proper care and attention.

equipment used

  • Laptop with non-glare plastic screen
  • Microfiber cloth
  • soft brush
  • Water
  • (Optional) white vinegar

abridged version

  • Turn off the laptop, unplug it and wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth
  • If dust remains around frame areas and corners, use a soft brush to move it away
  • If there are stubborn marks left on the screen, dip the cloth into a few drops of water and clean the affected parts of the screen again.
  • The water may not be able to remove any oily or sticky residue, so you may need a drop or two of vinegar to complete the cleaning job.
  1. a step
    1

    Start with a dry microfiber cloth

    Turn off the laptop and unplug everything. Sit on a suitable work surface that does not scratch the laptop. Begin cleaning with a dry microfiber cloth. If you’re lucky, gently cleaning the screen with the cloth will do all the cleaning you need – resist the urge to use and tap the screen while wiping.Start with a gentle wipe

  2. a step
    2

    Time for some crevice brushing

    If the expedition cloth doesn’t complete the cleaning process for you, it’s time to use a soft brush. Go around the edges of the screen and brush the bezel and try to brush away any dust or debris, so they don’t get stuck and hard to get rid of. Then wipe the entire screen with a cloth. If it is still not clean, you will probably have to move on to the next step.soft brushing

  3. a step
    3

    A slightly damp cloth should handle most marks

    You had to get rid of all the dust by now. All that needs to be left will be unfortunate evidence of fingerprints, pasta sauce, and the like. To get rid of these, lightly wetting the microfiber cloth with water and some low-pressure rubbing may be appropriate. For edges or corners, you can try using wet cotton buds/cotton tips. In the laptop example, this was the last step before the screen would look like new again (except for any physical scratch or similar age/defect that may be present).corner cleaning

  4. a step
    4

    Is it time for a drop or two of vinegar?

    Maybe you still encounter some stubborn oily or sticky dirt on your laptop screen? The final step we recommend is to use the microfiber cloth again, and dip it in one or two drops of white distilled vinegar. Try wiping this on tough stains. You can use different parts of the cloth and follow up with a water-dampened portion of the cloth, so as not to leave a vinegar smell.Vinegar for tough stains

questions and answers

Can I use x, y, or z brand household cleaning products?

With our soft plastic laptop screen, we recommend the extra gentle cleaning methods described above, with nothing harsher than a drop of vinegar to dampen the microfiber cloth. Products intended for cleaning glass, for example, should be avoided.

Can I use any type of vinegar?

Obviously, avoid complex dark vinegars such as balsamic vinegar. We recommend distilled or white vinegar, as they are simple products available all over the world and contain no coloring agents, either natural or synthetic. You don’t want to leave any color or other residue on your screen after cleaning.

I have a glass screen on my laptop, can I use harsher chemicals for cleaning?

Even some glass screens have special coatings that can be damaged by the use of household chemicals. Try this gentle method first and if that doesn’t work, you can refer to the information from your laptop manufacturer about additional cleaning steps.

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