How to Clean a Laptop Screen with Household Products

7:49:00 PM |

Do you miss that shiny new laptop look or can't stand the thought of the misguided executive image? Here's how to brew your own laptop screen cleaning kit using simple household ingredients. Please read ALL the warnings in the section farther down in this article before attempting to clean any LCD screen!

These days, most manufacturers are no longer recommending using products that contain ANY alcohol, ammonia, or other strong solvents on LCD screens.

If you take great care in the selection of the ingredients for your solution, the containers you are going to mix your solution in, and your choice of cleaning cloths, it is possible to clean your LCD screen with household products. If you are unsure about ANY of the pieces mentioned above, then your safest path is to purchase a package of single use wet/dry commercially available wipes that are designed, and tested, specifically for cleaning LCD and Plasma screens.

Steps

  1. 1
    Create a gentle cleaning solution. The ideal solution is plain distilled water. If more heavy cleaning is needed a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water can also be effective.
    • Manufacturers no longer recommend using any cleaners with alcohol, ammonia or any strong solvents on LCD screens.
  2. 2
    Put the solution in a small atomizer bottle, the type that you push from the top to get a fine mist. Don't use this to spray on the screen itself, however.
  3. 3
    Apply a minimal amount of the solution to very soft cloth such as a cotton cloth (e.g. an old T-shirt), a lint-free microfiber cloth, a disposable cloth (such as a soft, non-woven compress or disposable wipe from the drugstore with no cleaning agents added) or similar. A large cloth (or several disposable wipes) is best, since it will help to reduce the risk of leaving streaks across the screen from finger pressure. Do not make the cloth wet, only moist. A wet cloth can drip or run when cleaning the screen and the solution can weep behind the bezel and permanently damage your screen!
  4. 4
    Wipe the cloth against the screen in a circular, or other consistent motion. Rapid circular movements generally eliminate streaks. Apply a gentle and even pressure to the cloth. Use only enough pressure to keep the cloth in contact with the screen. Take care not to press your fingers into the cloth or screen. Applying too much force when cleaning the screen can permanently damage the LCD matrix rendering your screen unusable.

Video

Note that the video shows a poor technique of spraying directly on the screen. Don't do this.Also note that the laptop was not turned off as advised. please shutdown the laptop before you start the cleaning process

Tips

  • NEVER spray ANY solution directly onto your screen! The edges of LCD and Plasma screens have electrical connections on them. Any solution that drips or runs down the screen can short out or otherwise permanently damage your screen! ALWAYS apply your solution to your cleaning cloth ONLY!
  • If you apply too much of the solution and it is drippy or too damp, wipe it off with a soft cloth and apply less.
  • Tissues, napkins, and other paper products will leave flakes of paper on your monitor. It's better to not even try using them. They can contain wood fibers and may even scratch polished surfaces.
  • You don't want mineral spots on your screen, so don't use tap water.
  • If you're a photographer, you can use your lint-free lens wipes instead of a soft cotton cloth.
  • If you have lens cleaner for eyeglasses, check the back to see if it contains "Isopropanol", if it does don't use it on your LCD monitor.

Warnings

  • Do not use paper towels, they are made with wood fiber and can scratch the LCD screen.
  • Avoid using products such as Windex because these contain ammonia, alcohol, or both and they can degrade the LCD panel.
  • Shut down your laptop, unplug it from the power adapter, and remove the battery before cleaning it or you risk damaging the pixels in the LCD display.
  • Use only enough pressure to hold your cleaning wipe on the screen. NEVER press hard, scrub, or scour when cleaning an LCD screen all these actions can cause permanent damage to the screen.
  • If in doubt, test a small area of screen first.
  • Using a lint-free microfiber cloth is best, an "old T-shirt" or other soft cloth can introduce dust and lint which may be detrimental to the computer itself.
  • Many manufacturers are recommending using either a soft, lint free dry cloth or to use a commercially available cleaning kit designed specifically for use on LCD screens. You can find a link to one such source in sources and links near the bottom of this page.
  • The single use wet/dry LCD cleaning wipes that are commercially available solve the problems mentioned above and one more not mentioned. The wet wipe is moistened with the correct amount of cleaning solution so that you cannot have drips or runs on your screen. The wipes in the kit are lint free and do not leave streaks when used according to directions. Finally, a single use wipe totally eliminates the possibility of cross contamination. This happens when a wipe or cloth is used on more than one device or is reused multiple times as is suggested above. If the cloth used for cleaning becomes contaminated in storage between cleanings, you can do permanent damage to a very expensive LCD or Plasma TV with just one wipe! For the price, the elimination of risk, and just plain old peace of mind, a single use wet/dry wipe system is by far your best choice for cleaning LCD monitors, TVs, Plasma TVs, and any LCD screen.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • A soft cotton cloth (a microfiber cloth is best)
  • Vinegar