Nervous to clean a touchscreen laptop?
They get littered with fingerprints, the oils from our skin, dust, pet hair, and the occasional powdered cheese dust. By the very nature of a laptop, it probably also gets a fair amount of travel. You may take it with you to work, school, or any number of places, it is going to pick up a few germs on the way. But how does one clear away all that debris without harming your device?
It’s pretty simple actually. And, you may have the supplies already lying around your house. Even if you don’t, the supplies are not hard to find, nor are they expensive. You may have done your research to find the best laptop under $500, or you might have chosen to spend closer to $1000; you shouldn’t have to drop another bundle to keep the screen clean.
The first thing you will need to get is a microfiber cloth. There’s a good chance you have one lying around your house. Oftentimes they come with a pair of glasses or even the device you intend to clean. If not, there are plenty of great, inexpensive options online or in most local stores. The reason you want to use a microfiber cloth specifically is that it picks up dust without leaving tiny scratches on your screen the way a paper towel, napkin, or tissue could.
Next, you’ll want a cleaning solution. You will want a very mild cleanser. Harsher cleaners may cause long-term issues with your screen affecting the picture or the touch sensitivity. These harsh cleaners to avoid are ammonia, acetone, ethyl alcohol, ethyl acid, methyl chloride, rubbing alcohol, window cleaners, and toluene.
Cleaners that are safe will have ingredients like white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol. You may even want to mix these with water and create your own solution. A mix of about 50/50 distilled water to vinegar or isopropyl alcohol should do the trick nicely. You could even try water with just a drop of dish soap. Eyeglass cleaner is also usually a good bet.
If you make your own solution, you’re going to want to put it in a spray bottle as well. You can refill an old one that you’ve cleaned out or pick up one from a dollar store. The spray bottle keeps your cloth from getting too wet and applying too much moisture to your touchscreen. It also allows you to re-mix the solution easily by shaking the bottle before you use it.
Cleaning Your Touchscreen
Your touchscreen may just need a simple wipe down with the microfiber cloth and be ready to go. Even if you need a deeper clean, wiping away the layer of dust and debris is the place to start. If this is the case, you’re also going to want to power off and unplug your device for the safety of you and your device. If you have a shell case on your laptop, it may be easier to remove it as well.
After you have turned off the power and given it an initial wipe, you’ll want to use your cleaning solution. This step will be the one that removes the oils and fingerprints from your screen. Spray your solution on the cloth, not your screen, to make sure the moisture doesn’t seep into any crevices and protect your device. Then wipe your screen with the damp part of your cloth. You can wipe in any direction or focus on particularly stubborn spots, but to avoid streaks try giving it a final wipe in a circular motion. Make sure to apply minimal pressure during this step.
Next, you will want to dry off the screen with either a separate, dry microfiber cloth or a dry part of the cloth you’re already using. Once the screen is dry, you’re good to go! You can turn your device back on and get back to business, school, or play.
You may use your touchscreen laptop to draw or write your memoir, but it is going to get dirty while you do it. Cleaning it is easy, inexpensive, and won’t take all day. Then you can get right back to your masterpiece, studying, or work.
Written by Grace Sura