best way to clean a laptop screen

whats the best way to clean a laptop screen? im afraid to try out any sort of cleaner b/c i dont want to damage it.

I don’t know about Laptop Screens, but to clean any glass, inside windsheilds, computer screens, scanner glass, there is only one choice:


Get it from good auto parts shops.

Vox: You might try a good microfibre cloth with a bit of water.

Dishwasher. Absolutely the best way. Swear to God.

Windex sprayed on a paper towel (don’t spray directly on the screen, of course!).

Works just fine…

I would read the manual because I don’t know what laptop you have. I read mine too, but it didn’t have any instructions on that so I used what I refer to as the safest method, water on paper.

Do not use Windex or any similar cleaner on a laptop screen. For that matter, computer monitors as well. Most of them have anti-glare coatings or other plastic-based films on the glass that will turn yellow in time if you keep Windexing them.

Use a smidge of mild dish soap on a damp cloth.

You contradict me? You dare??:smiley:

Ah, well… then would you please expand on this? Are these coatings newish?

My experience with this is entirely anecdotal, and based on a sampling pool of exactly 2 monitors (my laptop is fairly new, so doesn’t count). My first monitor, a Gateway, I had for about 5 years… nearly every day I cleaned the screen with windex and a paper towel (no exaggeration! I hate a dirty screen!). Not a sign of yellowing, and to this day the monitor is still in use in the home of a friend (it’s now 8 years old, I think…). My second monitor, an LG Flatron 775FT, I’ve had for about 2 and a half years, again, cleaned it nearly every day with windex and a paper towel, and never seen any sign of yellowing.

How long can I go on with windex before it shows yellowing? (a very quick Googling failed me…)

As for LCD laptop screens, however, you’ve given me pause for thought… I think I’ll stop using windex on that. Another quick Googling has provided me with various opinions, the gist of which seem to be that most people recommed a concoction of isopropyl alcohol and water (50/50 seems to be the most popular mix).

LCD Monitor or Laptop Manufacturer recommends
“only suitable cleaner”, but does not sell one, nor indicate a brand or type to use.

You buy a small spray bottle of stuff that says:

“For Notebook and Anti-Glare and Polarized Computer Screens”*

*Some exceptions, consult hardware manufacturer before use.

I’ve used Kensington “Screen Guardian” on a Dell Inspiron 4000,
a Dell Latitude D600, a Dell UltraSharp LCD, a Samsung 710 LCD and a ViewSonic CRT. So far no problems. It is probably just Glass Plus or Windex decanted into a little spray bottle and marked up in price.

Astroboy is right - approx 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water. Alcohol from the drugstore is generally 91%, so just cut it with an equal amount of water. I did a Google search as well when my laptop screen was almost unreadable. It worked wonders on the screen, and the case as well. And it is extremely cheap.

Something to look out for in cleaning a laptop screen is to make sure you don’t use something too abrasive. CRTs can usually stand up to whatever you use on them, but the surface of an LCD is a relatively soft plastic which can be scratched.

I worked in laptop support for a major OEM for a couple years back in the late nineties. We learned in training to not use ammonia-based cleaners on the laptop screens and I took calls from customers with yellowed, cloudy screens who had used Windex on them for a couple years. It will happen.

Older CRTs I don’t know, but I do know the CRT I’m using right now has a warning in the user manual against using “window cleaning fluid” on it. I suspect it has some non-glass based coating on it that makes them say this.

Hmmm… good to know! Thanks! In the future I will be careful of this. Especially on the laptop!

My optometrist has always warned me not to use paper towels, or even paper tissue, on my plastic eyeglass lenses. Apparently there are fibers in the paper that can be abrasive. A soft cloth is the safe thing to use.

The manual for my old laptop, a Toshiba 425, (1996 and still works) specifies:

“To clean the screen, dilute a glass cleaner by adding an equal amount of water. Spray a small amount of the diluted cleaner on a cloth and gently wipe the screen.”

Never had any discoloration but after a while I got lazy and started using plain water and that works just as well.

The manual for my Samsung LCD monitor (2001) has this interesting advice:

“When you clean the monitor and the panel outside, please apply the recommended small amount of cleaner by using soft and dry cloth and polish it. Let LCD area not to be forced but to be scrubbed out softly. If excessive force is applied, you can have a stain on it.”

Nowhere does it tell what the recommended cleaner is.

Finally, many comon plastics are soluble in alcohol. Until I realized what I was doing, I removed the gloss from a small area of my laptop by trying to clean it with alcohol and water. My Epson printer manual (which I happen to have handy; I’ve seen similiar warnings with other equipment) warns:

“Never use alcohol or thinner for cleaning; they can damage the printer components and case.”

I’d stick with plain water on a soft cloth.

Equally important to the liquid is HOW you move a cleansing cloth around, and how you dry out the screen. Apple makes a two-part wipe. It’s excellent, and has the dry half for wiping down and eliminating streaking and smearing.

Since it’s sold by Apple, they cost $ 75.00 for 10 wipe kits. :smiley: