No matter how hard you try, laptop screens are a magnet for dirt. Whether it’s chip crumbs, smears or something far grosser, within days of having a sparkly clean screen, it’ll be grubby again. This can be especially upsetting if you’ve just treated yourself to a brand new high-tech machine.
We all know how frustrating it is to find that every time a character stands in a certain position, they gain a candy crumb mustache, or that the comma you can’t delete is a part of a cough splatter!
However, there’s actually another, more serious reason to keep your screen super clean and blemish-free; staring at a smeared laptop for long periods can cause eyestrain and headaches, leading to longer term problems.
The best way to clean an LCD laptop screen is a controversial topic, due to the sensitive, easily damaged surface, but it’s universally accepted that using an excess of liquid is a bad idea. Avoid, too, the use of ammonia or alcohol based cleaners on your screen, as they can actually do more harm than good, and remember that paper towels can leave minute scratches behind that build up over time.
Another factor to consider is that with some models of laptop, the keyboard may leave marks on the screen when the lid is closed. These can be hard to remove, so avoid them from the start by laying a clean, dry microfiber cloth over the keyboard whenever you shut the lid – simple!
How to clean your laptop screen
Once you’ve unplugged and switched off your laptop, try to identify what exactly the dirt is – dust or worse.
Using a soft, non-shedding microfiber cloth, dust is easily wiped off, leaving you with a clean, shiny screen. Never push or rub the screen as it can cause pixels to ‘stick’ – this damage can be irreversible, so always use a gentle circular motion to remove any stubborn specks.
Whilst cleaning solutions line the shelves of your nearest PC store, there’s no need to purchase costly products as making your own very effective cleaner is so easy and far cheaper.
The simplest solution is good old distilled water. This chemical-free liquid is gentle on your screen, but if you need a little more power, make up a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar – this is also a great window cleaner, too, leaving a sparkling, streak-free finish. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and lightly mist a microfiber cloth before gently wiping your screen. Use another clean and dry cloth to wipe off any residue, moving in a circular motion, polishing off any smears.
For more stubborn specks, a household cleaning sponge is more effective than a soft microfiber cloth.
Using your home-made cleaning solution, spray a little onto a brand new sponge – a light misting will suffice, and using circular motions, gently wipe away at the specks. Once removed, carefully polish the screen with a microfiber cloth.
Oils and sticky stuff – really?
These marks require tougher cleaning methods.
Firstly, make up a cleaning solution using a mix of 50/50 distilled water and isopropyl alcohol, or distilled water with a drop of dishwashing detergent, pouring the mixture into a spray bottle.
Lightly spray onto a microfiber cloth – never directly onto the screen, and rub gently in small circles, until the marks have gone. You may need to repeat this process as necessary. Once the screen is clean, polish the screen with a clean, dry cloth.
Using these gentle, effective and inexpensive screen cleaning methods means your laptop will always look as good as new – with no incorrect punctuation or weird mustaches!