Screens get dirty — really dirty. Touch screens make way for a whole new level of dirty because they’re meant to be touched by our grimy fingers. If you don’t believe me, take a look at your screen protector the next time you replace it. Peel it off, compare it side-by-side to a brand new one, and prepare to boot it in the nearest trash can.
Computer screens can get pretty filthy as well. Over time, dust accumulates on the screen, and while your computer may not have a touch screen, you’ll be amazed at how many fingerprints show up on your laptop display after a while. Luckily, there are ways that you can clean these digital windows so that they’ll not only be germ-free, but the screen will look better through a clean sheet of glass. A clean smartphone is a happy smartphone.
However, before you get out the cleaning supplies and an old rag, you should know that there are right and wrong ways to clean a smartphone and computer screen, and it’s not just a ritual right-and-wrong; there are literally right and wrong ways that could be the difference of getting a nice, clean screen or a scratched-up nightmare of a display.
The Cleaning Cloth
Don’t use abrasive cloths, such as paper towels, tissue paper, etc. These types of clothes can scratch your touch screen quite easily, and while you won’t notice the scratches right away (they’re rather small), they build up over time the more you clean the screen with an abrasive cloth. Instead, use a microfiber cloth. These are specifically designed to clean sensitive surfaces like your smartphone or computer screen.
Microfiber clothes are fairly cheap, and we even found this six-pack for just $9 on Amazon. You can usually get them for free, though; more than likely, a microfiber cloth comes with any screen protector you buy, and some computer manufacturers include them with their laptops.
The Cleaning Solution
Don’t use any harsh chemicals on your smartphone or computer screen. While most displays have a glass panel (thus leading you to use Windex or other glass cleaner), these chemical-laden cleaners that can contain acetone, ammonia or alcohol aren’t healthy for your electronic devices, as they can strip away the screen’s protective coating.
Instead, you should just use a small amount of water, or use a specialized cleaning solution that’s meant for screens, such as iKlenz or eScreen, if you want a clean screen with minimal effort. You can create your own homemade solution using a 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar.
The Cleaning Method
This is perhaps the most important step. Not only do you need the right materials, but you also need to know the correct method to clean your screen. Here’s a step-by-step:
- Turn the device off and unplug it if it requires outlet power (like a computer monitor).
- Start by taking a dry microfiber cloth and wiping off the dust and any other loose objects.
- Next, take your microfiber cloth and damp it slightly using either water or the specialized cleaning solution. You don’t want too much that it’s dripping; just get it damp. Do not spray the solution directly on the screen.
- Use light, rapid circular motions on the screen. The circular motions will cut down on streaking, and pressing down too hard could break your device.
- Keep cleaning the screen until all smudges and imperfections are gone.
- Finish the job by taking the dry side of the microfiber cloth and wiping the screen dry if any solution is still present.
That’s all there is to it! It might sound like there are a lot of precautions to take, and there certainly are, but once you have it nailed down, you won’t think twice about using a paper towel and Windex, and the process should simply come naturally to you.
If you have any other tips for cleaning your smartphone or computer screen, be sure to leave them in the comments below!