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My Tablets Are Fingerprint Magnets and Look Nasty



I like a lot of things about touch interfaces on gadgets of all sizes. It’s much more natural to swipe and pinch than to type in keyboard shortcuts. And of course you can make gadgets lighter an dthinner if you eliminate a keyboard. But on thing that bugs me is how nasty touchscreens can get.

Here’s what my Motorola Xoom looks like after running through a few apps for a part two of our Motorola Xoom review. Wiping the Xoom off with a microfiber cloth quickly solves the problem, but I don’t always keep my touch devices clean and the fingerprints and dust can get quite annoying.

I often wear SCOTTEVEST jackets, which have a cleaning cloths tethered to their inner pockets. But most of the time a cleaning cloth is out of reach. A quick wipe with a T-shirt doesn’t do a whole lot of good on the Xoom or iPad. Every once in a while I’ll get serious and use a proper cleaning spray or wipe. But most of the time my touch devices are not sparkling clean.

How do you keep your touchscreen tablets clean? Do your touch-enabled tablets and phones look as bad as mine? Or do I just have particularly greasy paws? There’s gotta be a better way.



  1. Roger J

    03/01/2011 at 4:48 pm

    Xavier: some people, like you and me, DO have more greasy paws, my wife’s new Galaxy Tab is covered in marks like yours in the photo after I’ve been using it. This is one reason why I got a protective film which I can clean often, but from which I cannot eliminate all the air bubbles.

    And these notebook and touch-screen external displays are also targets for greasy paws. You and i and the like of this site’s readers actually care about maintaining our own IT kit, many employees could not care less.

    • Xavier Lanier

      03/01/2011 at 9:14 am

      Yup, employees treat devices company-owned devices far worse than their own. For some reason my wife has never dropped her iPhone 4, but her BlackBerry always seems to be hitting the ground.

  2. Greenbocai

    03/01/2011 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve never had a touch device look so disgusting. I think it’s your hands, man.

  3. Giacomo Davide Fumagalli

    03/01/2011 at 5:40 pm

    Wow! I tough my tablet’s screen wasn’t clear but this Xoom…looks like you used it inside a KFC using the chicken wings instead of a stylus!

    • Xavier Lanier

      03/02/2011 at 3:52 am

      Yeah- u should see how bad it gets when it’s hot outside…not a pretty sight.

  4. Matthew Strauch

    03/02/2011 at 4:35 am

    Microfiber cloth…. only way to go. I picked up the Motorola case when I got my Xoom – The case has some serious design flaws (why do I have to have my case open to charge or connect to PC – but that is another story)…. However, a small 5×7 microfiber cloth does fit nicely behind the Xoom and the microfiber has a kind of ‘velcro-like’ adhesion to the inside of the case. That way it never falls out when I do have to pop out the bottom half of the Xoom.

    • Eric

      12/02/2012 at 6:17 am

      Microfiber is fantastic. But, when/how to you clean the microfiber after it gets full of a mound of screen gunk?

  5. rick

    01/04/2013 at 9:08 am

    Washing machine

  6. Jim Baker

    10/19/2013 at 6:07 pm

    This works very well….I tried it and its fantastic.

    As for cleaning microfiber……hand was it in soft detergent and rinse very well. Hang it out to air dry and don’t wring it out too much….it damages the fibers.

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