How to disinfect a laptop screen

In this guide you will learn how to disinfect a laptop screen. Your window to the digital world is critical to your computing experience. But it also has a habit of attracting all kinds of dirt and dust, be it from food stains like faulty spaghetti sauce splatters to imperceptible bacteria and particles.

It is all the more important that you know how to properly clean a laptop screen, as the coronavirus, which plunged the world into a pandemic, has been found to survive for several days on certain surfaces.

While the glass screens on older CRT displays had an extra layer of protection, newer LCD laptop screens do not. That said, you want to avoid using harsh products like glass cleaners or window cleaners to clean a laptop screen.

While some screens, such as certain MacBook displays and touchscreens, come with an oleophobic layer that provides some protection against fingerprints and stains, you can remove that layer if you use alcohol-based cleaners.

You can use 99% isopropyl, but if you are careful that it’s too strong, you can use 75% or gentler material instead. In fact, isopropyl diluted to 60% with purified water can be even more effective than 99.9% isopropyl because the water allows the solution to penetrate better into the cell walls of microorganisms and slows the evaporation time of the solvent, thereby increasing the contact time with the microorganism.

Don’t spray your screen cleaner directly on your laptop screen. Instead, spray or dab the cleaner on a microfiber cloth, then gently wipe it on your laptop screen in small circular motions or from end to end. Do not dip your cloth in the cleaning solution, just dampen it.

As we’ll cover in other technical cleaning guides, isopropyl can be used on just about any surface that you want to disinfect.

Isopropyl is an effective germicidal agent, but it does not have any antistatic or specific anti-streak properties that special screen cleaners contain. After wiping your laptop screen with (or instead of) isopropyl, you should use an alcohol-free screen cleaner to complete the job.

Gently rub the cloth around your laptop screen, being careful not to press down too hard.

Ecomoist and WHOOSH! are two of the most popular laptop screen cleaners, although there are many similar ones that are likely to work just as well. They’re alcohol-free, biodegradable, and their anti-static formulation keeps these dust particles off your screen for longer. We also think it’s a nice touch that Ecomoist bottles are designed to be refilled and that you can buy refills directly from Ecomoist so you can use the same spray bottle over and over again.

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