How to Clean a Computer Screen – 5 Easy Steps

Dust, stubborn grime, and fingerprints are some of the things that will make your computer screen dirty over time. I’m sure you don’t want to look at a dirty screen every time you are working on your computer. A dirty screen will adversely affect the brightness and contrast of your computer monitor as well.

A dirty computer screen can also strain your eyes, especially if you are working on your computer for many hours during the day. A clean screen will prevent your eyes from getting tired. So, you need to know how to clean your computer screen properly.

How to clean a computer screen? To clean a computer screen, follow these five easy steps:

Step 1: Get a Cloth and Cleaning Solution (microfibre is best, cotton is second best)
Step 2: Turn the Computer Off
Step 3: Wipe the Dust off the Screen
Step 4: Wet-clean the Screen
Step 5: Allow the Screen to Dry

Read on to learn about the best and safest ways of cleaning your computer screen.

Also, to make cleaning your computer screen a breeze, take a look at the Screen Mom Screen Cleaner Kit. This is a handy kit that includes both a soft microfibre cloth and a powerful yet safe cleaning solution designed for computer screens. It contains water and plant-based cleaning agents. It doesn’t contain ammonia, alcohol, or harmful phosphates.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

How to Clean a Computer Screen?

Dirt, grime, and oil stains are some of the things that make your computer screen look dirty. But if you want to clean your computer monitor, you cannot just use any kind of cleaning material. The computer screen is made of delicate materials so, you need to use a soft, lint-free, dry cloth to wipe its surface. If you can get a microfiber cleaning cloth, the better.

If there is stubborn grime on the surface of the screen, you can apply a professional cleaning solution. The Whoosh! Screen Cleaner Kit has a cleaning solution that will break down and remove tough grime easily.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This cleaning solution is free from alcohol and ammonia. It has an odorless formula that will make your screen 99.99 percent clean. The kit also comes with two bottles of cleaning solution and three cleaning cloths.

If you want to economize, you can also make a homemade solution made of water and mild soap. Apply this solution to the cleaning cloth. Wipe the cloth in slow, circular, moving motions to avoid damaging the computer screen. It is best to use plain distilled water without any chemicals in it. You can also mix water with plain white vinegar at a 50/50 ratio.

Some Words of Precaution Before You Start

Cleaning a computer monitor is not that really simple as you might think. It is not just about wiping the dirt away, as you would do with the keyboard and computer housing. The computer screen is made of delicate materials, so if you use cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, you may damage the surface of the computer monitor.

Using Liquid Cleaners

Too much water on the screen can also short the electrical circuits inside your computer monitor. Most cleaners designed for glass and countertops are intended for hard materials. A delicate plastic material covers the glass of the computer screen and can be easily damaged by cleaners designed for harder objects.

It is better to limit yourself to cleaners that are made for computer monitors. They may cost a little, but they are certainly safer for your computer screen. If you want, you can save money by using common household staples, such as white vinegar, mild soap, and clean water.

Also, don’t spray cleaning liquid on your computer monitor. Spraying liquid on the screen may cause the excess liquid to penetrate the inside parts of the computer monitor. Moisture can also cause the circuits inside the monitor to short.

Wiping Material

The best wiping material for a computer screen is a microfiber cloth. This type of cloth is often used to wipe off the dirt from vinyl records and glass countertops. You can find microfiber cloths on Amazon that come with a screen cleaner like the Screen Joy Computer Screen Cleaner and Microfiber Cloth.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This specially formulated screen cleaner comes with a microfiber cloth that can provide anti-static, cloud-free, and non-smudge cleaning. Just make sure that the cloth is dirt-free before you put it into contact with the surface of the screen.

Cleaning Agents to Avoid

how to clean computer screen
How to clean computer screen?

Avoid using corrosive substances when cleaning your computer screen. These substances include ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners. Examples of these cleaning products are Windex and rubbing alcohol. If you use these substances, they will strip the anti-reflective coating of the screen. They can also cause clouding on the screen surface and other screen problems.

A paper towel may seem to be an excellent cleaning option, but don’t use it. It can cause abrasion on the surface of the screen. Paper towels appear to be soft, but they are hard as far as sensitive computer screens are concerned.

Here are the substances that you shouldn’t use in cleaning your computer monitor. If you see any of these ingredients in a cleaning solution, don’t use it.

  • Methyl chloride
  • Acetone
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Methyl alcohol
  • Ethyl acid
  • Ammonia
  • Toluene

Clean Your Computer Screen in 5 Easy Steps

Here are the complete steps for how to clean your computer screen.

Step 1: Get the Cloth and Cleaning Solution

Get a dry, non-abrasive cleaning cloth. The following cloths are great options for cleaning your computer screen:

  • Microfiber (the best as it attracts dust like a magnet)
  • A clean cotton T-Shirt
  • Cotton tea towel
  • Cotton handkerchief

Paper towel is not recommended for cleaning your computer screen as the fibers can cause permanent etching of the screen. I also caution against using toilet paper or facial tissue as the fibers can also be too rough for the screen and you don’t want to risk damaging it.

First, you will dust with a dry cloth, and then you will wipe down with a damp cloth. You can use a separate cloth for dry dusting and then wet cleaning, or you can use the same cloth for both.

Get a cleaning solution. You can use water or a 50/50 distilled water and white vinegar mixture or you can get a bottled cleaning solution designed for computer screens.

The Screen Mom Screen Cleaner Kit is a handy kit that includes both a soft microfibre cloth and a cleaning solution designed for computer screens. It contains water and plant-based cleaning agents. It doesn’t contain ammonia, alcohol, or harmful phosphates.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Step 2: Turn the Computer Off

It is wise to turn off your computer (not just the monitor) before cleaning to prevent you from being electrocuted. Turning it off will also enable you to see all the dirt and grime on the screen more clearly; thus, making it easier for you to remove them from the surface of the screen.

Step 3: Wipe the Dust off the Screen

Get your clean, dry, and soft cloth. A microfiber cloth is the best and cotton cloth is second best. Use this cloth to remove dust from the screen’s surface. Lightly move the cloth across the screen, side to side, or down the screen, up and down. Avoid applying heavy pressure on the screen.

Step 4: Wet-clean the Screen

To wet the screen, you can use the same cloth that used to dust. If you are using the same cloth, rinse the cloth well under a tap to ensure all the dust is removed. Then wring the cloth very well to ensure no drips come off the cloth.

Apply a reasonable amount of the cleaning solution to your cleaning cloth. Do not spray the cleaning solution directly to the surface of the computer screen. If you just use water or a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture, just lightly dampen the cloth. Do not drench the cloth. Ensure the cloth is damp and not soaked or dripping by wringing it out.

Wipe the cloth with the cleaning solution on the screen surface. Do it in a gentle circular motion without putting any pressure on the screen. After cleaning, see to it that there is no excess moisture left on the screen.

For stubborn grime on the computer screen:

If you have stubborn grime on the screen, allow the moisture from the cloth to absorb into the grime. You may need to re-moisten the cloth. Once the grime turns soft, try to remove it, but don’t put too much pressure on it. Always move your hands in a small circular motion.

Be sure there is no excess moisture on the screen once you have removed all the dirt and grime.

Step 5: Allow the Screen to Dry

It may take several minutes to dry off all the cleaning moisture. Check if every section of the computer monitor is dry before turning it on to make sure that all the internal components of the screen are completely dry. It will also prevent any short circuit from happening.

Don’t use blow dryers to quicken the drying time. Excessive heat can damage the protective layer of your computer screen.

See the below video for other tips on cleaning your computer screen:

How to Clean Oil or Caked Dirt on a Computer Screen

Sometimes, certain types of dirt, such as oil stains and caked dirt, can’t be easily removed by a cleaning solution. It is also unsafe to use cleaning solutions that contain harsh chemicals. The best way is to create a homemade cleaning solution. Here are three ways to do it:

  1. Mix a reasonable amount of distilled water with a drop of dish detergent
  2. Mix equal parts of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol
  3. Mix equal amounts of distilled water and white vinegar 

After creating your cleaning solution, follow these steps:

  1. Power down your computer and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Cover the keyboard with plastic or any soft, waterproof material.
  3. For convenience, put your cleaning solution to an appropriate sprayer.
  4. Apply (or spray) the cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth (or a clean, soft cotton cloth). The cloth must be damp with the cleaning solution.
  5. Rub the cloth gently on the spot where there is oil or muck. Move your hand in small circles, and don’t put any pressure on the screen surface. Repeat this process until the oil or caked dirt is removed.
  6. Allow the screen to dry completely before powering on your computer.

How to Remove the Most Stubborn Dirt and Grime on a Computer Monitor

How to clean your computer screen if there is very stubborn dirt and grime on it? If you have not been diligent in cleaning your computer, the screen will have more than the regular dust. The best microfiber cloth will not be able to remove all that dirt. A slightly damp sponge will be your best cleaning tool for it.

Prepare a completely new and unused household sponge. You’ll need water, such as distilled water, filtered, or deionized water. Don’t use tap water since it is not really completely clean and may also contain some minerals or impurities that can damage your screen. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Power down your computer and unplug it from the power source.

Step 2: Get the sponge and wet it with the cleaning solution you have created out of the suggested materials. Wring out the sponge to remove excess moisture.

Step 3: Gently wipe the dirty section of the screen using the sponge. See to it that no excess moisture drips on the screen. Wipe it off at once if there are any.

Step 4: Allow the screen to dry off completely before powering the computer.

How to Remove Dust from a Computer Monitor

how to clean a computer monitor
How to clean a computer monitor?

Removing dust from your computer screen is the easiest way to maintain its cleanness. The best tool you can use for this job is a microfiber cloth. If you are an owner of a high-end camera, you know how useful this cloth is in maintaining your camera lenses.

This special cloth is designed to clean glass and other delicate surfaces without leaving scratches or lint. Other cloth materials can be used, but they often leave behind unwanted debris on the cleaned surface.

Here’s how to use a microfiber cloth.

Step 1: Turn off your computer and make sure to unplug it from its power source.

Step 2: Get a microfiber cloth designed for cleaning camera lenses and delicate glass.

Step 3:   Gently press this cloth to the surface of the computer screen. Then wipe the screen with this cloth in just one direction. Don’t scrub the surface or wipe in circular motions to avoid damaging the screen.

Step 4: Continue wiping the screen until it is completely dust-free.  

It is not wise to use a duster to remove the dust from a computer screen. It will just push away the dirt into a cloud. There’s a type of duster that has the capability of collecting dust and does not cause static cling. With this duster, you can sweep away the dust from top to bottom of the screen.

Conclusion – How to Clean a Computer Screen

So, to revisit our initial question: How to clean a computer screen? If you want to clean a computer screen, follow these five steps:

Step 1: Get a Cloth and Cleaning Solution (microfibre is best, cotton is second best)
Step 2: Turn the Computer Off
Step 3: Wipe the Dust off the Screen
Step 4: Wet-clean the Screen
Step 5: Allow the Screen to Dry

With the computer screen turned off, it is easier to clean because you will be able to see the dirt, dust, and grime better.

After turning it off, get a soft, non-abrasive cloth that is made of microfibre or cotton to dust the screen. Or use a soft, cotton T-shirt to clean the screen. Gently clean the screen in a slow, circular motion to avoid screen damage.