Hand holding white tablet computer with fingerprint dirty screen

How to Safely Clean Your TV, Smartphone, and Computer Screens

Did you just notice dusty fingerprints on your computer monitor or TV screen? Are you constantly struggling with unsightly finger prints on your cell phone or tablet screen? You wouldn’t be the first! Like everything else in the home, dust and the natural oils from our skin slowly accumulates on our screens. But before you break out the paper towels and Windex, take a few minutes to learn how to properly clean the screens on your mobile devices, computer monitors, and TV’s.

Basic cleaning

A woman cleans her phone screen with cloth and a spray bottle

Screens are surprisingly delicate, and it’s very easy to scratch or mar them. Because of this, it’s best to avoid touching them at all, even when cleaning. This can be done with compressed air, which may be called a gas duster, to blow the dust away. Just be sure that the brand you buy doesn’t contain anything that might leave a residue or harm the electronics inside (Here is one of our favorites). If your screen is still dirty, gently wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. This should be enough to leave your screen gleaming in most cases.

When dealing with more stubborn marks, it’s okay to dampen your microfiber cleaning cloth. Use distilled water, or a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar. For mobile devices, using glasses lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth will also work.

Safety first

Hand in protective glove carefully cleaning TV screen from dust

Be careful! Never use a sopping wet cloth, and unplug your computer or TV before cleaning it to prevent accidental electric shocks. Once you finish, wait at least five minutes to let it dry before you plug it in and turn it on again. For mobile devices, make sure to wipe off all excess moisture from the screen using a microfiber cleaning cloth.

It can be tempting to use paper towels or rags to clean your screens, but it’s really best not to. Fabric that feels soft enough to your skin may still be too abrasive for your screen. In addition, paper towels or fabrics other than microfiber might leave lint behind – which is as unsightly and distracting as the dust you were trying to remove!

As always, it’s safest to find the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions in your owner’s manual so you don’t damage your screen or void the warranty.


Looking for more electronics help? Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy is here for you. Give us a call today at (877) 300-4050, or click here for a quote!

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