Stop Cleaning Your iPhone Screen the Wrong Way

Don’t use paper towels, Windex or bleach.


Your computer‘s LCD display is more than just some slab of glass. It is attached to one of the most expensive devices you own, and also a magnet for fingerprints and germs. In order to get rid of the dust, smudges and microbes, you need to be a little more calculated than wiping down a window. Here’s how to do it right. (Note: This cleaning method is effectively the same on all LCD screens, including the one on your HDTV, monitor, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.)

What you need:

  • A microfiber cloth. Paper products like paper towels or tissue paper can leave scratches or lint).

  • Disinfectant. Companies like Apple used to shy away from recommending disinfectant wipes, but have recently changed their tune. Rubbing alcohol is also OK, too. Leave the bleach in the cupboard.

  • 1. Turn your computer off. Leaving it on isn’t the worst offense in the world, but powering down eliminates any chance of some electrical snafu. Plus it’s easier to see the areas of the screen that need to be cleaned if it’s black.

    2. Take your dry microfiber cloth and carefully wipe the screen. You can use a circular motion or swipe the screen end-to-end. The most important thing is that you don’t scrub the screen aggressively, which could damage it and cause permanent discoloration.

    3. If your looking to make sure your screen is clean and not just pretty, it’s time to dampen the microfiber cloth. Lightly wet the microfiber cloth with a 50/50 water/vinegar mixture, or 70% isopropyl alcohol. If the cloth is soaked, beads could drip down the screen and possibly damage other parts of your computer. (Plus, it makes cleaning the screen more difficult.) You can also apply a Clorox wipe at this stage, but make sure not to scrub too hard.

    4. Wipe the lightly wet cloth on the screen, from side to side or in a circular motion, and use minimal pressure (same as Step 2). When finished, there should be no moisture on the screen.

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