Alcohol wipes are commonly used to disinfect the skin before and after medical procedures, so it’s safe to say that alcohol wipes should be able to clean your laptop screen if you use them carefully. Alcohol wipes contain an antibacterial ingredient called denatured alcohol that kills most bacteria and viruses, like the ones that cause colds and the flu. However, there is some debate as to whether or not alcohol wipes are effective at killing germs, such as staphylococcus aureus (staph), on non-porous surfaces such as plastics, metals, and glass.
Many people ask if they can use isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to clean their computer screens. The answer isn’t simple because there are important differences between using IPA on a traditional CRT monitor and using it on your LCD screen. A lot of people also confuse isopropyl with rubbing alcohol, which isn’t even made from isopropyl. I won’t tell you what to do here, but instead give you some advice that may help make an informed decision. Let me start by saying that nobody should ever spray or pour rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol directly onto any electronic component — not a keyboard, not a mouse, and certainly not a computer monitor or LCD panel.
Do I need special equipment to clean a laptop?
You don’t need any special equipment to get your laptop looking like new. A cotton cloth and some isopropyl rubbing alcohol will do a great job, even on glass screens. Rubbing alcohol helps lift dirt, stains and oils from your computer while leaving behind a protective residue that repels dust and helps keep fingerprints at bay. It’s also not too abrasive so it won’t scratch or damage your precious electronics.
How do I start cleaning my laptop?
You can buy a commercial product that’s specifically made for cleaning your computer or you can make one yourself. Here are a few options: (1) Pour some rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth, (2) mix vinegar and water in equal parts and pour it into an empty spray bottle, (3) mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water and pour it into an empty spray bottle. Laptop screens should be cleaned at least once a month—more often if you eat near your computer or tend to be more on-the-go than stationary. Anytime you spill liquid on your keyboard, clean it right away!
What are the different ways I can clean my computer?
If you’re using a wipe, there’s no need to scrub away at your screen. That will only scratch it and cause damage. Using a damp paper towel or microfiber cloth is usually enough, especially if you just have fingerprints on your display. If you have more stubborn grime, like dirt from dropping your laptop on a sidewalk, use isopropyl alcohol in a well-ventilated area like outside or in front of an open window. Take care not to put anything on your keyboard; if there’s any liquid near keys, it can short out electrical circuits and break your computer completely. And never spray directly onto any surface; always spray into a cloth first and then clean away smudges that way.
How often should I clean it?
Well, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Everyone has their own personal preferences, which leads us back to our first point: Keep your eyes open and be aware of what works for you. Of course, if you want more guidance, there are plenty of articles out there that give more detailed information on how to keep your smartphone looking as good as new. Of course they will tell you it is not good idea to wipe your phone with something that contains isopropyl alcohol because it can damage your phone’s LCD.
Conclusion and final thoughts
If your computer is running slowly, it might not be malware or a virus. The culprit could be just a little bit of dust on your monitor and keyboard. You can wipe both down using those alcohol wipes. To completely eliminate your problem, though, you’ll have to pop off your keyboard and clean underneath it as well as blow out some internal components with compressed air.