Can I Clean My Laptop with Alcohol? 5 Safe Methods for a Clean Computer Screen

can i clean my laptop with alcohol

In this day and age, one of the most common questions regarding device maintenance evolves around “is this homemade method safe?” This is an especially popular concern for laptop displays. To properly groom your laptop, you’re going to need to learn the safest and most reliable way to clean a laptop. To help you avoid damage, it’s important to know the differences between safe and unsafe cleaning practices. “Can I Clean My Laptop with Alcohol?” and many other concerns will be addressed in the following list.

can i clean my laptop with alcohol

Laptops are the dirty, overworked, and underpaid cousins of desktop computers. They require so much use on a daily basis, only to be tossed into a travel backpack and brought along for a smelly ride on public transportation. Then, they get dragged into bed with Netflix-watching owners, complete with fresh Cheetos stains still coating their fingers. It’s time we learned to treat laptops right. Or as Randy from Parks and Recreation says: “Treat yoself.”

Can I Clean My Laptop with Alcohol? Short answer: “No.”

A number of sites such as this one and this one recommend using rubbing alcohol on your laptop screen. When you Google the question, you get a robotic answer with the advice “50% water, 50% isopropanol alcohol.” You now have permission to enter your natural face-palm state.

Please hold off on using alcohol on your laptop screen. While alcohol might have been a decent option for screens in the past, most new displays have coatings that will not do well with any alcohol-based or ammonia-based detergents. That means NO WINDEX, RUBBING ALCOHOL, ISOPROPANOL, NAIL POLISH REMOVER, OR SKOL VODKA.

Can I Clean My Laptop with Disinfectant Wipes?

Everyone has them lying around the house: marvelous Chlorox/Lysol wipes that work wonders in the nasty bathrooms and kitchens of the world. But you should take any bottle that has the poison control hotline and eyewash instructions on the back with a grain of salt when cleaning a device that is constantly in contact with your hands (and by association, your mouth and eyes).

Many of these types of wipes contain strong chemicals, often including both alcohol and ammonia. They will also leave a streaky residue on your keyboard and screen that gets more annoying every time you look at your friend’s baby pictures cluttering up your Facebook feed. In general, household wipes are just too harsh for regular laptop cleaning.

How About with Just Straight-Up Water and Elbow Grease? Maybe Some Spit?

can i clean my laptop with alcohol

Your laptop is sticky and the screen is covered in dust and fossilized sneeze particles dating back to freshman year. You have a ten page report on “The Actual Last Known Whereabouts of Waldo” due in twelve hours and need a final form of procrastination: cleaning your dirty laptop screen. The only problem is you don’t even have Lysol wipes or alcohol laying around (which is as we saw in the 2 previous section a pretty good thing since it would likely damage your screen) anywhere. Time for the old standby: water and elbow grease.

These two tools are readily available without requiring a trip to the store, which adds to the appeal of using them for cleaning. The problem with water and hand scrubbing (usually a lint-free or microfiber cloth is suggested) is that it doesn’t really clean anything. It can give the illusion of looking cleaner (“this is good enough!”), but not much else.

Think about it this way: if you just rinse your hands off under water after using the restroom, would you honestly believe your hands are as clean as if you used hand soap? Laptops move everywhere. The public transportation. The office. The classroom. The dorm room. The hospital waiting room. Water simply won’t do your expensive device justice.

Water from the tap often contains strong chemicals that can damage your laptop screen, so it’s worth considering using deionized water or boiled water to avoid further damage to your laptop.  If you HAVE to use water and have no other choice, make sure that it is deionized.

Is There an Alcohol and Ammonia Free Solution Available?

So apparently everything you’ve Googled or been instructed on when it comes to cleaning laptops is wrong.  You read this whole list and gotten no where. C’mon, do you really think I’d want to waste your time like that?   Allow me to introduce a display cleaner that you can rely on daily without fear of causing screen damage: ScreenDr 5 oz. Cleaning Solution.

ScreenDr Screen Cleaning Kit StorDry action

ScreenDr is an alcohol/ammonia free cleaning solution that is designed specifically clean your laptop screen and keyboard (as well as your phone and TV displays). Ever since learning that phones are dirtier than a toilet seats, we sought out to develop a screen cleaner designed to ACTUALLY clean your device screens.  Many screen cleaners exist, yet the results truly stand out with ScreenDr.

ScreenDr comes in an all-in-one, eco-friendly bottle design that includes a premium microfiber cloth and a clear, odorless solution that do not break down any protective layer on your computer. In fact, ScreenDr will have your shiny MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Chromebook, or Dell (any laptop model you can think of) looking like the eye candy it once was on the show floor of your favorite electronic store.

How Do I Clean My Laptop Screen?

Now that you’ve settled on ScreenDr, here’s a shortlist of how to properly clean your laptop screen and keyboard once and for all:

  1. Turn your laptop off and let it cool down for optimal cleaning conditions (a hot screen will cause cleaning solutions to evaporate much faster).
  2. Pop the cap off the ScreenDr bottle and remove the premium cloth.
  3. Spray the solution onto the microfiber cloth (never spray directly on the laptop screen). No need to oversaturate the cloth, either.
  4. Gently wipe the wet side of the cloth in a circular motion on the laptop screen until all residue, specks, dirt, and fingerprints are removed (some will require a little of the the aforementioned elbow grease).
  5. Once satisfied with the appearance, use the dry side of the cloth to wipe away any remaining streaks and marks on your screen. Repeat the process as you move in between and across the tops of your keyboard.

Boom. Your screen  looks and feels twenty times cleaner. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

can i clean my laptop with alcohol

Except when you use a pizza box as a laptop mount.


“Can I clean my laptop with alcohol?” and all of its related questions will continue to surface. Your family will question you. Your friends will worship you. Everyone will look upon your laptop with awe and curiosity. How do you keep your laptop so clean? You will look upon these folk and simply say, “ScreenDr.”