Being an IT guy, I get to see everyone’s screens, and people either touch their screen a lot or they don’t touch it at all.

If you’re a toucher and your desktop or laptop screen is full of smudges, what’s the best way to clean it?

Computer monitors used to be huge and heavy. They were cathode-ray tubes made of glass, so we cleaned them with Windex and a rag.

Today, we all have flat-panel screens on our desks or laptops. What’s the best way to clean those?

First, you should have a clean microfiber cloth. I have a ton of those around my house. Actually, my wife says I have a microfiber compulsion. I keep buying them when we have plenty. I just think you can never have too many microfiber cloths.

To clean my screen, I try a dry cloth. If that’s not doing the job, try dipping one corner of the cloth in water and wringing it out before lightly wetting the screen and wiping it dry.


If you have really stubborn fingerprints or you just want to deep clean your screen, mix a 50-50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water and put a little on a cloth and use that to clean your screen and the rest of your computer.

Commercial cleaners are available, too, but mixing your own is pretty inexpensive.

Never spray liquid directly onto your screen or laptop. Dampen the cloth instead.

You should also clean your keyboard regularly.

The isopropyl alcohol and water mix is fine for your keyboard. If you’re cleaning a laptop, make sure you clean the trackpad, too.

While you’re in a cleaning mood, you should use the same solution on your phone, taking care not to get it wet, although many current phones are water-resistant.

After you’re through with the phone, you might as well keep going and clean your earbuds.


If you are like me and keep your phone in your pocket, you may be accumulating lint inside the charging port, which will eventually make it difficult to insert the lightning or USB-C cable to charge your phone.

If your phone has a Lightning or USB-C port, you can use a clean wood toothpick to gently scrape out anything that might have found its way into your phone. Just gently insert the toothpick into the port on your phone and see if anything is stuck in there.