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How to Clean a Computer Screen Without Leaving Smudges

October 10, 2019

How to Clean a Computer Screen Without Leaving Smudges

Written by Lisa Truesdale. Reviewed by cleaning expert Sean Busch.


You’ve been staring at your computer screen for hours when suddenly the words and numbers seem to blur right in front of you. You could just be seeing things... or your computer screen could be dirty. Here’s our tried-and-true method for cleaning your computer screen without leaving smudges or streaks.

What Should I NOT Use to Clean My Computer Screen?

Before we explain what you should use to clean your screen, we should tell you what NOT to use. Don’t use large amounts of liquid, and never spray the screen directly. As you’ll see in the step-by-step cleaning method below, it takes just one spray of Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner on a microfiber cloth to clean your computer screen.

The cloth you use to clean your screen is important, too. Puracy’s cleaning experts recommend a soft microfiber cloth. “Micro” means “extremely small”; a microfiber cloth has tiny fibers that reach every square inch of the surface they’re cleaning, so they don’t leave streaks or smudges like cotton rags can. And avoid paper towels; they’re abrasive enough to scratch the screen’s coating -- and then you’ll be “seeing things” permanently.

Is Windex OK to Use?

Many window cleaners on the market today, including certain types of Windex, contain ammonium hydroxide, which is a solution made of ammonia and water. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies ammonia as an “extremely hazardous substance,” especially in high concentrations. As a result, we don’t use ammonia in any of our products here at Puracy.

Instead of cleaners powered by ammonia, we prefer Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner, with the fresh-smelling scent of either Green Tea & Lime or Organic Lemongrass. It’s made with plant-based ingredients and water that effectively cut through the grime without the use of chemicals, so it’s safe to use throughout your home -- and it always smells great.

What Should I Use to Clean My Computer Screen?

Follow these step-by-step cleaning directions below for a smudge-free computer screen. Or follow along as cleaning expert and Puracy co-founder Sean Busch cleans his own computer screen in this video.

1. Turn your desktop monitor off or power-down your laptop. Then turn it towards a window or a bright light; this will allow you to see smudges and fingerprints more clearly. (In this case, that dreaded screen glare is your friend.) 

2. Spray a clean, folded microfiber cloth with one spray of Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use one spray of water. (Expert tip -- if you notice streaks on your screen after cleaning, then you’re probably using too much solution and/or your microfiber towel is dirty. Try again by carefully following these six steps, but use a fresh, clean microfiber towel and only a single spray of cleaner -- that’s all you need!)


NOTE: If you live in an area with hard water, use filtered or distilled water to avoid depositing mineral residue onto the screen. Not sure if your water is hard? Check out our article How to Remove Hard Water Stains Quickly & Easily; it features a handy map of hard-water areas across the country, plus more cleaning tips for households battling hard-water stains.


3. Wipe the screen with the microfiber cloth, starting at the top and using tight, overlapping “Z” strokes all the way to the bottom. If you’re using the proper technique, then you should see the multi-surface cleaner evaporate behind you as you wipe. This will help you eliminate the appearance of any streaks on your screen. If it doesn’t evaporate shortly after your pass, then you are probably using too much cleaning solution.

4. Turn the folded microfiber cloth to the dry side and make another pass, again starting at the top and using tight, overlapping “Z” strokes. This step will buff away any lint or residues remaining on the screen.

5. View the screen at different angles to make sure there are no remaining streaks or smudges.

6. To avoid electrical damage or electrical shocks, make sure the screen is completely dry before turning your computer back on.

Thanks to this easy cleaning method, you’ll soon have a smudge-free computer screen, and you’ll be happier and more productive as you work.

And by the way... if you successfully clean your computer screen but the words and numbers still look blurry, you could be experiencing digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome). Try exercising your eyes using the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.