How to Clean a Dell Laptop Screen
By M. Wade
Dell laptop screens utilize liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, which operates primarily by shining a backlight through a liquid crystal substance that is stored between two glass plates inside a fragile, coated, plastic screen. Because of this, laptop screens, like all LCD screens, are especially susceptible to damage and require special maintenance. Knowing how to properly clean your Dell laptop screen will help you keep the screen bright and avoid causing permanent damage to the screen, such as damaged pixels, discoloration and coating degradation.
Shut down the laptop. Turning off your laptop before cleaning the screen will help prevent the hardware from shorting out if cleaning solution happens to fall into the laptop. Also, unplug the power cord from the laptop to ensure that no electrical current passes into the laptop. Doing these things will also keep you safe in case you accidentally spill cleaning solution near the laptop.
Prepare a cleaning solution. Pour distilled water and white vinegar, in equal parts, into an empty spray bottle. It is important to use distilled water, as tap water contains mineral particles that will leave a cloudy, white residue on your laptop screen due to the dissolving minerals. As an alternative, you can pour distilled water and 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, in equal parts, into the spray bottle.
Softly wipe the screen with a clean microfiber cloth and cleaning solution. Spray the cleaning solution onto a clean microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen in one direction. Do not spray the cleaner directly onto the laptop screen because mist can enter the laptop, causing damage to circuit boards and other hardware components. For the same reason, avoid saturating the cloth in the cleaning solution so that the solution does not drip into the laptop.
Dry the laptop screen. Use a dry, clean microfiber cloth to remove any remaining cleaning solution from the laptop screen. Closing your laptop before the screen completely dries will cause moisture to enter the laptop, shorting it out or otherwise causing damage to the hardware. Again, when doing this, do not press onto the screen, as this can cause permanent damage to pixels. Alternatively, you can wait for the laptop screen to air-dry before powering it back on.
After the laptop screen is completely dry, press the power button on the laptop to turn it back on. Once your operating system fully loads, check to see if any marks, dirt or blemishes remain on the screen. Repeat the steps above to clean additional spots, but do not press harder or scrape the screen to clean them away.
- You can follow these same cleaning steps to clean any LCD screen, including LCD televisions and desktop computer monitors. Although you can purchase moistened wipes for cleaning LCD screens, some of these products will leave a cloudy residue. If you decide to purchase a special cleaning solution for LCD screens, a cleaning spray is the best option.
- Be careful when using isopropyl alcohol, as it is a flammable liquid. Do not wipe the screen with a T-shirt or any fabrics that have rough fibers, as these will scratch the screen and leave permanent lines across it. Avoid paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels, which will also damage the screen's surface. Never use a glass-cleaning solution to clean your laptop screen. The harsh chemicals found in these solutions cause permanent discoloration to the screen, gradually turning it yellow.
M. Wade is a licensed attorney and writer. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and University of Louisville and has been published in the University of Louisville Law Review, The Brand, and Blackline. She has been a writer for Demand Studios since August 2008.