ITS Blog

How to properly sanitize your computer surfaces

How to Clean a Laptop Screen? Our 3 Easy Ways | Simply LaptopDuring this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a sanitized computer work surface is essential for work, education, and just about everything else you do remotely. To safely disinfect your computer, DO NOT apply disinfectant directly to your laptop. Water and most liquids are excellent conductors of electricity, so even the smallest amount of it could cause a short circuit in your computer or make an electrical connection between you and the computer causing you pain and possibly severe injury. Not only that, harsh chemicals found in household cleaners, such as Windex, can wreak havoc on computer monitors, wearing away their coatings.

To safely sanitize your computer surfaces, you could either use a disinfectant wipe, or alternatively spray disinfectant onto a paper towel to wipe down your computer. To clean your computer screen, avoid paper towels, rags, old t-shirts, or any of the usual materials you use to wipe down surfaces in your home. Monitors are more delicate than they look, and these fabrics — even paper towels — are abrasive enough to scratch your screen. Using a microfiber cloth, the kind you might use to clean glasses, is the safest way to go. Although there are cleaning solutions designed specifically for computers, you don’t necessarily need them. Distilled water should suffice; try to avoid using tap water as it may contain minerals or other substances that are harmful to screen or leave annoying streaks. Add distilled white vinegar to the distilled water if the surface grime is difficult to remove. 

Again, do NOT spray any cleaning materials directly onto a computer.  Spray or dab cleaning liquid onto a microfiber cloth, wringing out excess fluid, and gently wipe the monitor with broad strokes. Going in circles helps avoid leaving streaks.

Contact the ITS Help Desk with any questions at 607-777-6420 or