When cleaning a touchscreen, it is important to realize they are sensitive to chemicals, much as is a pair of glasses with plastic lenses. In fact, the cleaning kit supplied with a pair of such glasses is just the ticket for safely cleaning your touchscreen; it typically includes a micro-fiber cloth and a gentle cleaning solution and can usually be had for $10 or so.

First some warnings:

  • Units are not sealed and can be damaged if liquids are sprayed or poured directly onto any surface of the device. Cleaning cloths should be wrung of excess liquid prior to using on device surfaces.
  • Avoid Isopropyl alcohol at concentrations greater than 70% and non-diluted bleach or ammonia solutions. The use of incorrect solutions can result in visual impairment of touchscreen, discoloration, and damage functionality.
  • Do not use any cleaning agents that are labeled as corrosive or abrasive to glass or plastic. This includes solvents (Like Formula 409), acids, ammonia, and any cleaning agents containing an abrasive.
  • Do not wipe or scrape any surface of the device with anything abrasive (i.e. steel wool, cloth with steel threads, scrubbing sponges, razor blades).

Cleaning and disinfection are two steps. Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces.

To clean:

  • Use a clean, dry, non-abrasive cloth to gently remove loose dirt or smudges. We recommend a 3M 9021 Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth.
  • If further cleaning is needed, use a commercially available product such as Klear Screen or Glass Plus to dampen a clean, dry, non-abrasive cloth or use pre-moistened wipes designed for cleaning electronics. Avoid contact with the edges of the film or glass, and with the flex tail.
  • Allow the surface to dry.

To combat COVID-19 and disinfect, follow the steps above, then:

 

Note: Resistive touch screens (plastic film) have an air vent to equalize pressure on some part of one of the edges. Getting any liquid on the vent can damage the display module, so the panel needs to have a gasket and bezel to prevent this. An acceptable solution would be to put a cleanable screen protector over the entire screen before gasket/bezel. See “Is there an inexpensive screen protector I can use for my display?” for more information.