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How to Properly Clean a Touch Screen

Friday March 20, 2020

As touch screens, phones, and tablets become more frequent in the way stores and restaurants conduct business, and with COVID-19’s arrival in the United States, touch screens need to be frequently and thoroughly sanitized to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to properly clean a touch screen:



  • Lint-free or microfiber cloth
  • Cleaning solution: mix of 80% alcohol and 20% distilled water

Step 1. Turn off and disconnect the device from all power sources.

Turning off your device and unplugging it from the wall is crucial. This helps avoid electrical shocks and permanently damaging your device. However, residual static electricity still has the potential to cause harm. To remove residual static electricity simply touch a metal part of the case, but not any of the inside components. 


Step 2.  Moisten a soft, lint-free or microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution.

Never spray your cleaning solution directly onto the touch screen! The liquid will seep into the corners and in between the thin layers causing black spots to appear on the screen. Also, never use ammonia-based glass cleaner, such as Windex. The ammonia will destroy the screen's membrane and cause permanent discoloration. In more severe cases, it may even result in the touch screen not working properly.


Step 3. Wipe the surface in a circular motion to remove any dirt or residue.

Apply gentle pressure as you wipe the touch screen. The circular motion will reduce possible streaking.


Step 4. Use a dry, clean, microfiber cloth to gently dry the surface.

Never dry with paper towels, facial tissues, or abrasive cloth. These items can cause tiny scratches on the touch screen. In addition to the dry, clean, microfiber cloth you can also use a soft brush to remove any small objects from between the glass and the outside grooves.


Step 5. Reconnect the device to a power source and turn on.

Once cleaned, and you’re certain the surface is completely dry, you can then reconnect your touch screen to the power source and turn it on. It is now safe to use. 


Cleaning Frequency

During crises, such as the COVID pandemic, it’s critical to sanitize your touch screens as often as possible. For devices like portable tablets that are handled by a different staff member each shift, consider cleaning them at the end of each shift. For fixed-devices or self-service touch screens, consider cleaning at least once a day.