How To Video
Safely clean a glossy displayMolly Wood shows you how to safely remove smudges and dust from your glossy laptop display.
[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:09 >> [Molly Wood:] Hey everyone, I'm Molly Wood at CNET.com with a reader request how-to. Anthony from Australia wrote to us and said, "I wish you guys would do a tech tip on how to clean a glossy Mac screen without ruining it. I'm stuck with a dirty screen because I don't want to clean it and risk destroying its appearance." Yeah, these glossy screens are showing up everywhere lately in almost every laptop and, of course, across the Mac line, and they get dirty fast. And yes, everyone's afraid to clean them. So here's how to do it safely and easily. Now, there are plenty of products out there that you can buy that work like display-specific glass cleaners. Most people recommend either Pixoclean, Optimist or Clearscreen, and actually any cleaner that's safe for cleaning glasses or other delicate glass material should be okay. But I don't actually think you need any of that. What you do need is the right kind of cloth. Now do not use any paper products [ buzzer sound ] for cleaning your screens. Don't use napkins or paper towels. Yikes, these things are very scratchy. The best thing to use is a micro-chamois or a microfiber cloth. This is anything that's good for cleaning glass. You want two, probably, and you'll need a tiny bit of water, preferably in a spray bottle so that you do not over-wet your cloth. Okay, here's what you need to do. First, turn off your display so that you can actually see all those smudges and dust, and -- oh my goodness, are you going to be horrified. Nasty. Now some people say that you should also let your display cool down for a while before you start cleaning it, so I guess if you've been using it for a while, you can let it cool a bit. I suggest that you start by using a dry microfiber cloth to sweep off all of the top layers of dust. Just rip these open here; they're brand-new. Okay, so just sweep right across to get that top layer of dust off. Makes a little bit of a difference already. Then, you want to just barely dampen the cloth with water. So find the soft side, spray just a little bit on here, not wet just damp, okay? Now start at one corner of the screen, and then you want to move in sections across the entire display. You're basically polishing the display just like a car, and you know if you go across it in these big, broad strokes, you'll get streaks. Tacky. Now if your display isn't super filthy, you can actually try this using just a dry microfiber cloth, and a lot of times that'll polish it up just fine if it's not too filthy-dirty. And if your display is too gross to live, then you can go ahead and get some of those cleaner products or glasses cleaner that I mentioned earlier, but remember, never spray the cleaner directly onto the screen. You want to spray it lightly onto the cloth first, and then clean. And if you have any excess moisture on the display after you use the damp cloth, use a second dry microfiber cloth to polish the screen and get all that moisture out of there. Okay, now you should be all set. Never put your grimy fingers on the screen again. Man, I miss matte screens. For CNET.com "How-to," I'm Molly Wood, your personal cleaning lady -- and you're welcome. ^M00:03:02 [ MUSIC ]