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60 Responses to “How to Crystal Clean Your Electronic Screens for Pennies”

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  1. Nicole

    I SO needed this tip! All of my screens are dirty because I’m too afraid to clean them with anything (I don’t want to do any damage) and I’m too cheap to buy the expensive store products. Thanks!

  2. Ryan Clayton

    I do like cheese!

  3. Sarah

    Yeay! how timely is this. I was just wondering what to use yesterday, I had though vinegar, then I doubted, then I though alcohol but didnt do anything, thanks so much for the confirmation!

  4. Nelly K

    Thank you Ryan, you’re the best!

  5. www.ichoosechange.com

    Thanks for this great tip! What a great way to save money and keep things looking great!

  6. Karen C

    Thanks, Ryan! Your so smart, and cute too!

  7. bnlkrieger

    I love this, I got duped in to buying the expensive stuff, never again!

  8. Chamayne

    Thank you for this! You must have been reading my mind. Just the other day I was staring at my smudged up tv screen wondering… how can I safely clean that?

  9. Crunchy Betty & Ryan are my electronics-friendly, naturally thrifty heroes! Oh, and they’re both super cute. :) Thanks y’all!

  10. cat party

    when my laptop keyboard gets dirty… i clean it with q-tips (helps prevent using too much liquid and getting it into cracks) and straight isopropyl alcohol while i watch movies (because it does take a while, but totally worth it when you are like me and consult the computer while cooking/following recipes)

  11. Heather :) :) :)

    This is cool. I like homemade cleaning supplies…and I’m always touching my smartie pants phone with my grubby fingers…so I’m constantly having to clean it!!! I use the same stuff for that screen that I use on my camera lense. It’s safe and gentle…but I like this alternative much better…and it’s definitely very wallet friendly. Thanks ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  12. Tara

    This works really well on super-grimy cds too, just a lil bit on a cotton ball. I’ve always done this ’cause I’m not so good at getting them back in their cases. As if anyone but me uses those anymore!

  13. Barb

    Can you use vodka instead of rubbing alcohol?

  14. Debbie Mahder

    the smell of rubbing alcohol gets to me. may i use grain alcohol instead?

  15. Gena

    Thanks to Ryan!

  16. Ashley Strachey

    My electronic tip is….. don’t let me touch yours. You would think I was making it up if I told you how many times I’ve held a friend’s phone/iPod/laptop, and POOF! suddenly it has some kind of severe problem and needs to be replaced.

    I’m so not kidding. It’s ridiculous. And I never have a fully functioning electronic ANYthing of my own.

    I’ll be grateful one day, like if robots take over the world. I’ll be the robot slayer, killing them all with just one touch from my finger! Then all my poor friends will be happy…

  17. Long Haired Hippie

    I love this one i figured it out a few years ago when my eczema went balistic and i had to start using heavy salves all day long and that stuff really gunks up a keyboard in a hurry and touch screen gah huge bother. This is magic!

  18. Amanda McCarter

    Just my two cents, but from my computer classes, we were taught never, ever, under any circumstances should you use rubbing alcohol or any type of alcohol on an LCD screen. You can severely damage it.

    A damp, soft cloth or paper towel will work just fine.

    • Ryan Clayton

      Actually, you might be mistaken. It is ammonia that is bad for LCD screens, or any type of plastic ‘glass’. The ammonia will slowly cause small pits to form in the screen. Also, don’t use rubbing alcohol, it has ethanol in it. You want to use 100% Isopropyl Alcohol as it evaporates and leaves nothing behind.

      Now using alcohol while on the computer….that could cause problems. =)

      • Hey! I was mentioning this recipe to some techie friends because I was really excited about this, and they had similar concerns. They mentioned that the concern is with the coating on top of the plastic on the LCD screens. They said the alcohol is a solvent to the coating (the typical anti-glare coating) and would dissolve it making the screen more susceptible to damage. Could this be true? I tried to research it, but the internetz gives me a headache sometimes :s Any help would be amazing! Thanks!

        • Ryan

          I’ve seen the same reports that using alcohol to clean the screen can cause the plastic to ‘dry out’ or yellow. New suggestion. Drink alcohol while using a damp microfiber cloth to clean the screen.

  19. Tricyclegrannie

    Help, I just bought your book and my IPAD won’t let me download iy

  20. Ooh! FInally, I’ve been waiting for your glass cleaner recipe. Thank you so much!

    Do you think this will work on my car windows as well? If not, what’s the best way to clean those without streaks?

    Love!
    Sue

    • hamletta

      Damp-to-wet newspapers work fantastic, once you’ve gotten the funk off.

      Of course, nobody gets the newspaper anymore, but if you’re like me, the local fishwrap has a local advertiser it foists on your front lawn regardless.

  21. erikatheicyone

    Mmmm… Cheese!

    Loving this and will do next time I clean my ‘lectronics. I usually just use a soft rag and some plain water or just dry dust but this sounds so much better. :D

  22. Aurora Rose

    Thank you, but can you please clarify… rubbing alcohol (as in the pic above) is not supposed to be used as Ryan has stated below in the comments? I’m confused.

    • Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol (check the label, though, to be sure) in 99.9% of the cases. Honestly, I’ve never seen a rubbing alcohol that wasn’t just isopropyl alcohol and water. Ryan was probably thinking about cheese or something and got confused. ;)

  23. Vodka, microfiber and q-tips for everything. Clean that filthy remote… now… really, it’s hideous.

  24. I always struggle with ways to clean these damn screens without ruining them! Thanks!!

  25. I agree with Vodka. Use it to clean cell phone, computer keyboard & screen, windows, mirrors, counter tops and the like.

  26. linda martin

    Awesome, thank you!

  27. I’ve made the mistake of cleaning my screens with natural cleaners. I never would have thought that rubbing alcohol and water would do the trick. Thanks again, Crunchy Betty for the tip.

  28. Susan

    Can’t wait to do this. My various screens are disgracefully filthy. Might you ask your tech friend if this would also work for a touch screen e-reader…Thank you!

  29. Mags

    It occurs to me that, used on a smartphone screen, this will also help disinfect one’s phone, which can pick up all kind of germies from being constantly handled.

  30. Christie

    I made the screen cleaner today. Not only did it do a great job of cleaning my computer and cell phone screens, but it is fantastic for cleaning my stainless steel/glass wall oven and microwave! It removed all the fingerprints and smears from both the stainless and the glass easily. Next, I tried it on my black glass cooktop – clean and streak free!! LOVE IT!!

  31. Annette

    This is a GREAT tip! I just bought expensive screen cleaning wipes and about keeled over from the strong fumes when I opened them – from now on, it’s simple alcohol and distilled water for me!!

  32. Carrie

    This stuff is amazing on my droid, computer screens, game cds (I haven no idea how my son manages to get that much crud on one game disc) and tvs. I will keep it in a baggie with it’s own microfiber cloth. I also made the Alvin Corn glass cleaner and compared it with windex on a mirror.. and then promptly trashed the windex. I love, love, love your recipes! Thank you for posting them!

  33. S

    How about LED screens with a child’s fingerprints? And those jabs aren’t gentle either!

  34. alicyn

    i just coughed mid-sip and sprayed green tea and honey all over my poor laptop. but now i’m motivated to pick up some distilled water and finally try this!

  35. can you use vodka instead of rubbing or isopropyl alcohol?

  36. Blings

    i have a ton of fly poop on my screen…i bought the philips screen cleaner and all it did was make a huge mess and smear all over the screen, now i cant get the smears off the screen PLEASE HELP ME!!

  37. Matthew McAlister

    Hi Betty and Ryan, i just wanted to give my 2 cents worth and say that i have been using the distilled water and 70% Isopropyl alcohol (they make stronger but 70% is the strongest that i have found) recipe for years and never had any problems. i can also say ( that i believe Betty also says) it really does keep all of my screens crystal clear, and it also works great for cleaning CD’s although i believe someone may have already mentioned that. i also believe something worth mentioning is that i believe some people may not realize that most of the expensive screen and CD cleaners that they sell at the electronics stores are really just the alcohol and distilled water all ready premixed. and so i say and agree with Betty and Ryan on why waste money on those expensive screen cleaners when you can save money and make your own.

  38. Matthew McAlister

    i also forgot to say that i would have never thought of saving the empty Isopropyl alcohol bottles and fitting a spray top to them (just be sure to relabel them as i believe Ryan said). however before i even knew about the distilled water and Isopropyl alcohol recipe, i have been using a name brand screen cleaner i think it was Monster or some other similar brand that cost me $14 so i might just keep that bottle to make this recipe for when the Monster cleaner runs out. i also believe that someone should state what type of microfiber cloths are the best to use. for me i find that the washcloth looking ones (such as the 3M or Scotch brand) work the best as the fibers are strong enough to scrub away the dirt,grime and dust from the screen, but still gentle enough so that you can be sure that it will not scratch the screen.

    Thank you Betty and Ryan for creating such a good website and these screen cleaning tips.

  39. carrie

    I’ve been using straight rubbing alcohol for years to clean my electronic screens (and even my countertops and showers). I’m glad you stressed the importance of spraying the cloth, rather than the screen. My husband wanted to help disinfect things around the house while I had a horrible case of the flu, and I neglected to mention spraying the cloth. While spraying the ENTIRE laptop, a couple large drops of rubbing alcohol dripped right between the keys of our laptop, and poof…bye-bye laptop. We were able to dry it out with a hair dryer on low and it seemed to work for a few weeks (though it seemed to run a bit roughly). We had it looked at by a professional computer repair person, but there was nothing we could do to save it/restore it to its previous condition. So, kids, listen to Crunchy Betty….spray the cloth, not the screen! (or the keyboard, for that matter)

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  42. Patti L

    I’ve seen many manufacturers recommend not using anything with alchohol on electronic screens….now I’m confused :(

  43. Lauren

    I too have seen where they came out shortly after this blog post was written that some manufacturers are not recommending against the use of alcohol on screens. I’ve seen some blogs indicate using distilled water and white vinegar. Can you speak to these Ryan?

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