Is Rubbing Alcohol Safe For Cleaning LCDs?
Is Rubbing Alcohol Safe For Cleaning LCDs?

No! Don’t use rubbing alcohol, Windex, Glass Cleaner, or any other ethanol or bleach based cleaner on your desktop computer or laptop’s LCD screen. These can leave permanent marks or “scars” on your screen and especially if done repeatedly, cause damage and clouding to the display. At minimum you’re going to strip away your screen’s glossy surface or matte finish. In the era where screens are a part of our daily lives, from smartphones to computer monitors, maintaining the cleanliness and integrity of LCD screens is essential. But rubbing alcohol is not recommended at all and it’s important to use safer alternatives to prevent irreversible damage.

Understanding LCD Screens LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens are composed of several layers, including a light source, liquid crystal solution, and protective layers, which are sensitive to harsh chemicals. A protective layer, often a coating of anti-glare or anti-fingerprint material, covers the delicate internal components. This protective layer is susceptible to damage from abrasive materials and aggressive cleaning agents.

The Dilemma: Rubbing Alcohol on LCD Screens Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is known for its disinfectant and cleaning properties and is often considered a go-to solution for cleaning various surfaces. However, its application on LCD screens can be problematic due to the following reasons:

Chemical Reactions Rubbing alcohol can react with the chemicals in the protective coating of the LCD screen, leading to clouding, discoloration, and irreversible damage.

Stripping Protective Coating The protective layer can be stripped away by rubbing alcohol, leaving the screen vulnerable to scratches and other damages.

So What Is The Best Way To Clean An LCD Screen?

The best way to clean your computer screen is to use a small amount of distilled water applied with a clean, lint-free cloth. Apply the water to the cloth and rub gently in a circular motion until the screen is clean. Don’t press too hard and don’t pour the water directly onto the screen (it can seep into the electronics behind it). Use just enough to keep the cloth damp and scrub only as hard as you need to so you don’t strip any of the coating off of the screen.

Guidelines for Safe Screen Cleaning Adhering to the following guidelines can help maintain the cleanliness and longevity of LCD screens:

  • Always turn off and unplug the device before cleaning.
  • Avoid using abrasive cloths, excessive pressure, and direct liquid application on the screen.
  • Use gentle, circular motions to clean the screen.
  • Ensure the screen is completely dry before turning the device back on.

So in summary you’ll need:

Microfiber Cloth A soft, lint-free microfiber cloth is usually sufficient for removing fingerprints, dust, and smudges without scratching the screen or damaging the protective layer.

Distilled Water For more stubborn dirt and stains, a mixture of distilled water and a small amount of mild detergent can safely clean the screen without causing harm.

Screen Cleaning Solutions (OPTIONAL) Specialized screen cleaning solutions, designed specifically for delicate screen surfaces, offer a safe and effective means to clean without risk of damage.


While rubbing alcohol is a potent cleaning agent, its application on LCD screens poses significant risks, potentially leading to irreversible damage. Opting for safer alternatives like microfiber cloths, distilled water, and specialized screen cleaners can ensure the cleanliness and integrity of LCD screens are maintained. By following proper cleaning guidelines and using mild cleaning agents, we can enjoy clear, undamaged displays on our devices, extending their lifespan and usability.


  1. Can you use baby wipes to clean LCD screens? Baby wipes may contain chemicals and fragrances that can damage the screen or leave residue; therefore, it is not recommended to use them on LCD screens.
  2. How often should I clean my LCD screen? The frequency of cleaning depends on individual usage and environment, but it’s generally good practice to clean the screen when visible dirt, fingerprints, or smudges appear.
  3. Is it safe to use eyeglass cleaner on LCD screens? Eyeglass cleaner may be safe if it does not contain any alcohol or harsh chemicals, but it is always best to use cleaners specifically designed for screens.
  4. Can vinegar be used as an alternative to clean LCD screens? Vinegar, like rubbing alcohol, can damage the protective layer of the screen, and it is not recommended for cleaning LCD screens.
  5. Why is it essential to use a lint-free cloth for cleaning LCD screens? Using a lint-free cloth is essential as it does not leave behind any fibers on the screen, which can cause scratches or trap dirt and dust.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments