Screen cleaners help with the important, but often neglected, task of cleaning your smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV, and other gadgets with a screen. They typically take the form of a cloth, a sprayable solution, or some combination of screen-cleaning tools.
We consulted with Kristin DiNicolantonio, director of stakeholder communications for the American Cleaning Institute, who emphasizes the importance of cleaning the devices we use most often. "Phones go everywhere, from your pocket to your purse to your face. Phones and tablets are handed to kids to play games, taken to the bathroom, and left on bed stands at night," she says. That means our devices can get dirty pretty quickly.
We researched products covering all types and applications, including simple cloths, wipes, and electronics-friendly sprays.
Here is our full list of the best screen cleaners for all kinds of screens, including those on your mobile device, computer display, and TV.
WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner Kit
Effective alcohol-free solution
Premium microfiber cloths included
Used in Apple stores
Sustainable refillable bottle
Somewhat pricier than alternatives
Might not be needed in all situations
With the wide array of screen-cleaning solutions on the market, the choice often boils down to finding a product you can trust to work well without damaging your devices, and the Whoosh! Screen Shine line is about as reliable as they come. The screen cleaner is a popular choice among consumers and experts alike, and it is reportedly used in Apple stores around the world.
As with any dedicated screen cleaning spray, the advantage over simpler methods isn't always consistent and quantifiable, so the extra cost might not be worthwhile in all cases. However, the effectiveness of Whoosh! Screen Shine is hard to deny. You spray the solution onto a cloth (one 6-by-6-inch and one 14-by-14-inch microfiber cloth come with the kit), and then wipe down your screen. The solution is free of ammonia and alcohol, and proper usage leaves behind no odor or streaks on your device.
The difference with the version labeled "New," "Pro," or "2.0" is the more sustainable spray bottle design. Besides using 75 percent less plastic than its predecessor, the upgraded 16.9-ounce bottle is refillable. Whoosh! sells separate refill cartridges of concentrated solution that you load into the bottle and shake up with water, ready for plenty of additional cleaning mileage. The solution is also available in more travel-friendly, single-use spray bottles for taking with you on the go.
Price at time of publish: $19
Type: Spray and microfiber cloth | Quantity: 16.9-ounce bottle, 2 cloths | Reusable: Yes (solution refills sold separately)
Best Budget Spray
Insignia 5 oz. Screen Cleaning Solution
Effective cleaning solution and cloth
Clever cloth storage design
Backed by Best Buy
Unclear alcohol content
Cloth and bottle are on the small side
High-end screen cleaning sprays may provide some extra peace of mind, but even more basic products like this Screen Cleaning Solution from Insignia (Best Buy's in-house brand) can deliver a lot of value for less. The kit includes a spray bottle and small cloth that work well together to wipe dust and smudges from your displays. While the formula is billed as eco-friendly and ammonia- and alcohol-free, the ingredients do include isopropyl alcohol, which is common to many cleaning solutions. It won't be a quantity that negatively affects most devices, but as a general rule for cleaning sprays, apply it to the cloth and never directly onto the screen.
One convenient design feature of Insignia's kit is the cloth storage built into the cap of the bottle, helping to keep the cloth both dry and close at hand. An even more portable 2-ounce bottle is available, but the 5-ounce version represents a better deal, and you're likely to use it all soon enough.
Price at time of publish: $10
Type: Spray and microfiber cloth | Quantity: 2-ounce or 5-ounce bottle, 1 cloth | Reusable: Yes (solution refill not available)
MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Effective when used dry
Made with high-end material
Washable and reusable
On the small side
Somewhat pricey for a cloth
If you're looking for just a screen-cleaning cloth to use with water, a separate solution, or even on its own, MagicFiber's Microfiber Cleaning Cloth is the premium option to consider. The company specifically designed the extra-soft cloths to be safe for delicate surfaces, with microfibers 200 times thinner than human hairs. This creates more surface area to trap dust, dirt, and grease without leaving lint or scratches, so you'll have no issues using them to clean computer monitors, tablets, and phones, in addition to eyeglasses, camera lenses, and more.
The cloths come in a variety of quantities, all black except for one gray cloth per set. The 6-by-7-inch size is a bit small for use on larger surfaces, but larger 16-by-16-inch cloths are also available if you often wipe down TV screens, for example. If the cloth starts to appear visibly dirty, you can wash it in warm water and air dry before reusing it.
Price at time of publish: $10
Type: Microfiber cloth | Quantity: 2, 4, 6, 13, or 30 cloths | Reusable: Yes
Best Budget Cloth
AmazonBasics Microfiber Cloths
Versatile for dry or wet usage
Washable, reusable, and durable
Fairly large size
Not the softest microfiber option
Tend to collect lint and static
The Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are a simple product, but for everyday screen maintenance, they offer a value-friendly way to get the job done. They come in packs of 24 pieces and up, with three different colors that can help you color-code them for various tasks. You likely will find plenty of cleaning tasks for them to tackle around the house, since they're durable and absorbent enough to use on everything from screens to dishes to countertops. Most users report no scratches or other issues when wiping phones and monitors, but the cloths aren't quite as soft as higher-end device-centric microfibers, so be cautious if you're concerned about delicate screens.
Besides saving money with a bulk buy, being able to reuse these Amazon Basics cloths for longer periods of time lets you save on waste, compared to disposable products. You can throw them in the washing machine once when they've picked up a lot of dirt, but avoid washing the microfiber with your other laundry so they don't collect too much unwanted lint.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Microfiber cloth | Quantity: 24, 36, 48, or 144 cloths | Reusable: Yes
Zeiss Mobile Screen Wipes
Safe, effective cleaning solution
Don't leave surfaces wet or streaky
Individual travel-friendly packaging
May dry out too soon
Pricey to resupply
The optical company Zeiss has a long history of products for cleaning glasses, lens, and other sensitive glass equipment, so the brand's Mobile Screen Wipes have a reputable foundation. The individually wrapped wipes are convenient for sharing and taking on the go while maintaining the moisture of each wipe. The cleaning solution is great at eliminating fingerprints and grease, with a formula specifically designed to be safe for cleaning phones or other electronics and a texture that's both durable and soft.
Unlike some other pre-moistened wipes, the Zeiss Mobile Screen Wipes aren't so wet that they leave damp streaks or require extra drying with a cloth. Some users find, however, that they dry out before cleaning the entire surface. Depending on the size of your screen, you may need multiple wipes, rendering the high-end disposable wipes less sustainable and cost-effective than reusable cloths.
Price at time of publish: $17
Type: Disposable wipes | Quantity: 60, 120, or 200 single-use wipes | Reusable: No
Best for Laptops
OXO Good Grips Sweep & Swipe Laptop Cleaner
Two useful tools in one
Very soft, retractable brush
Compact and easy to store or travel with
Microfiber pad not removable and hard to clean
No cap for brush side
When it comes to cleaning laptops, the Good Grips Sweep & Swipe Laptop Cleaner from OXO provides multiple handy tools in one tidy package. The two-sided design features a screen-cleaning pad on one end and a brush for cleaning keyboards on the other. The brush bristles are impressively soft, ideal for sweeping away dust and crumbs from in between the keys without causing any damage. A slider on the side allows you to extend or retract the brush.
The "Swipe" side consists of a small microfiber-covered pad made for wiping smudges and prints off your screen. It works well enough for laptops specifically, but the size and shape make it less versatile than a separate microfiber cloth. Cleaning the microfiber is also difficult, since it can't be removed. A protective cap helps keep the pad clean, but there's no cover for the brush side, which relies on its retractability. We think having a cap for that end as well would help keep it dust-free when not in use, but that's a fairly minor trade-off for a versatile cleaning tool.
Price at time of publish: $12
Type: Brush + microfiber pad | Quantity: 1 two-sided tool | Reusable: Yes
Best for Travel
Click Clean Screen Cleaner
Gentle mist spray
Built-in phone stand
Can leave screens too wet
No refill solution available
Stand doesn't fit thick cases
If you often find yourself on the go with a dirty phone or tablet, you need a tool like the Click Clean Screen Cleaner, which handles multiple cleaning tasks all in one. The pocket-sized tool delivers a fine mist spray of cleaning solution, which, unlike most sprayable solutions, you can apply directly to your screen. Then wipe off the solution using the microfiber pad that covers one side of the product. The mist may occasionally leave more moisture than the microfiber can handle, so you might need to wipe multiple times or bring in a separate cloth to dry it off.
The manufacturer does not currently sell refills of the solution, but you can refill the sprayer with water or another liquid screen cleaner when you run out of cleaning solution. As a bonus feature, the clear plastic case that protects the tool when not in use can slide off and double as a phone stand—at least if you don't have a thick case on your device. The microfiber also comes in five color options to suit your style.
Price at time of publish: $12
Type: Mist + microfiber pad | Quantity: 1 tool | Reusable: Yes (solution refill not available)
Calyptus Screen Cleaner Spray Kit
Effective screen cleaner
Two types of cloth included
Good quantity of cleaner/cloth for the price
Not necessarily the strongest solution
Some users had issues with spray bottle
Plenty of cleaning solutions tout an eco-friendly formula, but Calyptus puts the focus on natural ingredients for its Screen Cleaner Spray Kit. The company produces the plant-based solution in small batches in New York. While some users report the solution leaving streaks or not cleaning as powerfully as they expected (and occasional issues with the spray bottle pump construction), most are impressed by the spray's cleaning performance on various devices across the board.
Accompanying the solution are four total 8-by-8-inch cloths that serve two distinct purposes: a pair of microfiber cloths for removing the bulk of dirt and grime, and a pair of "pixel shining" cloths to wipe up leftover oils and solution. In conjunction with the two 4-ounce bottles of cleaning solution, the kit is both effective and cost-efficient, supplying more materials for a lower cost than many premium spray kits. For larger displays, Calyptus also offers a kit with 16-ounce bottles and 16-by-16-inch cloths.
Price at time of publish: $13
Type: Spray and microfiber cloth | Quantity: 2 4-ounce bottles, 4 cloths | Reusable: Yes
The Whoosh! Screen Shine Refillable Screen Cleaning Kit is our best overall screen cleaner for its powerful yet safe solution, large refillable bottle, and high-quality microfiber cloths. For just a microfiber cloth on its own, the small but effective MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth is our top recommendation.
What to Look for in Screen Cleaners
At its simplest, a screen cleaner can take the form of a small piece of microfiber material (like our "best cloth" option, the MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth) that you use dry to wipe down your display. Many users, though, take the process a step further with a dedicated screen-cleaning solution, like our top overall recommendation, the Whoosh! Screen Shine Refillable Screen Cleaning Kit.
Ultimately, the ideal type of screen cleaner depends on the level of cleaning you seek, along with what's safe and appropriate for your gadgets. "Always check the owner's manual or directions for any cleaning instructions specific to your device," recommends Kristin DiNicolantonio of the American Cleaning Institute. "Typically, a microfiber cloth or disinfectant wipe, gently applied while the device is off, is sufficient."
Solutions designed specifically for screen cleaning contain ingredients to help give your gadgets a more thorough and smudge-free cleaning than cloths and water can on their own, but you'll want to be aware of what exactly they contain. Many screen cleaning sprays include a safe amount of isopropyl alcohol, while others do the job without alcohol or ammonia. If you prefer to opt for plant-based ingredients for your household cleaning, you might consider doing the same for your devices—the Calyptus Screen Cleaner Spray Kit is our "best plant-based" pick.
Single-Use vs. Reusable
A disposable, single-use wipe can be convenient for cleaning screens, because they come prepped with cleaning solution, and you can throw them away afterward without worrying about washing them or passing along dirt, which leads to the downside of increased waste and the costs of restocking your supply. With our "best wipes" choice, the Zeiss Mobile Screen Wipes, for example, a proper cleaning may call for more than wipe for each device.
Can a screen cleaner damage a screen?
You'll want to be careful with the products you apply to your valuable electronics, especially with the LCD or LED displays on televisions and certain touchscreens being more sensitive than glass-covered ones. Bleach is a no-go, and most solutions also avoid ammonia as a cleaning ingredient since it can discolor and damage TVs and LCDs.
Reputable brands like the ones on this list design their solutions to work well with electronics, as long as you use them appropriately—especially by not pouring or spraying the liquid directly onto your display (unless it's a fine mist). "These products are formulated to be safe when used as directed," says DiNicolantonio. "Many companies will post more information on their ingredients online."
What cleaners are safe for screens?
Just about any electronics-specific cleaning product with some kind of backing from tech manufacturers or other end users should be fine for your screen—otherwise, negative feedback would keep them off the market. Solutions with certain amounts of cleaning alcohol are generally usable as well, with both Apple and Google stating that solutions with up to 70 percent isopropyl alcohol are safe to use on their devices.
How often should you clean your screens?
Screen cleaning frequency can depend on personal preference, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. Experts agree on plenty of sanitary reasons to take extra care of the ones you hold and carry with you every day.
"Dirt, oil, or germs from hands can mark up screens. Wipe the screen at least daily with a microfiber cloth," DiNicolantonio says. "The case you have on your phone or tablet can trap dirt and grime along the edges. Take the cover off weekly. Use a disinfecting wipe on the case, both inside and out. Let it dry completely before putting the case back on."
Why Trust The Spruce?
Anton Galang is a freelance writer and editor who started working in the consumer electronics field in 2007 with PC Magazine. More recently he has contributed writing, research, and reviews to the technology website Lifewire, in addition to his coverage of smart home devices and other tech-related products for The Spruce.
For context and expert insight on screen cleaners, Anton spoke with Kristin DiNicolantonio, director of stakeholder communications for the American Cleaning Institute, who weighed in on the value and recommended practices for keeping devices clean. Anton's research also took into consideration over 30 screen-cleaning products from nearly as many brands, along with dozens of reviews of those products from consumers and experts. The resulting list reflects recommendations across the spectrum of screen cleaner types, covering a broad range of applications and price points.