How to properly clean an iPad screen without damaging your device

How to properly clean an iPad screen without damaging your device

apple ipad

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Your iPad screen is not going to stay factory-fresh.

  • You'll want to avoid using sprays or any semi-abrasive materials when cleaning your iPad screen.
  • It's important that you don't have any power sources attached to your iPad when cleaning it.
  • It's best to avoid all household cleaners on your iPad screen. You can use a small amount of water to clean the iPad but should be very careful to ensure no moisture gets into the cracks around the edges of your device.

My device screens are perpetually collecting grime. Maybe it's the LA smog somehow polluting the screen of my iPad- but it's more likely to be general residue collecting on the screen when my iPad spends the day in my too-old backpack.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Regardless, when I sit down to work and my iPad screen is dirty, it's just distracting. At some point, I have a strong suspicion that there will be research proving that we're more productive when our device screens are clean. (Up until now, no comprehensive research has been conducted on the subject, so you'll have to trust my hunch on this one.)

In hopes of becoming less distracted by a dirty screen, I try to clean my iPad screen with some regularity. However, you need to be careful when cleaning any device screen. It's not something you can spray Windex on and hope for the best. That's why we're going to cover how to clean an iPad screen and what not to do when cleaning an iPad.


What to avoid when cleaning your iPad screen

Your iPad may seem unbreakable, but it's still a fragile electronic. And that means it is easily damaged and needs to be handled with care - and without moisture. Here's what you need to avoid when cleaning your iPad screen:

  1. Using sprays of any kind. In fact, Apple Support advises that you "don't use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives." Apple also reminds users of its devices to not "get moisture into any openings" of a device.
  2. Leaving your device plugged in. You'll also want to make sure there aren't any power cables attached to your iPad while you're cleaning, according to Apple.
  3. Using paper towels, hand towels, or any other abrasive cloths. If it feels like you shouldn't use it on your iPad screen, trust that instinct. Apple says to "avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items that might cause damage."

How to clean an iPad screen properly

ipad screen clean

Maya Kachroo-Levine/Business Insider

Using a microfiber cleaning cloth is a great move.

  1. Make sure your device is unplugged.
  2. Turn your iPad to "sleep" mode or power the iPad off entirely.
  3. Use a soft cloth that is entirely free of lint. A microfiber cleaning cloth that you can find on Amazon is ideal - and it's $12 for a three-pack.
  4. With small circular motions, use the soft cloth to clean the iPad screen.
  5. If necessary, dampen the cloth (ever so slightly) with water. If you're going to dampen the cloth, use extra caution so you don't risk moisture entering the cracks of the iPad. (There are multiple sources that say a conservative amount of liquid is okay in the cleaning process. Some recommend a tiny amount of water, while others recommend cleaner solutions.) Either way, remember to not spray the liquid directly on the screen, but rather apply the liquid to the cloth before cleaning the screen with small circular motions.
  6. Do not use the damp cloth along the perimeter of the iPad. Only a completely dry, lint-free cloth should be used to clean the screen's perimeter.