We updated this article in March 2022 to add more information about the featured products based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute. Our original top-rated picks, selected by the GH Cleaning Lab remain the same. This story now also includes a screen cleaner shopping guide.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all become much more diligent about keeping high-touch surfaces clean. And what could be more high touch than the phones, laptops and other electronic devices we connect with almost 24/7? They are our lifelines to family, work and the outside world, so it’s no wonder they get covered with dust, greasy fingerprints and grime — not to mention germs we can’t see.
Regular cleaning is important not only to keep your gadgets looking great, but for your personal safety and to help your devices work better, too. Here in the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab, our picks are based on our in-Lab testing, the personal favorites of our tech and cleaning experts and those highly rated in online consumer reviews. Here are the best screen cleaners recommended by the GH Cleaning Lab.
Our top picks:
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Best Overall Screen Cleaner
Electronic Cleaning Wipes
- Contains no harsh ingredients
- Helps repels dust
- Not portable
- Removes, but doesn’t kill germs
Pre-moistened and ready-to-use, Weiman’s wipes remove dust, fingerprints and other greasy smudges and smears without any harsh ingredients that could damage delicate screens — all reasons that helped them earn our Good Housekeeping Seal. In our Cleaning Lab tests, they were well-sized to use on large and small devices, worked quickly and cleaned well. Screens dried fast and without any excess moisture, streaks or residue left behind. We also like using Weiman pre-moistened wipes to remove grime from keyboards and for spot cleaning, too.
Best Value Screen Cleaner
Personal Electronics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Picks up and locks in dirt
- Can be used wet or dry
If you want a basic cloth to wipe away greasy smudges and film on everything from your phone to your laptop to your television screen, opt for E-Cloth. Made of microfiber, it picks up and locks in dust and dirt particles within its microscopic structure without scratching the surface and without the need for liquids, so it’s a safe bet for any device. And thanks to its large 8-inch by 12-inch size, there are thousands of tiny crevices for trapping particles, so it can handle multiple cleanings before it needs rinsing or washing. For devices that can withstand moist cleaning, the E-Cloth can be dampened before wiping for even better results. We have tested many E-Cloth microfiber cleaning cloths in the GH Cleaning Lab on glass, appliances and countertops and we are big fans.
Best Screen Cleaning Spray Kit
- Backed by Best Buy
- Includes a microfiber cloth
- Some say the cloth is a bit small
Insignia, Best Buy’s private label brand screen cleaner is a consumer favorite. While we haven’t tested this spray ourselves, consumers praise it for cleaning all types of screens quickly and thoroughly and without damage. Most say it zapped streaks well and give it points for including a washable microfiber cloth — though a bit small — that can be stored neatly with the spray under the cap. Handy for homes with lots of screens to clean, the 5-ounce bottle of cleaning solution goes a long way when you spray the cloth, then wipe.
Best Laptop Screen and Keyboard Cleaner
Good Grips Sweep & Swipe Laptop Cleaner
- Has a brush for keyboards and crevices
- Compact and easy to store in a desk drawer
- Stays clean and protected
- Too small for large screens and TVs
This ingenious little tool from OXO is super handy to keep in a desk drawer or nearby your desktop. Pop off the plastic cover and use the microfiber pad to zap a smudge, fingerprint or speck of stuck-on dirt that’s blurring your screen. The soft-bristle brush gets gently into crevices, ports, openings and between and around keys to whisk away crumbs and dust. When done, just snap the cover back on and retract the brush to keep it clean and in good shape.
Best Portable Screen Cleaning Wipes
Mobile Screen Wipes
- Individually wrapped
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces
If you have experience with high-end cameras, binoculars or microscopes, you likely recognize the Zeiss brand. With a long history in high-quality lenses, Zeiss knows how to clean delicate surfaces without damaging them. These pre-moistened, disposable wipes are individually wrapped so they stay clean, fresh and moist until you open the package. Easy to tuck into a purse, pocket, car console, desk or drawer, the wipes remove fingerprints and greasy smears without leaving behind any filmy residue that needs additional buffing. They can be used to clean eyeglasses, too.
Best Screen Sanitizer for Phones
Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger
- Cleans both sides of phone within five minutes
- Can charge phone while cleaning
- Comes in six colors
- Only fits small devices
- Does not remove smudges or fingerprints
There are lots of devices that use UV-C light and claim to kill bacteria and germs on surfaces. While it’s difficult to determine just how effective they are without the assistance of a microbiology lab, there are some things about the PhoneSoap Pro that impressed us enough to include it here. In conversations we had with the manufacturer, we learned that the PhoneSoap Pro is EPA-registered, though it’s not required to be. EPA registrations are something we look for on all the germ-killing cleaning products we test, and it provides the assurance that the claims are verified.
In our testing, we found the PhoneSoap Pro easy to use. It cleans both sides of your phone at once in just five minutes, shuts off automatically and allows you to charge your phone while it’s being cleaned. You can also use it for sanitizing small items like eyeglasses, keys and credit cards. While it kills germs, it doesn’t remove grease or smudges, so you’ll need to wipe your device with a cloth before or after sanitizing.
Best On-the-Go Screen Cleaner Cloth
On-the-Go Smart Cloth
- Folds into a built-in pouch
- Small and easy to carry
Toddy Gear microfiber cloths are a GH Cleaning Lab favorite not only for how hefty and durable they are, but also for their dirt-trapping dual-sided cleaning and polishing fabrics. These colorful cloths are perfect to stash in a purse, glove box or briefcase for whenever you need to spruce up electronic screens or your car’s infotainment center. The 5-inch by 7-inch cloth neatly folds down into its own little pouch so it stays clean, and it’s machine washable and dry-able if it ever gets overwhelmed with dust.
Best Screen Cleaning Kit for Travel
Screen Cleaner Kit
- Kit includes sprays and microfiber cloths
- Available in larger sizes and wipes
- Small size spray may not last long
A consumer favorite with over 7,700 five-star reviews on Amazon, Whoosh claims to be the screen cleaner of choice at Apple stores. In our experience, it leaves screens squeaky clean and shiny in seconds with no hard-to-remove residue. The small spray is great to tuck into a purse while the larger one stays in a desk drawer or TV stand. The microfiber cloths are 6 inches square, washable and perfect for phone, tablet, laptop and desktop screens. As with all liquids, we recommend spraying the cloth before wiping. Never spray a screen directly.
How we test screen cleaners
When we test screen cleaners in the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, we are first and foremost concerned with the how safe they are to use on delicate devices and whether they may cause any possible harm to screens and coatings. For pre-moistened wipes and liquid sprays, we check the ingredients for potentially damaging culprits, like ammonia, and steer clear of recommending products that contain them. For dry cloths, we look for a convenient and usable size and how easy they are to launder and clean.
We test all screen cleaners on a variety of devices — large and small and from different manufacturers — for how well they clean, how easy they are to use and store, how quickly they work and whether they leave any residue behind.
Above, one of our Lab experts tests the OXO Good Grips Sweep & Swipe on the screen and keyboard of a laptop to assess how well it removes dirt, dust and smudges.
What to look for when shopping for best screen cleaners
There are tons of screen cleaning options on the market, but always check your device’s manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions before purchasing any cleaner to be sure what you are considering is safe. Here are some things to consider when shopping for screen cleaners:
✔️Size: It’s best to determine the size of the screens you plan to clean when shopping for cleaners. Of course, microfiber cloths and electronic screen wipes will work on a variety of screen sizes but if you are looking for a wipe that can clean your laptop, mini portable wipes made for smartphones might not be large enough for a thorough clean. On the flip side, a large TV wipe used on a phone wastes product.
✔️Cloth: Not every cloth is designed to remove fingerprints and dust. Some can actually make your dirty screen look even worse. Stick to microfiber cloths that are delicate enough to leave your screen scratch-free but still collect dirt, dust and grease.
✔️Formula: Always look at the indigents listed for your cleaner — screens are sensitive, and harsh chemicals can cause damage to the surface. For regular use, it’s important to use products specially made for screens. Disinfectant wipes containing alcohol can be used occasionally to remove germs, but try to avoid bleach- and ammonia-based products.
Are disinfecting wipes safe for cleaning screens?
When it comes to cleaning electronics, the Good Housekeeping Institute Media and Tech Lab always recommends following the device manufacturer’s recommendations for safety. And while this is always a good practice, many of those recommendations are extra gentle to keep from damaging the anti-glare, fingerprint-resistant and other protective coatings on a device’s surface.
Simply wiping with a cloth will remove grime — but if you want to actually kill germs, you need stronger measures. As a result, companies like Apple have recently acknowledged that disinfecting wipes, like Clorox and Lysol, and 70% alcohol wipes can safely be used on their devices.
If you have them at home and want to use them, make sure the wipe isn’t overly wet and no liquid seeps into any openings or ports. After air drying, wipe your device with a clean cloth to buff away any residue.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
The Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab provides expert tips and reviews on all things cleaning. Carolyn Forte brings over 40 years of experience a as consumer products expert to her role as Executive Director of the Home Care and Cleaning Lab. She has deep analytical testing and editorial writing expertise in categories like washers, dryers and vacuum cleaners, cleaning products and all things and tips needed to keep a home clean and organized.
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