Best Laptop Cleaners

Updated April 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

41 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
358 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best laptop cleaners

Last Updated April 2020

If you’re someone who takes your laptop computer with you everywhere, and you use it constantly, you know how dirty it can get. Smudges on the screen and grime on the keyboard are common. And there are other contaminants that your laptop can accumulate during normal use that can actually shorten the lifespan of the device if you aren’t careful. Dust, crumbs, and pet hair can worm their way inside the case through the keyboard or through the cooling vents. That’s why you need a good laptop cleaner.

It’s important to keep your laptop screen and keyboard clean, so you can see what you’re doing, the keys don’t stick, and your laptop doesn’t overheat. And it’s just more enjoyable to use a clean laptop. 

You have quite a few options when it comes to laptop cleaners, and you want to find the right cleaning method that meets your needs. Our buying guide has all the information you need, as well as some product recommendations, as you shop for a laptop cleaner.

When a laptop keyboard is constantly exposed to dust, pet hair, crumbs, and other contaminants, it can shorten the lifespan of the computer.

Key considerations

When you’re shopping for a laptop cleaner, you’ll find all kinds of items and hardware included in kits. You also can purchase many of the items separately. Here, we’ll explain the most common items included in laptop cleaning kits and how they work.

Microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is a soft fabric that doesn’t leave lint behind, which makes it ideal for cleaning laptops. You don’t want to use a rough fabric that could scratch your computer. Facial tissues can be surprisingly rough and leave lint behind. Paper towels can scratch the screen. You can use versatile microfiber cloths to clean smartphone screens, tablets, camera lenses, and eyeglasses, as well as all parts of the laptop.

Cleaning solution

The cleaning solution you select should be free of ammonia and any abrasive chemicals. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol is a common ingredient in laptop cleaning spray. You apply the cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth and then wipe down the parts of the laptop (don’t spray the solution on your laptop). Or you can use a disposable, premoistened wipe saturated with the solution.

Compressed air

Canned compressed air is another helpful tool to use to clean your laptop. Use the compressed air to blow crumbs and pet hair out of the crevices in the keyboard. It also can clean out dust from the cooling vents.

Brush

A simple brush is another option for cleaning cooling vents and keyboards. The brush should have firm bristles rather than soft bristles to move crumbs and pet hair out of crevices. However, don’t use a stiff brush on your display screen because it could scratch it. Select a good-quality brush that won’t leave loose bristles behind as it cleans. 

EXPERT TIP

To reduce the number of times you need to clean your laptop, avoid eating, drinking, smoking around the machine.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Perhaps you’ve tried some of the items we’ve listed above and they don’t fully meet your needs. If you’re in search of something else, here are some specialty laptop cleaning items you might want to try.

Vacuum

Small vacuums designed to clean computers use a wall outlet or run off a battery. Some include a tiny brush on the attachment to help dislodge crumbs and pet hair before they’re vacuumed up. You don’t want to use a regular vacuum to clean your laptop because it has too much suction power. These mini vacuums have less suction, so they won’t damage your laptop.

Cleaning gel

If you struggle to clean dust from your laptop keyboard, you might want to try cleaning gel. As you roll the gel across the laptop, dust and tiny particles stick to it. This solid material has just enough flexibility so it can mold itself around the keys or cooling vents on the laptop case. A high-quality cleaning gel shouldn’t be too sticky, because it could leave a residue behind. Some people use this type of gel to clean air vents in vehicles, too.

Bulb air pump

If a spray of compressed air is too powerful to use on your laptop, you can try a handheld bulb air blower. This gently removes dust and other small particles without causing damage to the computer.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Turn off the computer and unplug it from the outlet if necessary before you clean it.

Laptop cleaner prices

Kits: Laptop cleaning kits are typically reasonably priced, but it depends on what items are included in the kit. A full kit with a brush, cleaning solution, and microfiber cloth costs $10 to $25. 

If you purchase the items separately, you’ll pay a bit more, but you’ll also get exactly the products you need and none you don’t.

Microfiber cloths: Basic microfiber cloths can be purchased for $5 to $10 apiece, less if you buy them in bulk.

Brush: Expect to pay $2 to $5 for a brush. 

Solution: Cleaning solutions, premoistened cleaning wipes, and cleaning gels typically cost $5 to $10 per container. 

Vacuum: Computer vacuums cost about $10 to $50, plus the cost of any batteries.

EXPERT TIP

As you’re cleaning, check inside the USB and HDMI ports. If there are particles or dust inside these ports, use canned air to clean them out.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Start with canned air. Because canned air blows particles around, you want to use it first. Once the particles have been dislodged, you can remove them more easily with the other tools.

  • Don’t apply cleaning solution to the laptop. Always apply liquid cleaner to the microfiber cloth and then wipe the cloth on the laptop case or screen. You only need a few drops or a couple sprays to clean a laptop effectively. Add a few more drops to the cloth to clean stubborn smudges.

  • Use a dry microfiber cloth on the screen first. To remove dust and fingerprints from the screen, start by using a dry cloth. If you can clean the screen properly without adding cleaning solution, that’s the best option. Add a few drops of cleaning solution to the cloth to remove any tough smudges.

  • Disinfect the laptop keyboard. If more than one person uses the laptop, you might want to disinfect the keys from time to time. Search for a premoistened cleaning wipe that contains a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it properly. You want less than a 1% concentration of hydrogen peroxide to ensure the disinfectant won’t damage the electronics.

Other products we considered

Although most readers can find a high-quality laptop cleaner in our matrix, we considered some other products that may fit your specific needs a little better. Microfiber cloths are always helpful to have on hand when cleaning a laptop.

This six-pack of MagicFiber Microfiber Cloths is reasonably priced. If you prefer the simplicity of premoistened cleaning wipes, consider the MiracleWipes Screen Wipes. These streak-free, static-free wipes won’t leave a residue on the screen or keys after you use them.

If you often end up with crumbs or pet hair in the crevices of your laptop keyboard, the MECO Mini Vacuum Keyboard Cleaner is a perfect choice. It’s small enough to pull items from between the keys.

Another option for removing dirt from between the keys is the ColorCoral Cleaning Gel. It’s a lemon-scented flexible solid that molds to the laptop components, squeezing between the keys and pulling out dust and crumbs. 

When cleaning a laptop computer, be sure to remove dust and stray particles that may be blocking the air vents on the sides of the case.

FAQ

Q. How often should I clean my laptop keyboard?
A. If you often use the laptop in a dusty environment, it should be cleaned thoroughly every few weeks. Laptops used in an environmentally controlled environment probably can be cleaned every few months. However, if you have pets or if kids eat near the laptop frequently, you might want to clean it more often. Wipe dust off the keyboard as it collects.

 

Q. How often should I clean my laptop screen?
A. A dirty laptop screen can affect how you use the machine because it can be tough to view information on a smudged screen. We recommend cleaning it with solution as needed and dusting it as needed.

 

Q. Do I need to use cleaning solution every time I clean my laptop?
A. Not necessarily. Laptops tend to accumulate dust every few days, so you can remove dust with a dry microfiber cloth. Only use cleaning solution when you need to remove smudges or stubborn grime that doesn’t wipe off with a dry cloth.

 

Q. Should I open the laptop case to clean it on the inside?
A. No. Unless you have experience working with laptops and you have a clean room in which to work, you could cause quite a few problems by trying to open the laptop case. These cases are made so that consumers aren’t able to open them easily. And by opening the case, you’re just as likely to allow new contaminants in as you are to remove existing contaminants. A repair shop can clean inside the laptop for you.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey