Best Laptop Cleaning Kits

Updated August 2020
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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 
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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.

31 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
406 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 cleaning kits

Last Updated August 2020

If you aim to stay productive on the go, you’re going to need a laptop. A laptop allows you to work, play, and connect on the move, providing flexible opportunities to get things done no matter where you are. Like any machine, though, a laptop must be clean to run efficiently, and a laptop cleaning kit offers the best way to maintain computer health.

Have you ever spilled soda in your workspace, sticking the bottom of your laptop to your desk? What about crumbs you couldn’t pry out of the keyboard, or unsightly smudges on the screen? Laptop cleaning kits offer several ways to mitigate these problems, and they do so in safe ways that won’t harm your computer.

What’s in a laptop cleaning kit? These kits typically contain a spray bottle with cleaning solution, with high-quality microfiber cloths that won’t scratch the screen. Some kits even give you small cleaning brushes, air-blowing tools, or other unique gadgets to spruce up your computer’s hygiene. We’ve looked at the market and produced this buying guide, plus recommendations, so you can spiff up your laptop in no time.

Laptop cleaning kits have a lot of uses other than computers. Use the solution on your phone, tablet, TV, or car touchscreen, and polish it with the microfiber cloth.

Key considerations

What’s in a laptop cleaning kit?

Cleaning solution: The foundation of a laptop cleaning kit is the cleaning solution. Some come as a liquid in a spray bottle, some are gels, and others are packaged as premoistened wipes. No matter what variety you choose, cleaning solutions are detergents designed to remove dust and oil from your laptop screen without damaging it.

When shopping, pay close attention to the ingredients in the solution. Those that include alcohol, ammonia, and phosphates are significantly harsher than the alternatives and can damage your screen over time and cause clouding. Confirm the type of screen on your laptop (LCD, LED, AMOLED, Retina, and so on), and check its compatibility with the solution you’re buying. Cleaning kit manufacturers often list what type of screen their products are best suited for.

Microfiber cloths: The cleaning solution may help dissolve oil and catch dirt, but you’re going to need something that physically removes those imperfections without scratching. In this case, we’re talking about microfiber cloths and other low-friction applicators. These cloths are extremely soft as well as durable, allowing you to gently polish the screen and preserve its clarity.

Brushes: For those hard-to-reach areas, consider a kit with a set of narrow brushes. Unlike large cloths, these brushes can access awkward spots such as under the keys, behind screen hinges, or even inside fan vents. For more thorough cleaning, seek out a kit with dual-sided brushes, as these offer stiff bristles on one end with a soft silicone wiper on the other.

Air-blowing tool: Laptops are full of nooks and crannies that even a thin brush can’t reach. An air tool is your best friend in this case because it can blow loose dust and dirt out from the keyboard and other areas.

Air tools come in two forms: compressed air and hand operated. Cans of compressed air are extremely convenient and powerful, but they run out of air eventually. Hand-operated tools never run out and may be safer to use on fragile electronics due to their lower pressure. You can even use them on printers, desks, car dashboards, lights, and any other place that collects dust.

EXPERT TIP

Some screens have an antireflective coating to prevent glare. If yours does, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to see if you can safely use a cleaning solution on it. Some screens can become blotchy and spotted when exposed to some cleaning solutions.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Special cleaning solutions

Antibacterial: Mobile devices are notorious for collecting grime and germs, and laptops are no exception. Laptops go to work, come home, sit in cafes, study in libraries, travel on public transport, and everything in between, and that makes an antibacterial solution all the more important. Not only can a quick laptop cleanse help keep you from getting sick, but it can prevent you from spreading germs to others you work with, too.

Plant-based: If you’re concerned about using potentially harsh chemicals on your laptop or in your workspace, consider a cleaning kit that uses plant-based products. These versions are natural, safe, and free of alcohol and other solvents. Of course, some of these products may be less effective at sanitizing and cutting through grime, but it could very well be a trade-off you’re willing to make.

Keyboard vacuum

If you’re especially messy or have an intricate gaming keyboard, a keyboard vacuum will take your computer cleaning to the next level. Keyboard vacuums are cordless, light-duty tools that suck up crumbs, dust, and other particles from hard-to-reach areas. Many come with multiple nozzle choices to fit in specific spots. Some can even be used on wet and dry messes, handling just about anything you spill on and around your laptop.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some cleaning solutions have antistatic properties, meaning they prevent a charge from building up on your screen. Not only does this prevent shocks, but it also slows the accumulation of dust, dirt, and bacteria.

Laptop cleaning kit prices

Inexpensive: You can get your hands on a quality laptop cleaning kit for less than $10. For that money, expect one or two small microfiber cloths, a small pack of cleaning wipes, a handful of plant-based options, and perhaps a small brush set.

Mid-range: Double your budget to $20 and you’ll be rewarded with higher-quality microfiber cloths along with long-lasting spray bottles of solution. Antibacterial options are more plentiful in this range, as are larger brushes.

Expensive: Spend $25 or more and you’ll get all the features mentioned above along with a cool gadget like a keyboard vacuum.

EXPERT TIP

If you clean your laptop with compressed air, do not hold the can upside down. This can spray liquid instead of air, which can damage electronics. Also, take care when spraying compressed air into enclosed areas, because this can harm fragile components as well.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Turn off and unplug your computer before cleaning it. Be especially careful when using liquid cleaners. Tip the laptop over to remove larger debris from the keyboard, and then follow your cleaning kit’s directions.
  • Beautify your screen. Use a safe cleaning solution of your choice on a microfiber cloth or other soft applicator. Wipe the screen gently in one direction, avoiding circles and excessive pressure. Use a dry microfiber cloth to polish the surface.
  • Clean your keyboard. Use air (either compressed air or a hand tool) to dislodge crumbs and dust. Use a narrow brush to remove debris, finishing by cleaning the keys with a cotton swab dabbed in the cleaner of your choice.
  • Don’t mix a laptop cleaning solution with other chemicals. It can become abrasive or potentially toxic. If you’d like to make your own cleaner, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
Wondering how long your cleaning solution will last? Many products give you an estimate in the form of sprays per bottle. Others display this information in cost form, such as “one penny per spray” or something similar.

FAQ

Q. How often should I clean my laptop?
A.
Given the number of places they go and how often they’re touched, it’s no surprise that laptops get quite dirty, but you might be surprised at just how dirty they get. Studies have found that desktops and keyboards are among the dirtiest surfaces we touch every day.

With that in mind, the more often you clean the better. Microbiologists recommend you wipe down your desk and keyboard at least once a week, but if you work in an office or hospital, you may want to do it at least once per day. Washing your hands before and after computer use is also a great way to stay sanitary, improving your health while also protecting those you come in contact with.
 

Q. How can I make a laptop cleaning solution at home?
A.
Experts recommend that you clean your computer’s surfaces regularly, but cleaning supplies may be a bit hard to come by. If that’s the case, you can mix effective cleaning solutions with household supplies.

If you can’t find instructions from the manufacturer, a 70% alcohol solution is a suitable disinfecting backup. That said, it may not be the best for your laptop. Harsh chemicals can damage certain screens, such as Retina screens, so it’s safest to use a damp microfiber cloth at first. If that doesn’t do the trick, try mixing a solution of equal parts distilled water and white household vinegar.
 

Q. My laptop fans make a lot of noise. Will cleaning fix that?
A.
Possibly. Dust buildup is an extremely common cause of noisy laptop fans, whether it’s slowing down the fan blades or blocking the vent entirely. In either case, remove as much of the dust as you can, and then use an air tool to clear the vent.

However, dust isn’t the only cause of fan noise. Using resource-intensive programs will cause the fans to come on to dissipate heat, so cutting down on the applications you run simultaneously could potentially cut down on the noise. If software solutions and dust aren’t the problem, excessive noise could indicate a larger problem. In that case, take your laptop to a professional to be examined. 

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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