How to Remove Cigarette Smoke From My Laptop Screen

Written by c.a. rubino
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How to Remove Cigarette Smoke From My Laptop Screen
Cigarette smoke can be very damaging to nearby computers. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Smokers who indulge their habit while working on or near a computer will find a film of nicotine residue quickly forming on their LCD screens. This film can have a bad stench and eventually make the screen murky and difficult to see. Cigarette smoke film and residue is extremely difficult to remove, especially on an LCD screen that is sensitive to scratching and even mild cleaning agents. A spray of water and isopropyl alcohol can be helpful.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean soft cloth

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  1. 1

    Mix a solution of isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle. The mixture should not exceed more than 50 per cent isopropyl alcohol to water as stronger concentrations can damage the LCD screen. Do not use other types of rubbing alcohol or cleaning agents not designed for LCD panels.

  2. 2

    Spray a small amount of the solution onto a soft cloth. Do not use a paper towel, rag, or similar material as the coarse surface will scratch the LCD panel. Microfiber cloths specifically designed to clean LCDs work best. The cloth should be slightly damp but not enough to drip. Do not dip the cloth into the solution and do not spray the solution directly on the screen.

  3. 3

    Wipe the screen with the cloth in smooth strokes or gentle, circular motions. Keep the cloth clean by brushing off any particles that may build up on the cleaning surface. Spray more cleaning solution on the cloth when it starts to get dry, using a different portion of the cloth each time. Work slowly and gently to avoid damaging the LCD panel's surface.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use pre-moistened cleaning pads designed for LCD panels but this may not be the most cost-effective option because the use of a high number of pads may be necessary.
  • Be very careful when wiping down the LCD screen. Too much pressure on the front of the LCD panel increases the risk of scratches forming and can crack or shatter the screen. Do not put too much pressure on the back of the panel, either, as there is often little protection for the screen from the back and the increased stress on the panel may damage it.
  • Do not allow too much moisture to build up on the screen to prevent drips that can seep in under the edges of the panel and possibly cause damage to the electrical components underneath.

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