The Science Behind Effective Screen Cleaners

The Science Behind Effective Screen Cleaners

Whether it’s a smartphone, laptop, or TV that provides us with our entertainment or is used for work purposes we need to ensure we take caution in the way we clean them. Keeping your screen clean is not only for clear viewing but also to maintain your device’s longevity and functionality. However, not all screen cleaners are created with the same properties, and choosing the wrong one can do more harm than good.

We’ll go on to discuss the science behind effective screen cleaners, exploring how they work at a molecular level to remove dirt, oils, and microbes without damaging our delicate screen surfaces. By understanding the scientific principles that lie behind these screen cleaning solutions we’re better able to make a decision on how to keep our device looking healthy but also functioning optimally.

Understanding Screen Technology

To choose the correct screen cleaner for your device, it’s important to recognize the differences in screen technologies:

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)

LCD screens are made of a layer of liquid crystal sandwiched between two polarized panels. These screens are sensitive to certain chemicals and pressure.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

LED screens are similar to LCDs but they use light-emitting diodes for backlighting instead of fluorescent lamps.

Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) and AMOLED

OLED and AMOLED screens feature a series of organic layers that emit light when an electric current is applied. 


Many modern devices nowadays feature touch-sensitive screens that accumulate fingerprints and oils much quicker than non-touch screens. The outermost layer of these screens usually contains a layer of oleophobic coating to resist oils from fingerprints.

Chemistry of Screen Cleaners

The effectiveness of screen cleaners depends on their chemical composition which is usually designed to tackle dirt, grease, and fingerprints without harming your device’s screen. Here’s an overview of the key ingredients typically found in screen cleaners and the role of each.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)
    Commonly used due to its evaporative properties and effectiveness in dissolving oils and some types of residue. You’ll want to look for a diluted solution of IPA at around 70% or less to ensure its effectiveness without the risk of being too harsh. 
  • Distilled Water
    A universal ingredient but often overlooked as some people will still use tap water which is definitely not the same. The difference is that distilled water is free from minerals and other impurities that can leave residues and cause streaking on your sensitive screen surface
  • Surfactants
    Surfactants are substances that lower the surface tension of a liquid, allowing it to spread more easily and penetrate grime, also lifting it away from the screen surface. This is beneficial in a way that it removes dirt without the need for excessive rubbing, which can potentially scratch the screen.
  • Ammonia-Free
  • Ammonia is effective in cleaning glass surfaces but a lot of high-quality screen cleaners are ammonia-free cause because it can be harmful in damaging the anti-reflective coatings often found in modern screens, resulting in cloudiness or permanent streaks.

    pH considerations

    You want to factor in pH levels as well in your screen cleaners. It’s advised that a neutral pH of (around 7) is optimal for screen cleaners, why? Because it ensures that the cleaning solution is neither too acidic nor too alkaline, both of which could cause damage to screen coatings or leave residues.

    Natural ingredients

    In recent years, there has been a shift towards using more natural ingredients in screen cleaners such as using vinegar or plant-based alcohol. These ingredients offer an eco-friendly alternative to your traditional chemicals and are generally safer for most types of screens, however, their effectiveness can vary.

    Impact of Chemicals on Screen Longevity

    Different screen technologies mentioned earlier like LCD, LED, OLED, AMOLED, and touchscreen react differently to various chemicals in cleaning solutions. Understanding the susceptibility of each screen type to the various chemicals is important knowledge to preserve their longevity better. Here’s how specific chemicals impact screen longevity, categorized by the affected screen components:

    Screen Coatings

  • Anti-reflective Coatings: These are commonly found in your LCD and LED screens. The coating is susceptible to damage from ammonia and abrasive solvents. The usage of these chemicals can strip the coatings, leading to glare and reduced visibility.
  • Oleophobic Coatings: Touchscreens often feature oleophobic coatings to resist fingerprints and their secreted oils. Harsh solvents and abrasive chemicals can degrade these protective layers, resulting in a screen that attracts more smudges and increasingly becomes difficult to clean.
  • Screen Protective layers

  • Polarizing and Color Filters: Both LCD and LED technologies have polarizing layers and color filters that can be susceptible to damage by strong alkaline or acidic cleaners. This can result in color distortion and reduced clarity.
    • Organic Layers in OLED & AMOLED: The organic materials in your OLED and AMOLED screens are very sensitive to chemicals like alcohol and ammonia. Exposure to these can cause the organic layers to break down. The outcome of this is that it affects the display’s ability to produce accurate colors and deep blacks.

    Best Practices for Screen Maintenance

    To minimize the risk of chemical damage to your electronic displays adhere to the following guidelines below:

    • Select cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer usually found in the user’s manual
    • Apply cleaners using soft, lint-free cloth, and avoid excessive pressure and scrubbing that can physically wear down your screen surface
    • Regularly clean your screens with suitable cleaners to prevent the accumulation of residues that could interact chemically with the screen’s components and cause continuous damage.

    The Effective and Convenient Use of Hyscreen Kit

    Are you looking to clean your screen hassle-free from the worries of damage and time consumption to achieve your desired goal of a cleaner screen? The Hyscreen Kit features a bottle spray cleaning solution with plant-derived ingredients with anti-bacterial properties that are free from harsh chemicals like alcohol and ammonia. It also has an attached soft, lint-free cloth around the bottle to make it an all-in-one portable product for cleaning your screen anytime and anywhere.
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