Clean Your iPad Screen

By Dan Hinckley

115 responses. »

Update: iPad 2 owners can follow the instructions below for cleaning their iPad screen. The instructions and information applies to both the iPad 2 and the original iPad. Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions regarding cleaning your iPad or iPad 2 screen.

One of the initial concerns for many iPad owners is how quickly iPad screens appear to fill with finger prints and smudge marks. Apple’s new beautiful device looks a bit less appealing when its covered in smudge marks and oily finger prints.

When showing off the device, and to keep it it optimal condition for as long as possible it is important to keep the iPad clean and safe. The steps and process is very similar to how to clean your iPhone screen. To keep the outer areas of the iPad safe it may be a good idea to invest in an iPad case. I personally like the clear silicone ones that keep the outside and back of the iPad free from scratches.

How to Clean Your iPad Screen

Apple recommends cleaning your iPad in one particular approach through the iPad User Guide (iPad Only Link) that can be found as a bookmark in Safari on your iPad.

They suggest to clean the iPad:

  • unplug all cables and disconnect the iPad from any accessories or docks
  • Turn off the iPad by holding the Sleep/Wake button and sliding the onscreen slider off
  • Use a soft, slightly damp cloth or a cleaning solution like SQUEEGiT but be sure to not allow moisture in any openings in the iPad
  • DO NOT use window cleaners. These can damage the oleophobic coating on the iPad screen and reduce the functionality of the iPad over time
  • Wipe the iPad in a circular motion and be sure that no sand, dirt, or dust is on the cloth used to whip the screen

The iPad Screen coating is designed to repel oil. That may be why finger prints show up so quickly on the screen. You can easily wipe them off with the lint-free cloth and have the iPad screen looking new and clean again.

As always, clean the iPad carefully and often so that it continues to look great and so that it retains its value over time.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to Maciverse.com to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

115 Responses so far.

  1. kauri

    June 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I personally use Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser, both for the iPad, as well as for the macbook pro, it really helps with getting the sticky fingers off, and leave the mac/iPad sparkling.

    • SQUEEGiT

      September 23, 2011 at 7:07 am

      please don't use a rough material like magic eraser to clean glass surfaces. we have a Silicon-based product which is completely safe to use on glass screens and even hard plastic eyeglasses. it's called squeegit Thanks for your time.

    • Oh-oh

      July 3, 2012 at 6:49 am

      Finger prints are easy enough. I have a smudge that is probably newsprint ink from my briefcase. Any suggestions?

    • CoutureWest

      September 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Seriously?? Are you trying to get everyone's iPad ruined?? That magic eraser is very abrasive!!

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  2. Stephan

    June 12, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I looked up Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser on wikipedia and it appeared to be an abrasive foam that "works like fine sandpaper". I don't know if I'd use that on the iPad..

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      April 16, 2013 at 4:24 am

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  3. Edward

    July 7, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Can anyone say why rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) should not be used? I find that a little rubbing alcohol on kleenex works very nicely to clean my iPad screen.

    • Pearl

      May 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Alcohol will likely harm the oleophobic coating on the screen.

      • Pearl

        May 14, 2012 at 3:26 am

        Alcohol will likely harm the oleophobic coating on the screen.

    • cialis

      February 17, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Hello there! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Dan

    July 7, 2010 at 6:17 am

    it will damage the oleophobic coating and may impact the accuracy of the touch screen.

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  5. Bob

    July 12, 2010 at 1:44 am

    My stupid mother decided to take it upon herself to clear my iPad with window cleaner!! At the moment my screen doesn't feel soft and my fingers keep sticking and the touch isntnas sensitive as it was before. Doesnanyone know if this will get better??

    • guest

      January 31, 2011 at 11:42 am

      I don't know if your screen will get any better, but for your mother's sake, I hope your rude attitude toward her and her nice gesture will improve!

      • Jay

        April 26, 2011 at 5:41 am

        you must be a very sorry little person to talk to your mom like that.

      • God

        June 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

        Ban this little twirp. Better yet throw this ungrateful little jerk in a bottle shredder. Toxic crap like this that gets accepted leads to really bad stuff. This site needs better moderation.

      • felix

        January 16, 2012 at 4:07 am

        She was uninformed and maybe a little stupid, but it's cute that she tried to help. Tough call

    • A mother

      May 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

      Well Bob, I hope you have changed your attitude since you posted this and that a little kindness has seeped into your irritation.

      • A mother

        May 14, 2012 at 3:31 am

        Well Bob, I hope you have changed your attitude since you posted this and that a little kindness has seeped into your irritation.

    • annoyed

      May 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Never call your mother stupid.

    • buy youtube views

      March 4, 2013 at 2:30 am

      Who wants a stylus. You have to get em and put em away, and you lose em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.

  6. Doug

    August 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    The best product I have found is Dustoff LCD/Plasma cleaner. Two sprays and a wipe with their cloth transform my iPad and iPhone and make them like new!

  7. Matt

    September 9, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I used this screen cleaning gel for plasma and LCD TVs and that worked GREAT. However, I recently found a slight scratch (probably from a dog paw) and proceeded to buy an InvisibleShield and that is AWESOME. Don't have to ever worry about the screen.

  8. Thomas

    November 3, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Here's the Thing….Devices with a touch screen are breeding grounds for bacteria. So how to disinfect the screen with damaging the coating?

    • chris

      June 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      im still wondering the same thing, and they say never use windex or any chemical based cleaning product…but is it okay to use windex IF u have a screen protector?

      • Tom Goldman

        October 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

        I recently bought a screen protector and thats the best thing you can have if you are scared of germs. Then feel free to use all sorts of chemicals to clean it.

    • Reece

      May 14, 2012 at 3:34 am

      You can use non-liquid cleaners such as uv light. They are sold for phones aswell, you usually can put the iPad in the box where the uv light does the job

  9. Arron

    November 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I also found using your knuckles prevent ant printable at all

    • Anon

      December 7, 2010 at 5:22 am

      Once more, in English?

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        February 23, 2011 at 6:12 am

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  10. monicoperez

    December 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I've used the Monster Cable – TV Screen cleaning kit and it's worked great! It's able to clean my Ipad, MacBook and TV, so I just bought that one product at Best Buy and it's knocked out other screens all at once. I would definitely not recommend any Windex or such a product that is normally used for windows. I think they have harsher chemicals that might damage your device.
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  11. unclewondie

    January 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    The best and easiest way to clean is with a dry sheepskin chamois. No effort required at all! Great for sunglasses, too.

    • Vancheska

      June 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      I second that. I use the little cleaning cloths you get at the eyeglass store which are similar material (more like a microfiber material). If you have little spots or dirt to clean off, just breathe on the screen then wipe with the glass cleaning cloth. That is all the moisture you need to remove most anything to get your screen clean.

  12. Bob

    April 8, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Take a tissue and start rubbing in small circles then breath on the screen and wipe over the mist that forms. In about a minute you have a sparkly clean iPad.

    • Dan

      April 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      That is an effective way. ZAGG also makes a cleaning mist you can apply in place of your Breath.

    • sidra

      February 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Who wants a stylus. You have to get em and put em away, and you lose em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.
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  13. P-daddy

    April 18, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Let's say I have this friend who stuck a post-it note on his iPad (and he gets the irony of that move). When he removes the post-it, sticky residue is left behind. Just a damp cloth to clean it off? Or need some kind of something better?

  14. Brian Calabrese

    April 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Try rubbing your penis all over the iPad for a clean, sparkling look!

    • Swamz

      August 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Lmao, good advice dude. Hope its able to fit on the screen….

    • david morrison

      December 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      where are you from?

  15. jacob

    April 27, 2011 at 3:59 am

    is isapropanaol(lense cleaner) bad? and are the anti-glare powersupport films worth it?

    • Dave

      October 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

      An anti-glare film is great, it keeps fingerprints from showing up and keeps the glare down well too. You can use rubbing alcohol to clean the outer surface of the film without damaging the screen since the film covers the screen.

  16. jacob

    April 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

    is ispropanonal ok to use. its a lense cleaner.

  17. Loco 88

    May 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I've used a "Mobile Cloth" for the last year… Works great-

  18. Thomas

    June 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    So I have a screen protector on right now. It is pretty dirty. I am wondering what I can clean that off with. Also when I remove the screen protector is it going to leave any kind of adhesive behind?

    • Dan

      June 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      Try water first.. just a tiny bit of mist..

      It depends on the protector but it shouldn't.

    • Dave

      October 22, 2011 at 12:03 am

      Rubbing alcohol will remove the oil and disinfect the surface- don't worry about damaging the screen since you have the protector on it.

  19. Lian

    June 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    how about a baby's wipe? Which is soft?

    • Dan

      June 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Don't use a baby wipe, it has chemicals on it.

      • Alex

        July 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm

        …You'd use a baby wipe on your child's most sensitive body parts but not on your ipad. you people are HILARIOUS

  20. lili

    August 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    what is the best product to clean the ipad screen??

    • Dan

      August 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      Soft cloth, bit of water (not much at all though)

  21. Mark

    August 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I use Nano Clear by Oakley (the Sunglass Company) it works GREAT

    • cyclingpro

      February 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

      actually thats what solution was originally designed for.

  22. querido

    October 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Do NOT clean as often as possible – only clean when really needed…
    Paperbased products work like grinding paper and In the longer run you will damage your device!
    Best is to breathe on the screen first, then use a soft cotton based tissue to gently clean it.

  23. Ashok

    November 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    How abt spraying yr deodorant n wiping with a tissue in circular motion?

    Wl wipe n smell good too!

  24. selevistar

    November 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you verey mach

    • joe

      March 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      learn how to spell…….

  25. Lei David Chen

    March 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Did not expect to run into Dan Hinckley, SQUEEGiT spokesman, while stumbling through the Internet this morning! Hope you're doing well, man.

    • dan

      March 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Hah, you never know where I'm going to show up!

      Good to hear from you.

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  27. KatiPod

    May 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I used a stiffer sheet, and did a circular motion and then up and down. I got it mildly damp for the really dirty parts (only a drop or two of water on the sniffer sheet). It worked great!!

    • KatiPod

      May 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      I meant SWIFFER!!

  28. Lance

    May 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you for the cleaning info. I always get embarrassed when I am showing someone something on my ipad screen and it's not free of blemishes etc.. I have always tried to wipe it down as soon as possible but the minute you touch it again it's filthy.

    I notice just using a dry soft cloth works really great for getting rid of dust and fingerprint marks. Then I will clean with a damp clothe (similar to the directions above) about once every two weeks or so.

    Thank you for the great information.

  29. stefan

    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    bro tip: clean your hands very good with soap.
    then do not wipe the water of just shake them so that the exces water goes off
    them rub your hand on your screen and clean all the dirt
    then with a fresh towel wipe the water off the screen , the screen will look like new and without using chemicals

    works with any device and on any surface of the device
    this is how i clean my phone and it looks like new after

    p.s: do not let water get into any cracks , holes etc

  30. Tony

    June 16, 2012 at 2:11 am

    No need for soap/water or any chemicals just get yourself a Microfibre Cloth best thing ever for cleaning any device and safe :D

  31. Oh-oh

    July 3, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I have a couple of smudges on my Ipad screen that are likely printer's ink from newsprint. They are not removed by eyeglass cleaner and cloth. Any suggestions?

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    August 3, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I have always attempted to wipe it down as almost immediately as likely but the minute you stroke it again it's filthy. Thank you for this info.

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  34. Emily

    August 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I have to agree with what some of the other comments said… Microfiber cleaning cloths are the way to go! LYNKtec makes a great cleaning cloth that doesn't require any kind of liquid or cleaning solution, yet it still manages to make the screen look brand new! It's amazing! They're also fun and personalized because instead of the usual boring white or black, their cleaning cloths feature a wide range of different pieces of famous art. Very cool! I highly recommend!

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    October 1, 2012 at 6:25 am

    your screen and clean all the dirt
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    November 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Apple’s new beautiful device looks a bit less appealing when its covered in smudge marks and oily finger prints.

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    January 21, 2013 at 2:09 am

    After long use my screen gets covered with tiny white particles … What is it? I clean with microfiber cloth.

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