Any smartphone or tablet owner knows the difficulty of cleaning away fingerprints and smudges. While simply wiping it down with your shirt works to an extent, it isn’t the best tool for the job. Below is a list of items that should help remove fingerprints and clean away any nasty germs…

Whether you are just looking for a way to quickly wipe away fingerprints throughout the day or if you want to give your device a deep cleaning, there are plenty of great inexpensive solutions.

Below you’ll find all of our picks for the best smartphone and tablet display cleaning supplies. We have also included several tips on how not to care for your device at the bottom of the post.

Microfiber Cloths

AmazonBasics Microfiber Cloths for Electronics (6 Pack)

If you’re just looking for a quick and cheap way to wipe away fingerprints and smudges, this six pack of microfiber cloths from AmazonBasics. While these cloths aren’t the thickest and most premium available, they are small enough to be thrown in a backpack, wallet, or purse. Plus, if it gets damaged or dirty, you can swap it out for another that comes in the package.

Purchase the AmazonBasics Microfiber Cloths (6 Pack) for $6 shipped.

Alpine Spudz Microfiber Cloth in Pouch

We recently included the Alpine Spudz Microfiber Cloth in our 2017 back to school guide and had this to say about it:

This Alpine microfiber cloth is a great addition to any backpack and helps with [cleaning your electronics]. As it has a built-in pouch, the cloth can be attached or thrown into any bag and taken out for a quick wipe-down of your tech.

Purchase the Alpine Spudz Microfiber Cloth in Pouch for $9 shipped.

Stixx Screen Cleaner Kit with Microfiber Cloth and Solution

If a simple microfiber cloth isn’t getting the job done on its own, you might need to use some cleaning liquid. This screen cleaning kit from Stixx includes a 2.8-fluid ounce bottle of cleaning solution and a thicker microfiber cloth. The liquid itself can be sprayed onto the fabric before use to help remove debris and oils from a display.

As we address at the bottom of this post, it isn’t recommended to use just any type of household cleaning solution. This product is alcohol, ammonia, and phosphate free and shouldn’t hurt you or your device.

Purchase the Stixx Screen Cleaner Kit with Microfiber Cloth and Solution for $10 shipped.

Cleaning tools

OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush

While I have only ever used microfiber cloths to clean my devices, Ben Schoon has been using this ingenious cleaning brush that works wonders. Featuring soft bristles on one end of the instrument and a silicone wiper on the other, this tool is perfect for wiping away dust and fingerprints as well as getting into the nooks and crannies to remove particulates.

The GIF below shows the cleaning brush in action, removing several smudges from a Moto Z2 Force’s display.

Purchase the OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush for $10 shipped.

PhoneSoap 2.0 UV Sanitizer and Phone Charger

Lastly, we have the PhoneSoap sanitizer and phone charger. This works by using ultraviolet light to kill germs and bacteria living and growing on the surface of your smartphone. The manufacturer claims that it can reliably remove 99.9% of all bacteria on a smartphone in just five minutes. If you want to leave your smartphone in the container all night, there is an opening to run a USB cable into the box to charge your device.

Purchase the PhoneSoap 2.0 UV Sanitizer and Phone Charger for $37 shipped.

Things Not to Use

On most modern smartphone and tablets, companies place an oleophobic coating on the glass to help repel fingerprints and other oils. Over the lifetime of the device, this coating tends to wear out on its own, but some types of household cleaners strip it away.

For best practices, it isn’t recommended that you clean any electronic display with rough items like paper towels as well as alcohol-based cleaners. The rough material found in paper towels and other materials are abrasive and can cause micro-scratches that can worsen over time. Alcohol-based cleaners should also be avoided as they can remove any oleophobic coating as well as eat away at plastics and paints.

Are there any other products or techniques that you use to keep your devices free of fingerprints and grime? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at Tips are always welcome.