How to Clean an iPad Screen

Don't let a dirty screen hinder your view

A man reading on an iPad

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Cleaning an iPad is part of the regular maintenance you might do to keep your tablet in tip-top shape, but are you doing it correctly?

If the touchscreen is smudged and smeared from repeated taps or some other reason, make sure you take the proper precautions as you clean it. The wrong type of cloth can cause a lot of damage.

What You Need

Before you begin cleaning your iPad, there are a few supplies you'll need on hand:

  • Microfiber cloth: If one isn't available, a soft, lint-free cloth will work. If you wear glasses, the small square you use to clean your glasses will work perfectly for the iPad.
  • Water: You'll need to wet the cloth, but use only water. Never use cleaning supplies or solvents. These can break down the protective coating on the iPad's surface.

How to Clean Your iPad

Here's the right way to make your iPad screen look brand new:

A microfiber cloth on a dirty iPad
  1. Unplug your iPad if it's charging or connected to your computer.

  2. If you keep your iPad in a protective case, carefully remove the case.

  3. Lightly dampen the cloth with water, taking note that if the water can be squeezed out of the cloth, it's too wet.

    Don't use cleaners or solvents, and make sure the cloth is free of lint.

  4. Use the cloth to wipe the screen. Start at the top and use gentle, side-to-side movements to clean the entire screen, being careful to avoid getting moisture in any openings like the camera or headphone jack.

  5. Allow the iPad to air dry.

  6. You can now replace the protective case if you have one.

Continued Care of Your iPad

A clean and reflective iPad screen

Because iPads are primarily touch-based, you'll be cleaning your iPad's screen pretty often. Keep in mind, however, that iPads have an oleophobic coating on the screen that repels the oils from your fingers. Over time, this coating will wear down from normal use, but using an abrasive cloth or solvents will accelerate this effect.

A tempered glass screen protector can be cleaned the same way, but take extra care that moisture doesn't make its way under the glass screen. If moisture does get inside the iPad, get support from Apple or a take it to a certified repair shop.