How to Properly Disinfect Touchscreens

Guidelines for disinfecting touchscreens include non-abrasive cloth and less than 85% alcohol concentration to avoid damage, discoloration.


Most integrators have installed hundreds if not thousands of touchscreens for their clients over the years. With worries of possible spread of the coronavirus from touching surfaces, some clients might be reticent to use their touchpanels. Likewise, they may have never cleaned them. TRU-Vu monitors has put out guidelines on the proper way to clean and disinfect a touchscreen that could be good advice for dealers to use to educate their customer base.

“To begin with, it is important to distinguish cleaning from disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, germs, and impurities. While cleaning does help to reduce germs that can lead to infection, it does not kill the germs. Disinfecting utilizes chemicals to kill germs to reduce/eliminate the chance of infection,” says TRU-Vu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states: “diluted housed bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective” for disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Touchscreen Cleaning Guidelines

  1. Prepare your touchscreen for cleaning by powering down the device, if possible.
  2. Be sure to not get any liquids inside of the unit. To best avoid doing so, do not directly spray the monitor. Either use wet wipes, or spray/dampen a cloth and be sure to squeeze any excess moisture off.
  3. Avoid using abrasive cloths, such as rags or paper towels, as they can spread lint and/or even damage the screen. Instead, use only non-abrasive cloths, such as soft lint-free cloth, in order to avoid scratching the monitor.
  4. Avoid products that may cause discoloration, such as highly concentrated alcohol (>85%), non-diluted bleach or ammonia solutions.
  5. Wipe the surface of the monitor gently in small circles, and then allow it to dry. Wash hands and discard the used gloves.

Touchscreen Disinfecting Guidelines

  1. Prepare your touchscreen for disinfecting by powering down the device, if possible.
  2. Dampen a new clean, non-abrasive cloth with a disinfectant recommended by the CDC: a household bleach solution (1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water) or Isopropyl alcohol (71% to 85% alcohol). Be sure to squeeze any excess liquid off of the cloth. Do not spray the solution directly onto the touch screen.
  3. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as many require the surface to remain wet for a few minutes. Continuous wiping may be required.
  4. Disinfect the surface by wiping it down gently in small circles, and then allow it to dry. Wash hands and discard the used gloves.

More information about disinfecting procedures for COVID-19 from the CDC can be found here.

Recommended Disinfectants

U.S. EPA-recommended disinfectants safe for touchscreens (including registration number):

  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – Reg. No. 5813-79
  • Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Wipes – Reg. No. 67619-12
  • Clorox Commercial Solutions Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes – Reg. No. 67619-25
  • Lonza Disinfectant Wipes – Reg. No. 6836-313
  • Lysol Brand Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner (20% cleaner solution to water ratio) – Reg. No. 777-89
  • Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes – Reg. No. 84150-1
  • Sani-Cloth Prime Germicidal Disposable Wipes – Reg. No. 9480-12

More information about recommended disinfectants for COVID-19 from the EPA can be found here.

NOTE: If the CDC-recommended disinfectants are not available, the best alternative is the use of water and isopropyl alcohol (up to 85% alcohol). Apply the solution to a soft cleaning cloth; do not spray directly onto the touch screen. Wear gloves during the cleaning process. Discard both the gloves and the cleaning cloth following the cleaning process.

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.