How to Clean Touch Screen in Car?




As an affiliate, ImproveCarAudio get small commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Keeping a car’s touchscreen clean is essential for maintaining its clarity and functionality. However, cleaning it improperly can lead to damage or reduced responsiveness.

With so many cleaning products available, it can be challenging to know what to use. But what is the best way to clean a car screen? Let’s find out.

To clean a touch screen in a car:

  • Use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics.
  • Apply the solution to the cloth and wipe the screen gently in a circular motion.
  • Avoid using too much solution, and make sure the screen is completely dry before turning it back on.

Is your car radio display giving you trouble? Get to the root of the issue with our comprehensive guide on car radio display failures.

Introduction: Importance of Regular Touch Screen Cleaning in Cars

If you’re anything like me, you probably use your car’s touchscreen almost every time you hop into your vehicle. 

We tap, swipe, and occasionally doodle on it with our fingers, but here’s the thing: every time we touch it, we leave behind oils, grime, and yes, those pesky fingerprints.

cleaning touch screen in car

Keeping this touchscreen clean isn’t just about making it look nice, although a clear, smudge-free screen certainly enhances the look of the car’s interior.

Regular cleaning also preserves the functionality of the screen. Dust and grime can reduce the screen’s sensitivity, making it less responsive over time. Plus, let’s not forget that a clean screen helps maintain the overall hygiene inside your car.

Basic Steps on How to Clean Touch Screen in Car

So, you’ve realized the importance of a clean car touchscreen and are ready to start the process. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of cleaning your car’s touchscreen.

Preparing for the Cleaning

To start, make sure your car is turned off, especially the infotainment system. This is a safety measure to protect your system from accidental button presses and potential electrical short circuits when cleaning.

Plus, a dark screen makes it easier to see the dust, fingerprints, and smudges you’ll be cleaning.

Next, gather the necessary cleaning supplies. You’ll need a microfiber cloth – this is crucial as other materials can scratch your screen. A specific screen cleaner for touch screens is also necessary.

Remember to resist the urge to use a household glass cleaner or other harsh chemicals. Your vehicle touchscreen is a delicate system and needs gentle care.

Finally, ensure you have a dry towel or another dry microfiber cloth for drying the screen after cleaning.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Procedure

Now, let’s move to the step-by-step cleaning procedure.

#1. Begin by wiping off dust and loose debris using your dry microfiber cloth. This way, you’re preventing any potential scratches caused by hard dust particles during the wet cleaning process.

#2. Apply the screen cleaner. Remember, the aim here isn’t to drench your screen in cleaning solution. A few spritzes on the cloth should suffice.

#3. Carefully wipe your screen to prevent streaks. I’ve found that wiping in a circular motion works wonders for streak prevention. Pay extra attention to those smudgy fingerprints. They might need a little extra care to clean off completely.

#4. Once you’ve cleaned the screen, it’s time to dry it. Use your dry towel or a separate microfiber cloth to gently remove any leftover cleaner. Be sure to check for any remaining marks.

If you’re wondering how to clean fingerprints, it’s all in the cloth’s rub.

Fingerprints can be a bit stubborn, so applying a little pressure and using a bit more cleaner can help. Just be careful not to press too hard!

Post-Cleaning Tips

After you’re done with the cleaning, it’s time for some post-cleaning tips.

Ensure your touchscreen is completely dry before turning the car and the screen back on. This is crucial to prevent potential electrical issues or watermarks.

To maintain cleanliness, consider a regular cleaning schedule, depending on how often you use your car’s touchscreen. This not only keeps it looking good but also prolongs the life of your screen.

Best Cleaning Materials for Car Touchscreens

Having the right tools can make the job easier, more efficient, and safer for your screen. I’ve broken down this section into three parts: wipes, cleaners, and microfiber cloths.

Best Wipes for Car Touch Screens

Wipes are a convenient, mess-free option for cleaning touchscreens, especially when you’re on the go.

However, not all wipes are suitable for touchscreens. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid wipes that contain alcohol or ammonia, as they can damage the screen’s sensitive surface.
  • Look for wipes that are designed specifically for electronics or touch screens. They should be soft, non-abrasive, and free of harmful chemicals.
  • Based on reviews and my personal experience, two brands that stand out are iKlear and WHOOSH. These wipes are designed to be safe for screens and do a great job of leaving a streak-free finish.

Best Car Screen Cleaners

A good cleaner is crucial to maintaining a clear and responsive touchscreen.

Here’s what you should consider when choosing a cleaner:

  • Again, steer clear of alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners.
  • A cleaner that promises a streak-free formula is your friend. No one likes a screen with streaks after a thorough cleaning.
  • Some reliable options include Screen Mom Screen Cleaner and the previously mentioned WHOOSH. Both have excellent reviews, are cost-effective, and are specially designed to be safe for screens.

Appropriate Use of Microfiber Cloths

A microfiber cloth is, in my opinion, the MVP of touchscreen cleaning. Here’s why:

  • Microfiber cloths are gentle on your screen. Unlike paper towels or other rough materials, they won’t scratch your screen.
  • They’re excellent at attracting and holding onto dust, so they’re great for that first pass before you apply your cleaner.
  • They can also help achieve a streak-free finish, thanks to their soft and tightly woven fibers.

To maintain their effectiveness, wash your microfiber cloths regularly. They can be hand-washed or machine washed in warm water using a gentle detergent.

Avoid using fabric softener or bleach, as these can damage the fibers and reduce their cleaning power. Also, let them air dry instead of throwing them in the dryer.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Car’s Touch Screen

While it’s essential to know the best way to clean your car’s touchscreen and the ideal materials to use, it’s equally crucial to understand what to avoid.

Improper materials and methods can cause more harm than good. Let’s go over the cleaning materials and practices that can be detrimental to your car’s touch screen.

Inappropriate Cleaning Materials

You may be tempted to grab the Windex or regular glass cleaner from under the sink when your car’s touchscreen gets smudgy, but resist the urge. Here’s why:

  • Windex, regular glass cleaners, and other household cleaning products often contain ammonia or alcohol. These chemicals can strip off the anti-glare or anti-fingerprint coating on your touchscreen over time.
  • Using abrasive materials like paper towels, regular towels, or napkins can result in scratches on your screen. Trust me on this one; I learned this the hard way early on in my driving days!

It’s worth investing in cleaning materials specifically designed for touch screens to avoid any potential damage.

Unsafe Cleaning Practices

Equally important as the cleaning materials are the cleaning techniques. Here are a few practices you should avoid:

  • Using too much water or cleaning solution. Just like any other electronic device, your car’s touchscreen doesn’t mix well with excess liquid. This can seep into the edges of the screen and potentially damage the electronics.
  • Applying too much pressure when cleaning. You might think a little extra elbow grease will get rid of stubborn smudges, but a heavy hand can lead to scratches or even damage the touchscreen’s sensitivity. Gentle and consistent pressure is all you need.

In our enthusiasm to maintain a clean car, it’s easy to overlook these potential pitfalls. However, understanding what to avoid when cleaning your car’s touchscreen can save you from many problems down the line.

Treat your touch screen with care, just like you would with the rest of your car, and it’ll serve you well for many years to come.

How to Maintain a Clean Car Touch Screen

Maintaining a clean car touchscreen isn’t a one-and-done affair. It requires consistent care and attention.

Let’s delve into cleaning frequency, streak prevention, and screen protection for your car’s touchscreen.

Cleaning Frequency

The frequency of cleaning your car’s touchscreen can depend on several factors, but a good rule of thumb is to clean it whenever it appears visibly dirty. However, keep in mind:

  • If you use your car—and consequently, your touchscreen—daily, it’s best to clean the screen once a week. This helps keep the dirt and fingerprints from building up over time.
  • For less frequent use, a fortnightly or monthly cleaning should suffice.
  • However, if you’ve just finished a road trip with kids, you might need to clean it immediately! In my experience, kids’ fascination with touch screens equals a lot of fingerprints.

Streak Prevention

Preventing streaks on your touchscreen isn’t as complicated as it may seem. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve:

  • Always use a microfiber cloth. It’s the best tool to achieve a streak-free finish due to its fine fibers.
  • Don’t oversaturate your cloth with cleaning solution. Too much liquid can result in it spreading around and drying into streaks.
  • Clean in a circular motion. This technique often helps avoid streaking.
  • Consider using a cleaning product that promises a streak-free shine, like Screen Mom Screen Cleaner or WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner.

Screen Protection

Just like you’d put a case or screen protector on your phone, consider doing the same for your car’s touchscreen.

Screen protectors can help prevent scratches and other damages. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Screen protectors can provide an extra layer of protection against scratches, especially if you have kids who love to touch the screen.
  • They’re typically easy to apply and remove. Just make sure to clean the screen thoroughly before application to prevent dust or bubbles getting trapped underneath.
  • However, some users find that screen protectors might reduce screen sensitivity or visibility. You’ll need to consider this trade-off.

For more information, check out my detailed guide about car radio screen protectors.

Remember, taking care of your car’s touchscreen is as important as maintaining the rest of your vehicle. It’s not just about keeping it looking good – a clean and well-maintained touchscreen also performs better, lasts longer, and can enhance your driving experience.

After all, who doesn’t love a clean, streak-free screen with crystal-clear displays?

What to Do if the Car’s Touch Screen Is Scratched or Damaged

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents happen and your car’s touchscreen could get scratched or damaged. It’s an unfortunate situation, but not one without remedies.

Here’s what to do if you find yourself in this predicament.

Initial Steps

If your touchscreen is scratched or damaged, the first thing to do is assess the extent of the damage.

  • Small, superficial scratches might be treatable at home. There are scratch repair kits available on the market that can help minimize the appearance of minor scratches.
  • For slightly deeper scratches, you might try using a small amount of toothpaste (not gel) on a soft cloth. I’ve used this trick before and was surprised by how well it worked. Rub it gently over the scratch in a circular motion, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Then, wipe the screen clean.

Seeking Professional Help

If the damage is severe, you may need to seek professional help.

  • If the screen is cracked or the touch functionality is compromised, it’s time to take your vehicle to a professional. I learned this the hard way when I tried to fix a cracked screen myself – it’s best left to the experts.
  • Your car’s manufacturer or a certified technician can replace the touchscreen. While this might be expensive, it’s the best way to ensure your touch screen is restored to its best condition and functionality.

Concluding Reminder

Proper care and cleaning of your car’s touchscreen are vital in preventing damage. Regular maintenance not only keeps your touchscreen looking new, but it also prolongs its life and functionality.

Remember that prevention is always better than cure. A few minutes spent cleaning your screen can save you from a hefty repair bill down the line.

Scratches and damages can be upsetting, especially considering the integral role your touchscreen plays in your vehicle’s functionality. 

However, remember that it’s not the end of the world. With careful attention and the right steps, you can either remedy the situation yourself or seek the appropriate help.

Stay diligent in your touchscreen care and cleaning, and your screen will stay clear and functional for years to come.

Further Reading About Car Radios

Should You Use Car Radio Screen Protectors?

Protect your car radio screen from scratches and fingerprints. Discover the benefits of using car radio screen protectors and how to install them in our detailed guide.

Troubleshooting Apple CarPlay Screen Issues

Encountering problems with your Apple CarPlay screen? Find out the possible causes and solutions to get it working again in our informative article on Apple Car Play screens not working.


Maintaining a clean and functional touchscreen in your car is an integral part of your vehicle’s care. It’s a task that requires regular attention and the right techniques.

Remember, a clean touchscreen not only looks good but also enhances your overall driving experience. It might seem like a minor detail, but it’s these little things that can make your rides smoother and more enjoyable. 

So, the next time you’re giving your car a wash or cleaning its interior, don’t forget to show some love to your touchscreen.


What Is the Best Way to Clean the Touch Screen in My Car?

The best way to clean the touch screen in your car is to use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics. Avoid using abrasive or ammonia-based cleaners, as they can damage the screen. 

How Often Should I Clean My Car’s Touch Screen?

The frequency of cleaning your car’s touch screen depends on how often you use it and the level of dirt or fingerprints it accumulates.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to clean the screen at least once a week to prevent buildup and maintain its clarity and functionality.

Can I Use Regular Glass Cleaner to Clean My Car’s Touch Screen?

It’s not recommended to use regular glass cleaner to clean your car’s touch screen. Glass cleaners often contain ammonia or other harsh chemicals that can damage the screen’s coating or cause it to become hazy. 

Are There Specific Products Recommended for Cleaning Car Touch Screens?

There are specific products recommended for cleaning car touch screens. These include cleaning solutions specifically designed for electronics, microfiber cloths, and screen protectors. 

Can I Use Water to Clean My Car’s Touch Screen?

It’s not recommended to use water to clean your car’s touch screen, as water can damage the screen’s coating or cause it to malfunction. 

Instead, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics and a microfiber cloth to gently clean the screen.

Is It Necessary to Turn Off My Car’s Touch Screen Before Cleaning It?

It’s not necessary to turn off your car’s touch screen before cleaning it, but it’s recommended to do so to prevent accidental activation or damage to the screen.

How Can I Prevent Streaks When Cleaning My Car’s Touch Screen?

To prevent streaks when cleaning your car’s touch screen, use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics. Avoid using too much cleaning solution and apply it directly to the cloth instead of the screen.

What Should I Do if I Accidentally Scratch My Car’s Touch Screen While Cleaning It?

If you accidentally scratch your car’s touch screen while cleaning it, stop cleaning immediately and assess the damage. Minor scratches can sometimes be buffed out with a screen polishing kit, but deeper scratches may require professional repair or replacement of the screen. 

Can Fingerprints Damage My Car’s Touch Screen Over Time?

Fingerprints on your car’s touch screen are unlikely to cause damage over time, but they can accumulate and affect the screen’s clarity and functionality.

Is It Safe to Use a Microfiber Cloth to Clean My Car’s Touch Screen?

It’s safe to use a microfiber cloth to clean your car’s touch screen as long as it’s clean and free of debris. Microfiber cloths are gentle and effective at removing dirt, fingerprints, and smudges from touch screens without scratching or damaging them.

How Can I Remove Fingerprints From My Car’s Touch Screen?

To remove fingerprints from your car’s touch screen, use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics. Apply the solution to the cloth and wipe the screen gently in a circular motion. 

Is There a Homemade Solution I Can Use to Clean My Car’s Touch Screen?

While there are homemade solutions that can be used to clean car touch screens, it’s not recommended. Solutions such as vinegar or rubbing alcohol can damage the screen’s coating or cause it to become hazy. 

What Should I Do if My Car’s Touch Screen Is Already Scratched or Damaged?

If your car’s touch screen is already scratched or damaged, it may need to be professionally repaired or replaced. Minor scratches may be able to be buffed out with a screen polishing kit, but deeper scratches or cracks will likely require replacement. 

Can I Use a Screen Protector on My Car’s Touch Screen to Prevent Scratches and Damage?

Using a screen protector on your car’s touch screen can help prevent scratches and damage. Screen protectors are available in various sizes and can be easily applied to the screen. 

What Should I Do if the Touch Screen in My Car Isn’t as Responsive After Cleaning?

If the touch screen in your car isn’t as responsive after cleaning, it’s possible that moisture or cleaning solution has gotten into the screen’s electronics. Turn off the screen and let it dry completely before turning it back on.