It happened two days ago. I thought I had unknowingly used my laptop without sanitizing my hands, so I had sprayed the sanitizer on the keyboard. After that, I closed the left my laptop unused for hours.

When I opened up my laptop, I noticed these faint yellow spots on my display, mimicking the keyboard layout. These were caused due to the sanitizer on the keyboard touching the display while the lid was closed.

These spots are only visible on a bright background.

The faint yellow spots

I tried repeated cleaning using Colin but the spots are just refusing to leave. :(

I hope someone would guide me on why this happened and how to get rid of these spots.

I'm unsure if this is the correct place to ask on StackExchange, so please transfer this question to a more appropriate place if you feel so.

  • 3
    One beauty of getting older is that you can no longer perceive such imperfections. That screen looks perfectly white to me. ;) Aug 15, 2020 at 2:10
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket: I made the mistake of opening the image in GIMP and using the curve tool to enhance the contrast, and the defects became very visible. Aug 15, 2020 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately those spots are likely permanent.

Alcohol of any kind will damage the protective and/or anti-glare layers on the front of computer monitors. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer sitting on top of the keycaps has actually stripped away and chemically altered those coatings in the spots it touched. Unfortunately the only way to truly fix it would be to completely replace the display, which is likely complete overkill in your case.

If it doesn't bother you that much and it isn't worth the cost of a screen replacement to you, it's probably best to just live with it. Trying harder to remove the spots can only make the problem worse. At the very least it doesn't look to be that severe - sucks that an innocent mistake like that damaged your laptop when you were otherwise responsibly sanitizing things :/

Some other side notes for folks who find this down the line:

  • Rubbing alcohol is safe to use on keyboards with a clean microfiber cloth, just make sure the liquid does not drip down under the keycaps and potentially damage the circuitry underneath
  • NEVER use alcohol on your laptop screen! Water on a clean microfiber cloth is OK in a pinch, but a dedicated screen cleaner works best. I personally use iFixit's brand, but there are loads of alternatives on Amazon.
  • 3
    @KalamalkaKid I definitely wouldn't. You really don't want those coatings off in the first place, and trying something like that is only begging to make it much worse. Aug 14, 2020 at 5:07
  • 1
    if the user does as you suggested and 'replaces the entire display' they have nothing to lose do they ? Aug 14, 2020 at 5:49
  • 4
    @KalamalkaKid Sorry if that was unclear - I only mentioned it ironically because it was complete overkill in this user's case. My personal suggestion to the OP is that it would be best not to touch it any more - it doesn't look too noticeable in the photo and it sounds like the OP can only see it on a white background. Trying to remove the rest feels like finding a dent or scratch on your car and then beating the rest of the car with a hammer so it looks the same as the dent. The problem only becomes worse, and you might break a window doing it, so to speak. Aug 14, 2020 at 6:05
  • 1
    Oh, that's sad to find out. But luckily I'm a denizen of the dark side so I won't be distracted by the spots 99% of the time. And that's why more people should come to the dark side. 😉 Aug 14, 2020 at 8:07
  • 1
    Agreed - they're probably permanent. OP should do nothing, and simply put up with it. Any cure could end up being worse than the problem. If OP needs good colour across the screen, buying a external monitor might solve that while adding versatility, at the cost of mobility.
    – Criggie
    Aug 14, 2020 at 21:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .