If you’re an artist or designer, your drawing tablet is the most essential tool. But like any other tool, it needs proper cleaning.
Regular cleaning keeps your drawing tablet looking as good as new and prevents dust and dirt from messing with its sensitivity. I clean my Wacom Intuos and iPad Pro tablets every week.
I’ll explain to you through a step-by-step guide that ensures your tablet remains in clean condition.
Table of Contents
- Clean your drawing tablet with a microfiber cloth.
- Do not use water or detergent to clean your drawing tablet. Use rubbing alcohol (75 percent isopropyl alcohol) instead.
- Unplug the cable and turn off the device before cleaning it.
- Don’t forget to clean the stylus after cleaning your drawing tablet. Replace your nibs if your stylus nibs are worn out.
Why You Should Clean Your Drawing Tablet
I’ve often noticed that my drawing tablet can quickly accumulate dust, dirt, and oils from my hand. It’s normal; I place my hand on it every time I draw.
Many artists don’t know that if you don’t clean your tablet regularly, it can actually affect the tablet’s performance over time.
Here are the reasons you should keep your drawing tablet clean :
- The stylus may not glide as smoothly across a dirty tablet surface, impacting your drawings’ precision and quality.
- Small particles like dust or sand are abrasive. When rubbed against the graphic tablet screen during use, these tiny dusts act like sandpaper, causing micro-scratches that can degrade screen quality over time.
- Dust in the tablet’s ports can result in connectivity issues or internal damage.
- Regular cleaning keeps your tablet looking as good as new.
Check out The Best-Ranked Drawing Tablet Brands.
How Often Should You Clean Drawing Tablet?
How often you should clean your drawing tablet depends on how much you use it for drawing. If you draw every day for at least 2 hours, I recommend doing a quick cleaning before and after the drawing session.
If you’re just a hobbyist artist and only draw once or twice a week, doing a weekly or even monthly cleaning is not a wrong choice to do. Especially if you’re busy
How To Clean a Drawing Tablet
There are two techniques for cleaning a drawing tablet: the dry technique and the wet technique.
The dry technique doesn’t involve any cleaning liquid; you only need a microfiber cloth. The wet technique involves using 70 or 75 percent isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol.
Follow these steps to clean your drawing tablet with the dry technique and wet technique:
Step 1: Unplug All Cords and Accessories
First, unplug all the cables and external power sources before cleaning the drawing tablet. After unplugging them, turn off the tablet. Remove the nibs from the stylus.
Take a quick look around your tablet to identify the parts that require cleaning.
Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning materials
Prepare the cleaning material needed for cleaning the drawing tablet.
A microfiber cloth is the primary cleaning material required. A soft, lint-free cloth should suffice if you do not have a microfiber cloth. But, avoid using abrasive materials such as towels, cloths, tissues, or napkins.
As for the wet method, you need to prepare rubbing alcohol. Do not use water or soap to clean your drawing tablet; it may cause water damage.
For more information, refer to our article on What to do If Your Drawing Tablet Gets Wet.
Step 3: Clean the Drawing Tablet Body
Start by wiping the tablet’s surface with a dry microfiber or lint-free cloth. Ensure you’re thorough yet gentle to prevent any scratches. Focus on the corners and edges where dust and grime often accumulate.
For the wet method, dampen the cloth with rubbing alcohol. Avoid adding too much alcohol moisture on the microfiber or lint-free cloth.
Gently wipe down your tablet with the microfiber or lint-free cloth. Make sure you cover every area, especially the corners and edges. Always apply the alcohol to the cloth, not directly to the tablet, ensuring the cloth is damp but not dripping. Too much alcohol can damage the device.
- Wacom Intuos: Clean using a cloth dampened with minimal rubbing alcohol. Always clean the nib separately.
- Wacom Intuos Pro: Given its textured surface, it’s best to use a dry microfiber cloth. If a deeper cleaning is required, use a cloth lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.
- Wacom Cintiq: Prefer an anti-static cloth for dust. For tougher grime, use a lint-free cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Its sensitive surface benefits from careful cleaning.
- Surface Pro: Start with a soft, dry cloth for the screen. If a deeper clean is needed, use a dampened cloth with rubbing alcohol. Rubbed alcohol is the only recommended cleaning agent.
- iPad Pro: Use a soft, lint-free cloth. If needed, dampen the cloth slightly with rubbing alcohol, ensuring no moisture enters the openings.
- Huion Kamvas: A dry cloth is best, but if moisture is needed to clean the tablet, use a cloth lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.
- XP-Pen Artist: Similar to Huion Kamvas, dry cloth is ideal, but if necessary, introduce a minimal amount of rubbing alcohol
Source: Wacom support
Step 4: Clean the Stylus
Don’t forget the stylus. Remove the nib and wipe down the stylus using a lint-free cloth.
Do not clean the nib or the stylus’s button with rubbing alcohol.
Step 5: Wait until Dry
After using the wet method, ensure both the tablet and stylus are fully dry before reconnecting or powering them up.
Waiting at least half an hour before turning them on is recommended.
Do’s and Don’ts When Cleaning Your Drawing Tablet
- Always opt for a microfiber or lint-free cloth. They are soft, effective, and won’t scratch your tablet’s surface.
- When cleaning, always use gentle, circular motions. This helps remove dirt without applying too much pressure.
- Be careful when you’re using rubbing alcohol. Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes.
- Different brands might have specific cleaning recommendations. Always check the manual or the manufacturer’s website.
- When not in use, keep your drawing tablet in a protective case or cover to minimize exposure to dust.
- Never pour or spray any liquid directly onto your tablet. Always dampen the cloth and then use it.
- Beyond rubbing alcohol for the wet method, avoid other cleaning agents. Do not use bleach or soap. They could damage the tablet’s sensitive surface.
- Do not use towels, tissues, or napkins to clean your drawing tablet. They might be too rough for the tablet’s screen.
- After cleaning with the wet method, ensure your tablet and stylus are thoroughly dry before using them. Turning them on prematurely can cause damage.
- When cleaning, especially the screen, don’t press down too hard. This can damage the sensitive components of your drawing tablet.
A regular cleaning routine won’t take up much of your time, so it’s a good idea to clean your drawing tablet regularly. A clean drawing tablet can help you create digital art smoothly.
If you have further questions about the cleaning process, feel free to leave a comment.