Unless you live in a totally enclosed and sanitized room, your computer screen will get dirty, and that’s an undeniable fact of life. Dirt, fingerprints, and scratches will make your precious computer screens look unsightly and unpleasant to use. Fortunately for you, we’ve got you covered with some tips and key pointers to effectively clean your computer monitor and keep it in its best shape.
Whether you’re trying to get rid of the dirt and dust on your laptop or widescreen LCD computer monitor, or your kids’ fingerprints off from your gorgeous new widescreen HDTV set, cleaning your display screen requires the right set of cleaning tools and right touch. Continue reading this step-by-step guide from Dual Monitors Guide to effectively and safely clean your precious display.
Why You Should Clean Your Computer or TV Screen?
When you don’t clean your display screen properly, be it your computer or television screen, it’s only a matter of time before you can cause serious and irreversible damage on it. Modern computer screens and HDTV show better images with their brighter, sharper and more responsive screens, but they are also more delicate than ever before. Display manufacturers spent years of research to fit razor-sharp images in a slender screen, and polishing that screen with force using standard cleaning agents like Wendex, and ordinary rag you can from your kitchen is one sure way to ruin the image, shorten its life or even damage your new display right away.
Getting the right cleaning tools and knowing the right way to do it however, doesn’t cost much. And it can even lengthen the lifespan of your display.
You should understand that, the best way to keep your computer or TV screen clean is to avoid having to clean it in the first place Meaning, you should train your kids not to touch the screen with their snack-covered hands. Food stains and oils get stuck easily on computer screens, and they can be really hard to remove. The less you have to clean your screen, the better. With that said, a little cleaning now and then can make a huge difference on display quality and life expectancy of your computer monitor or LCD TV.
Some Important Precautions
Before we move any further, let’s start with things you are NOT supposed to do when cleaning your computer or TV screens. It is best to start off this way as most people have been cleaning their display incorrectly.
Never Use Strong Cleaning Agents on your Computer and TV Screens
Cleaning agents such as acetone, alcohol and chlorine should never be used in cleaning your display. These are strong corrosive chemicals not designed for LCD screens. Using them may cause your screen to abrade or turn yellow. Also, ammonia-based cleaners (such as Windex and other window glass cleaners) and alcohol-based cleaning solutions (rubbing alcohol, specialty alcohol cleaners found in many electronic stores) can strip the reflective coating off the computer or TV screen, causing it to look cloudy and diluted.
Never Apply or Spray Cleaning Agents Directly to your
Applying or spraying cleaning solutions straight to your LCD screen is the best way to ruin your display. Many years ago, many computer screen cleaning solutions are designed to be applied or sprayed directly to computer screens, but they are CRT screens – usually 2-inch think and made up of 1 whole glass. Flat screens and HDTVs on the other hand, are made up of various layers of plastics, glasses, adhesives, various fine and thin materials and different types of display elements. Thus, when liquid touches the screen, they can be easily wicked (capillary action) and get through the thin layers of the screen the same way water quickly moves a piece of cloth that touches it, even in glassy computer screens.
Do not Use General Purpose Cleaning Rugs and Paper
Again, modern LCD screens are delicate, and I can’t stretch this enough. General purpose cleaning rugs and paper towels are simply not made to be wiped on thin and delicate surfaces, as they are designed for removing hairballs or bacon grease on most household surfaces. Regular rags and paper towel’s surface is made up of fairly abrasive (on microscopic level) materials, which can wreak havoc (scratch and other forms of damages) on your delicate computer or TV screen.
To summarize the rules for the ‘Don’ts’: Never use strong cleaning agents, never apply and/or spray cleaning agents directly to your LCD monitor and never use regular rugs and paper towels. From here, you can now proceed to the step-by-step guide of cleaning your LCD screen safely and effectively.
How to Safely Clean Your LCD Display, the Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Go Get a Microfiber Cloth
use ordinary cloth to wipe the surface of your LCD screen. The screen is a
pretty sensitive area, any minute foreign object stuck on regular cloth can
scratch the surface. Microfiber cloth are pretty cheap, you can get it in your
favorite home and office supply stores. You can also order
in from Amazon and have them delivered to your doorstep
Step 2: Turn Off your LCD Monitor
Make it easy for yourself to find dirt, dust and stains on your display by turning it off. This is also the safest way to clean; cleaning your computer or TV screen while its firing pixels can cause damage or even electrical jolts. The ideal way to do this is to unplug your monitor’s power source. Also, your computer screen may feel warm for a few minutes after turning it off. Thus, it is important that you wait for your screen to completely cool to touch before you start cleaning.
Step 3: Dust the Screen’s Casing and Frame
If you’re going to clean your screen, you must as well clean the whole thing. You don’t want to leave the casing and frame dusty, right? The idea here is - “the less you touch your computer or TV screen, the better.”
Start by removing as much dirt and dust
as possible without actually touching it. You can use a simple a rubber dusting
bulb (commonly used for cleaning DSLR cameras).
You can also use a microfiber cleaning cloth or a soft dry lint free cloth to gently wipe and remove dirt and dust off the screen, casing, and frame. Microfiber is always the way to go.
The Magic Fiber (image from Amazon)
When wiping with a microfiber cloth, make broad motions through slow and light touch. You can either go from left to right, or up and down. It is important that your wiping motion moves across the screen. Avoid making small circular motion, though microfiber does little to no harm to your computer screen or TV screen, it may leave ‘buffed-out’ spots or whorl makes. Thus, always use light pressure and wide movements.
Step 4: Mix Special LCD Flat Screen Cleaner or Vinegar with Distilled Water (in equal parts)
Though wiping your LCD screen with a microfiber cloth will usually do the job, some stubborn stains and oil build-up can tough to remove. If you need extra help cleaning, feel free to use light special LCD flat screen cleaners or one of the popular household and natural cleaning agents you can find in your kitchen – vinegar.
Make a 50/50 mixture of a special LCD
flat screen cleaner with distilled water and then dampen your microfiber cloth
until it feels wet to touch, but not too dump that water may wrung out of it.
Distilled water is the best way to use for cleaning your computer screen, as
mineral water and tap water can leave mineral deposits on the screen.
If you don’t want the hassle of making and mixing stuff, and you’re not sure what to use for your TV set, then you can opt for all-in-one cleaning kits. Klear Screen cleaning kit for example, is designed for LCD HDTVs, LED, Plasma display, etc. It’s a non-toxic, child and pet safe cleaning solution, making it perfect for household use.
(Image from Amazon)
If traveling or on-the-go, your best bet is to carry a screen cleaning kit with you. Complete cleaning kits come with good selection of cleaning items specifically designed for delicate screen surfaces. Some are even specially manufactured for specific brands, such as Apple.
iKlear Microfiber Chamois Style Polishing Cloth (image from Amazon)
Step 5: Use the Damped Microfiber Cloth
99% of dirt, dust and stain build ups on your computer or TV screen an be easily removed by a damped microfiber cloth. Again, use long and broad motions and wipe across your screen. Keep the pressure light and wipe slowly and never press hard trying to scrub off the dirt and stains, as it might cause damage and discoloration on your computer monitor or LCD TV.
For stubborn stains, gently wipe the spot on your computer or TV screens. You can use circular rubbing motion on this regard, but make sure you don’t apply too much pressure.
Screen Wipes for Quick Cleaning
Screen wipes are handy cleaning products specially designed for computer monitors and TV screens. Of course, you should find products with gentle cleaning solutions. For portable devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, their touchscreen system makes them very susceptible to dirt, dust, and grime. Good thing there are Klear Screen iKlear travel singles.
iKlear Screen iKlear travel singles (image from Amazon)
There are lots of screen cleaning kits you can find online. Do your homework and read some reviews online to find the best brand.
Step 7: Let it Dry
Before you turn on your display, wipe the area dry with a clean microfiber cloth. You can use the same damped microfiber cloth, but make you use its dry area.
Let nature do its work and ensure that everything on your computer screen or TV is dry before turning it on again. This keeps any moisture trapped on the device from causing any form of damage, or electrical shock.
Here's another good way to clean your computer monitor or LCD TV without spending a lot of money on various cleaning products.
Check out Dual Monitors Guide for more computer cleaning tips and solutions.
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