How to Clean a Computer Screen

How to Safely Clean Your Computer Screen

Knowing how to clean a computer screen properly saves you from staring at a dirty picture or a damaged, speck-marked screen all day. There’s nothing worse than using a computer with a damaged screen, because you look at the same annoying imperfections every time you get on the computer. Some computer monitors and laptop screens have anti-glare films on them which are particularly easily damaged by bad cleaning techniques, so learn how to clean a computer screen and save yourself that kind of frustration.

Using the right materials is a large part of cleaning a computer screen properly, so a large part of this guide to cleaning your computer screen will focus on the materials you use and should not use when wiping off your computer screens.

  1. Get Your Supplies Together – Collect supplies for your job, so you can do it fast and efficiently. This way, any cleaning fluid you place on the screen does not linger on there, while you look for a proper method to wipe it off. Supplies you need include special cleaning fluid and a soft cloth.
  2. Screen Cloth – It is better not to use a wash rag or a kleenex-type product to wipe your screen. Use a cotton cloth or a specially-designed instrument or cloth for wiping away dust and grit from your computer screen, because the screen is easily damaged by small objects being scraped off the screen.
  3. Screen Fluid – The best fluids to use are eyeglass cleaner, electric appliance cleaner or specially-designed computer screen cleaning fluid. You can find this fluid in most stores which carry computer supplies (even Wal-Mart), usually where you would find the computer accessories. In fact, you can often find a screen cleaning fluid and a wipe of some kind together in one package.
  4. Get a Solid Surface to Clean – Turn off the monitor screen or the computer (if you are using a laptop). This way, you’ll see one solid surface with no imperfections, and won’t miss confuse writing with specks on the computer screen. For those who want their cleaning surface illuminated, open a blank document on your computer, so you are looking at a blank white screen.
  5. Note Your Computer’s Special Instructions – If you have concerns about any special needs your computer might have, read any special instructions in the owner’s manual.
  6. Spray Fluid Onto Wipe – Spray your fluid directly onto your wipe rag.
  7. Wipe the Screen – Use your wet rag to wipe the computer screen. Wipe the screen completely dry. If you don’t wipe the corners clean, they will cake up with the residue of the wet dust and random grit.
  8. Repeat Steps 5 Through 7 – Repeat the previous steps until the screen is entirely cleaned of residue.
  9. Wipe the Computer Frame – Once you have cleaned your computer screen, use similar methods to wipe down the frame around the computer screen or the laptop frame. This might require a bit finer use of your cleaning materials. Make certain the liquid does not get wiped onto the screen when wiping off the frame.

Computer Screen Cleaning Tips

  • For permanent marker marks on your computer screen, use a bit of water on a soft (cotton) cloth, then very gently use a pencil eraser. Do not apply much pressure at all and you will avoid scratches.
  • I have heard that white toothpaste can be used on computer screen scratches. Under no circumstances should you use gel toothpaste.
  • Beware about scratching the anti-glare coating on the computer screen. The anti-glare coat is a fine finish which simply cuts down on the glare on your computer. It is easily scratched, leaving what appear to be tiny dots on your screen surface. If this is damaged, the only way to “restore” your computer screen is to take the entire anti-glare film off the computer screen. This is a fine process that I would only suggest in extreme cases, but you can remove the film with certain fluids (aluminum polish, for example). The result will be a bright screen again, though material will be attracted to the screen even more.
  • Use lint-free cloth when dusting a screen. Lint-free materials won’t collect a particle that can scratch the surface of your computer screen.
  • Don’t use the same cloth or wipe over and over without washing, because particles will collect which can damage your computer screen or anti-glare film.
  • Under no circumstances should you use ammonia-based liquids on an LCD screen. Ammonia wears down the finish on LCD screens.
  • Do not spray fluids directly on the computer screen.
  • Do not scrub the computer screen or push particles across the screen. The screen finish is easily damaged and virtually impossible to repair.

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