How to clean your LCD screen

By | August 20, 2011
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If you have a laptop or desktop computer with an LCD monitor (and almost all desktops sold in the last few years do), you have undoubtedly had to clean your screen. And some of you have seen and probably purchased those expensive LCD screen cleaning solutions – or pre-soak cloths to clean your screen. And no doubt a few of you have actually used Windex and paper towel to clean your screen (How’d that work for you?).

LCD screens are very sensitive. They also attract dust and dirt. If you cough or sneeze without covering your mouth and nose, you know what gets all over your screen. From time to time you’re going to need to clean your LCD/TFT screen, and we want to tell you the proper way to do it, without going out and spending money on special cleaning solutions or really expensive wipes.

Here are the don’ts:

1. Never use tap water on your screen. Tap water contains chlorine, minerals, and dissolved salts (or even more junk if you live where I live). Tap water can leave streaks on your screen.

2. Never, ever, use Windex, ammonia, solutions containing methyl chloride, acetone, ethyl alcohol, toluene, ethyl acid – or any other harsh chemicals sometimes found in glass and appliance cleaners.

3. Never use Kleenex, bath towels, or paper towels – these can scratch your screen and/or leave lint particles that will stick to your screen.

4. Don’t use excessive pressure when cleaning your screen. Pushing too hard on an LCD or TFT screen can damage the pixels. If you damage pixels you won’t be able to fix them.

5. Don’t waste your money on expensive LCD cleaning solutions or wipes.

Here are the do’s:

1. Use distilled water and make your own cleaning solution using 1 part distilled water to one part white vinegar.

2. Use a microfiber or soft cotton cloth – a handkerchief, an old cotton t-shirt, etc. Make sure it is lint-free.

3. Do not press on your screen. Treat it gently and use as little pressure as is necessary.

4. Use a dark (black is best) background on your desktop and temporarily remove all desktop icons. Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users can do this easily. Just right-click on your desktop, click “View” and uncheck “Show desktop icons”. When you’re done cleaning, you can re-enable them after you’re done cleaning your screen, by repeating those steps, and checking “Show desktop icons.” Then restore your previous wallpaper (if any). The reason for using a dark or black screen is that it makes it easier for you to see the dirt, dust, and other particles 🙂 on your screen.

5. Clean your screen frequently. Don’t wait until it’s so dirty you can barely read the text in this newsletter or on Web sites. Cleaning frequently also helps you resist the temptation to use more pressure than you should in order to remove junk that’s been sticking to your screen for months.

9 thoughts on “How to clean your LCD screen

  1. Tina Clarke

    I would not clean the screen with the computer/laptop ON. No need to fiddle with with backgrounds just clean when its OFF. The background is super black then. You can also do your keyboard at the same time and get a air can to help bring out the fluff etc.

  2. Papa Bear

    Just turning off your monitor works very well. Streaks if any will show. When your done hit the on button again.

  3. Tyke

    Hi…I use Windows XP and when I did the take off icons, and blank screen to clean my screen everything was fine until I put my icons back up and my desktop picture up again I got this little blue box with a white lock inside that keeps flashing on the screen…so what did I do to create this obnoxious box and how do I get rid of it? Help!!!

  4. Wanda

    I clean mine with a used Bounce, it also works very good. Also on eye glasses.

  5. Wanda

    I clean mine with a used bounce cloth It aso work real good on your eye glasses.

  6. mizdoc

    One more “Do not”, and perhaps the most important…
    Do not spray directly on screen, spray on the cloth, then apply that to the screen.

  7. Carl

    Excellent tip.I have made a couple of mistakes that you mentioned so I just don’t clean the screen anymore.
    Now all that is behind me, I will clean my screen as you suggested.

  8. ken Roberts

    I clean mine with a 1700 PSI pressure washer, it cleans it well but nothing works after that . (humor)

  9. caroline edwards

    I’m with you ken – when is this thing ever going to be ‘stimulating’ i can think of a whole lot of other words – but not ‘stimulating’ these programmers – i wonder if they have heard of “thinking outside the square” or “lateral thinking” – a very happy CHRISTmas to all


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