The Best Ways to Clean Computer Monitor Screens

The best way to keep the screen on your computer monitor clean is to include it in your regular dusting schedule using a dry, soft, lint-free cloth. Keeping your fingers away from the screen, unless it's a touchscreen, and keeping your computer away from dusty environments or substances like cigarette smoke will make it much easier to keep it looking new. Computer monitors don't use the same technology they did 20 years ago, so if you do need to use a cleaner, use one approved for computer screens.

General Cleaning

As part of your general dusting routine, use a dry, soft lint-free cloth to clean any LCD screen including your computer monitor. This removes dust and most smudges without risking any damage to the screen. Before cleaning, turn off the monitor so you can more easily see the dust. Wipe the screen very gently with the cloth. If you encounter a stubborn spot, wipe that area gently a few more times without applying any additional pressure. Pressing against the screen can damage the monitor.

Fingerprints and Stubborn Smudges

A dry cloth won't always take care of fingerprints and greasy smudges. If you find these on your screen, try using any of the cleaners recommended for computer monitors at your local electronics store. Never apply any liquid directly to the screen. Instead, dab a small amount of the cleaner on a soft, lint-free cloth and rub the smudges gently without applying any pressure on the screen. You may need to repeat this process a few times, using a clean area of the cloth each time.

Understanding the Technology Behind Your Screen

Several years ago, when computers used cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, it was common to use a glass cleaner to clean the monitor, just as you would any glass in your home. Computer monitors today are almost always LCD screens with a layer of plastic or glass on the surface. Applied to this surface is often an anti-glare coating that is very thin and can be easily damaged. Glass touchscreen monitors usually have a protective coating as well. These coatings are easily damaged by the chemicals found in many household cleaners.

Things Not To Use

Some people claim they are able to clean their computer monitors using diluted vinegar and other homemade cleaners, however you will seldom -- if ever -- find such techniques endorsed by computer monitor manufacturers. Most manufacturers are explicit about not using any type of soap or window cleaner on a computer screen, or any solutions that include solvents like ammonia, alcohol, methyl chloride, acetone or benzene. Paper towels and sponges may feel soft to the touch but they can scratch a computer screen or wear down the anti-glare coating that protects most LCD screens.

Photo Credits: Kyle Goldie/Demand Media

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