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How to Clean Your LCD Screens

How not to clean them. Remember, LCD screens are not glass! They are a thin layer of film and are very easy to damage. Here are the things to avoid:
  • No tap water. There are minerals and other impurities in water that can hurt your screen
  • Nothing that can scratch, not paper towels, or napkin, not even Kleenix.
  • No Ammonia. It will hurt some screen coatings.
  • Don't get it wet. This means you do not spray directly onto the screen.

My Recommendation

Office depot sells a great solution for $12.99. The CleanDR screen cleaning kit includes a microfiber cloth which will not scratch and a big bottle of ammonia and alcohol free cleaner in a spray bottle. Other commercial LCD cleaning kits should be fine.

  • Turn the monitor off.
  • If you are paranoid, disconnect the power from it.
  • Spray a little special cleaner onto the cloth and then wipe the monitor. BE VERY GENTLE. Don't get the monitor wet.
  • Wait for the monitor to dry, or wipe any moisture off with that microfiber cloth.
  • If you have a notebook, be sure the screen is dry before you close your notebook cover.
  • Be sure the monitor is dry before you turn it back on.

You can use a 50% mix of Isopropyl alcohol and distilled water and find your own spray bottle. You cannot use rubbing alcohol which has additives (lubricants) which will cause problems. So if you wanted to mix distilled water with Isopropyl alcohol and save a few bucks, it is ok, but it is easier to buy a pre-made kit. You'll need the microfiber cloth anyway.

CleanDR Screen cleaner kit is made by Digital Innovations and the suggested retail with microfiber cloth and 9 oz. bottle of cleaner is $14.99.

Monster also has a kit for $19.99 with a smaller bottle of cleaner.

Kits including the microfiber cloth and cleaner are also made by PixelClean (http:⁄⁄www.pixelclean.com⁄) and Klear Screen (http:⁄⁄www.klearscreen.com⁄)

Some very neat microfiber cloths are available from Alpine Innovations . What makes them special is that they come with their own carrying pouch. It is designed for photographers to use on their cameras, but should work well for screens as well.

I suspect that all the kits mentioned above are functionally equivalent.

Date: October 2007

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