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"I can see clearly now..."

"...the rain has gone." "Bright Sunshiny Day" from the movie Cool Runnings

It used to be when your monitor got to the point where you couldn’t stand the dust and smudges you could just grab the Windex bottle and a couple of paper towels and you were good to go.  Something being stubborn?  Little bit of elbow grease and maybe a bit more Windex.  But that was back when a bulky old monitor took up a couple square feet on your desk.

Unlike the bulky old CRT monitors, you can’t just grab whatever cleaner and a paper towel to clean your LCD “flat panel” monitor.  The screen on an LCD isn’t glass like the old CRTs but softer plastic instead so you’ve got to be more careful with them.  So how do you go about cleaning the screen of the dust and fingerprints that accumulate?

What do you need?:

  • A soft, lint free cloth
  • Water (distilled is better)
  • LCD screen "wiper" or "brush" (optional)
  • LCD screen cleaner (optional, if using LCD cleaning wipes, you don't need the cloth)

Clean your LCD monitor screen:

  1. To wipe dust off of the monitor you can use one of the fuzzy “screen wipers” or “screen brushes” or just a soft, dry cloth to lightly brush off the screen.
  2. If there are fingerprints or other marks that don’t come off with just a brushing, you can use a slightly moistened cloth to wipe the monitor.
  3. Never use glass cleaner or any cleaner with ammonia on LCD monitors.  You need to use a cleaner that’s specially made for LCD monitors or just stick with water (distilled works better than tap). 
  4. Never use paper towels.  Use a clean, soft cloth.  Microfiber or eyeglass cleaning cloths work well but so will almost any soft cotton cloth.  You’ll want it as close to lint free as possible.
  5. If you are using a spray, do not spray the monitor directly.  Spray the cloth instead.  The cloth should only be lightly damp to make sure you don't get cleaning solution/water into the monitor.
  6. Lightly wipe, do not press or rub hard.  LCD monitors can be damaged by pressing too hard.


Some people also say that you can use a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water or 50/50 white vinegar and water to clean your monitors but there were claims that either of these can damage some monitor coatings.  Since there is conflicting information on whether or not these will damage the screen, it’s probably best to stick with either plain water or a screen cleaner specifically made for LCD monitors.  

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