It’s easy to forget to do regular maintenance on your computer screen before you realize that the thing has gotten filthy over time. I can imagine this happening while you are out at your local coffee shop and the only thing you have handy is something like eyeglass cleaner. But is it okay to use something not specifically designed for the task?
Eyeglass cleaner should not be used to clean a computer screen. Screen manufacturers do not recommend using them due to the risk of damage from some of the chemicals present in many cleaning solutions. Therefore, it is best to use an alternative cleaner or make one yourself.
Pro Tip: Most of the time, you really only need a good microfiber cleaning cloth, like this one. You usually don’t need any type of solution unless you have splashed sugary soda or something on the screen.
Now, let’s discuss in more detail what you should and should not be using to clean your computer screen. We’ll also give you an easy DIY solution to give you peace of mind that you are not damaging your computer.
What Do You Clean a Monitor Screen With?
You should avoid any types of chemical solutions in cleaning your computer screen. While you would probably be fine in using eyeglass cleaner or Windex occasionally, you would not want to make a habit of it. Ultimately, computer screens are simply too fragile to be able to handle most of the stuff that is used to clean eyeglasses.
What Is the Best Product to Use to Clean a Monitor With?
To avoid any unwanted damages on your computer screens, you should first assess how dirty your screen is. If it only has a lot of dust, then merely wiping it with a clean microfiber cloth is enough. If you are not familiar with this type of cloth, you can see one of these packed inside together with your eyeglass or laptop when you bought them. This type of fabric is specially made for cleaning as its microscopic structure allows it to grab anything from solids, liquids to even bacterias.
A good microfiber cloth is really everything that you will ever need. Here is a really good one that I recommend, found on Amazon.
Please do not go for the cheap ones as their quality might not be on par with the standards set by screen manufacturers. Microfiber cloth is washable as well, so you don’t have to buy another one every time you have to clean your screen. Although you can also use those products that are branded as safe for electronics, they’re usually consumables, which could add up in terms of cost in the long run.
Although you can use some clean rags or one of your unused T-shirts for cleaning, you have no way of knowing whether a speck of metal or sand got caught in between their fibers. These materials are highly abrasive and can cause irreparable scratches on your screen. Even paper towels are considered abrasive, so steer clear from those as well.
Suppose there are some smudges and dirt that wiping alone can’t seem to remove. In that case, you can use plain distilled water, but keep in mind that you should never apply it directly to your screen since the excess water might pool on the edges of your screen, which can damage the electronics inside your screen. Spray or put a small amount of the distilled water on your microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down your dirty screen gently.
Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol or Wipes to Clean My Screen?
Never use rubbing alcohol or ordinary wet wipes to clean your computer screen. For starters, these two contain corrosive chemicals that can strip your monitor off of its anti-reflective coating. Once this coating is damaged, you will notice that your screen will not be as clear as it was before as if it was clouded.
Even a diluted version of those substances will still cause a certain degree of damage, so it’s better to just completely avoid them altogether. However, some wipes companies offer a “safe for electronics” version of their products as well, which you can use instead, but it’s a given that it would cost a lot more than ordinary wipes.
I keep some wipes in my desk, for convenience purposes. Here are the ones that I use, once again available on Amazon. I really like the convenience of just tearing open a wipe and then discarding it, without having to spray anything on my screen.
Are There Any Household Products That I Can Use to Clean My Computer Screen?
If you enjoy making salads, you probably already have this stuff in your kitchen. Vinegar, specifically white vinegar, not only makes your salad taste delicious, but it is also a very potent cleaning agent you can use all over your house. It’s very acidic nature and is thus useful in dissolving most oils and grime buildups on every surface you can think of, even on your computer screen.
Another household item you can use to clean your screen is baking soda. Like with white vinegar, you can also use baking soda to clean almost every object and surface in your house that needs to be cleaned. By combining it with water, you can make it into a paste that you can then put into your microfiber cloth to remove all the unnecessary dirt and grime on your screen. Baking soda is also a very gentle abrasive, which can make your screen look shinier and make existing scratches less noticeable.
DIY Monitor Cleaning Solution
It’s straightforward to make your own monitor cleaning solution, and you already probably have the ingredients needed to make them in your home. The following solutions that you can make by yourself will work just as well, if not better than commercial cleaners. You can also use them to safely clean your computer screen since they do not contain any of the harmful chemicals that screen manufacturers warn you about.
- Vinegar solution- Thoroughly mix one cup of distilled water with one cup of white vinegar then put the solution inside a spray bottle. Spray just enough to make your microfiber cloth damp, then gently use it to wipe your screen.
- Baking soda paste- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of water to make a thick paste mixture. Dip your cleaning cloth into the mixture and apply it carefully all over your screen. Once it dries up, use a separate damp cloth to remove the baking soda from your screen.
You can also just use plain distilled water for screens that do not have that much dirt and grime buildup. Simply spray it on your microfiber cloth just enough to make it damp, then wipe it all over your dirty screen. Use a separate cloth to wipe the excess moisture left.
No one likes a nasty screen on their devices. I let me kids use my laptop sometimes and you can probably imagine how it might look, especially since it’s a touch screen. I find myself constantly cleaning it, thus the reason I even thought to write this article!
Thanks for reading and happy cleaning!
For more, check out How to Store Electronic Components | Keep Them Safe & Organized.
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