It may seem silly to read an article about PC monitor cleaning, but I promise it is worth a few minutes of your time. In all my time around technology, I have seen several monitors ruined due to poor cleaning methodologies. I have also seen a few monitors damaged, even just cosmetically, by not knowing how to clean a PC monitor properly.
PC Monitor Cleaning – What Should You Not Do?
Before I walk you through the best way to clean your PC monitor, let me outline some of the things you should never do. What you need to understand is that PC monitors are somewhat fragile and, depending on the model, expensive pieces of technology. What you may have assumed as best practice could cost you in quality of experience, or money.
The first big no-no is using Windex. Any standard glass cleaner should be avoided. If the cleaner you plan on using has any amount of alcohol or ammonia in it, don’t use it. We have come a long way in monitors since the old bubbled glass of my childhood. Your PC monitor likely does not have a glass screen, so avoid glass cleaners. You can easily strip off anti-reflective coatings or cause clouding on your screen if you are not careful. In short— no corrosive substances!
Paper Towels & Rags
The next common mistake is using the wrong type of cloth to clean your screen. Paper towels are quite abrasive, so avoid those. In my time as a retail manager, I heard people say using an old cotton shirt is best, but I disagree. Often, old cotton shirts or other household rags carry dirt or other micro-abrasive materials.
Spraying the Screen
The last thing to avoid (and what I have personally seen destroy monitors) is applying your cleaning solution directly to the screen. If the liquid runs and finds its way inside of the monitor housing, you could have a disaster. One time might not destroy your PC monitor, but repeated instances can add up faster than you’d think.
If you have already done one or more of the above and ruined your monitor, check out some great replacements for under £200.
PC Monitor Cleaning – What Should You Do?
Now that we have laid out some ground rules, let’s get you keeping your monitor dust free and crystal clear. The easiest thing to do is to blow any dust off with canned air. Canned air is a simple and inexpensive option for light work.
If you are past necessary dusting and need a real wipe down, there is one method that has worked for me for as long as I can remember. You only need two things: a microfiber cloth and some distilled water.
The reasoning for the microfiber cloth is that it is very
soft and will not cause the same potential for scratching as a paper towel or
household rag. Microfiber cloths also do a great job at attracting dust. Make
sure to keep your microfiber cloths clean, as captured dirt or particulate will
always put you at risk for scratching your PC monitor.
I like distilled water as the liquid of choice for a few
reasons. The first is that it is not corrosive. More importantly, there will be
no impurities that can cause damage to your screen.
In practice, I dampen my cloth with distilled water and then make side-to-side wiping motions. I try to avoid circular motions as that tends to cause streaking. There is nothing worse than having a clean screen that is somehow less clear.
Your Method Didn’t Work!
If the above method isn’t cutting it, shame on you for having such a dirty screen! All joking aside, I have one more trick up my sleeve. I learned the magic of white vinegar and all of its cleaning applications from a friend named Chris. If you need some extra dirt-busting power, mix a solution of 50% distilled water and 50% white vinegar, then follow my method above; it’s that easy.
Like I said, it probably seemed silly to read an article about PC monitor cleaning, but I guarantee you learned a thing or two. Most people are shocked to find out that they have been using a method that puts their monitor at risk. Now you don’t have to be one of those people; you can have a squeaky clean monitor with none of the risk.