Instructions for cleaning a computer monitor vary depending on the type of monitor, as cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal (LCD) monitors have different tolerance levels for handling techniques and cleaning agents. If you’re not sure what type of monitor you have, LCD monitors are usually very thin and flat and CRT monitors are large and bulky. Also, a CRT monitor has an obvious glass panel on the front, while an LCD monitor has an almost gel-like appearance, although you should never touch it with bare hands. If you have a laptop, it will have an LCD monitor. If your monitor came with an owner’s manual, always follow the instructions listed there for cleaning it, rather than a generic guide, as failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions could void your warranty.
An LCD monitor.
To clean a computer monitor that uses CRT technology, start by turning it off and completely disconnecting it from the power source and the computer. Then use an anti-static cloth or a very soft, clean cloth to wipe the dust off the surface. Then spray a small amount of monitor or electronic device cleaning fluid onto the cloth and rub the cloth consistently in one direction; from top to bottom is a common choice. When finished, use a dry cloth to dry the monitor immediately. Never spray cleaning fluid directly on the monitor, as it may damage the monitor and other computer components.
CRT monitors should only be cleaned when turned off.
If you have an LCD monitor, the cleaning process is slightly different because the screen is more fragile. As with a CRT monitor, you must completely turn off and unplug the LCD monitor before cleaning it. Start with an anti-static or very soft cloth and gently wipe dust off the surface of the monitor. Then, place a solution of isopropyl alcohol or cider vinegar and water on a cloth and wipe the monitor, always moving in the same direction, and then gently dry the monitor.
A little vinegar on a soft cloth is usually a safe way to clean a computer screen.
Some people have plasma displays, which are similar in some ways to LCD displays. To clean a computer monitor that uses gas or plasma, follow the instructions for cleaning an LCD monitor, but use a special fluid designed for that type of monitor instead of alcohol. When cleaning an LCD or plasma monitor, be sure not to use abrasive cleaning fluids, such as those containing ammonia, as they can damage the screen, causing it to become brittle, yellow, or cracked in extreme cases. Avoid touching both types of monitors with any object as they are highly delicate and can break or dent.
If there are children in your home, it’s best to clean the monitor every three to six months, possibly longer if it’s clearly dirty.
If you clean your computer monitor regularly, you will find your overall computer experience more pleasant, as you won’t be forced to look around streaks and dust on the screen. You can also clean other components, such as the case and keyboard, at the same time, eliminating pet hair, dust, dirt, accumulated food particles, and other debris. Depending on the number of animals and children in your home, you should clean your monitor every three to six months, or whenever it’s obviously dirty.
Alcohol and water can be used to clean computer monitors.