Cleaning an LCD Screen

It may not seem immediately obvious, but you can't clean an LCD screen as you would a traditional CRT monitor. In fact, normal cleaning products may cause the screen to fog up. So what do the manufactures recommend?

A tube based CRT monitor, much like your TV, has a glass face which can be cleaned with common household cleaning products. However, most LCDs have a plastic face which will fog over when it comes in contact with alcohol (particularly ethyl alcohol) or ammonia.

So what cleaner should you use? Well, the answer depends on your monitor. In fact, what may work for one LCD screen might harm another. Consequently, several sites have accumulated lists of manufacturer recommendations. You should double check any such recommendations with the manufacturer.

Some vendors recommend a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water. Some say you can substitute vinegar for isopropyl alcohol. Many, however, recommend nothing more than a damp cloth. Obviously, water won't remove the oils left by human fingers -- which makes reason number 1,296 why you should never touch a computer screen.

So, what do you do if you've got finger prints on your screen that you can't remove and your vendor doesn't sanction isopropyl alcohol or vinegar? Well, there are some third party cleaning products out there, but you'd better get a recommendation from your vendor first before trying any.

As for the cloth, it goes without saying that it should be clean and soft. In regards to the latter, many vendors actually recommend a microfiber cloth, such as those used to clean eye glasses and camera lenses.

Finally, be very, very gentle when cleaning the screen. Do not exert excessive pressure. Doing so could result in abrasions and dead pixels.

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