You may think that you can clean your glossy monitor screen with Windex and a kitchen rag, just because it’s made of glass. But the screen most likely has a coating on it that isn’t as durable and chemically resistant as glass.
Some people also recommend hard alcohols like vodka – a bad idea! Your nail polish remover (which contains acetone) or Windex (which contains ammonia) are also bad choices. And did you know that using paper towels is akin to using sandpaper on your screen? The fibers of a paper towel are fairly abrasive and can wreak havoc on your precious screen.
Fingerprints, skin oil and sometimes even food and drink particles can make the screen of your favorite appliance grimy. If you have pets and kids, there’s no saving your computer screen from getting dirty. And some of you might be blessed with friends and family members who love to touch the monitor. Not to mention the everyday dust and grime that slowly builds up on it.
Now logically you can’t wage a war against the elements that regularly and habitually dirty the screens of your TV, laptop, iPhone and computer monitor. What you can do is refrain from the irresponsible cleaning methods that can essentially damage the screens of your expensive devices. Most cleaning solutions available in the market, along with being expensive, contain chemicals that electronics manufacturers specifically prohibit.
It’s really incredible how plain old dish soap and white vinegar are all-rounders in cleaning – efficient yet compatible with delicate surfaces. You can easily clean your monitor screen with either of these two ingredients that you only have to go to your kitchen to find.
- Method 1: Using Dishwashing Liquid
- Method 2: Using White Vinegar
- Additional Tips
Method 1: Using Dishwashing Liquid
Things you’ll need:
- Microfiber cloth, for dusting
- Microfiber towel
- Dishwashing liquid
- Distilled water
- Small spray bottle
Step 1. Clean off the dust with a microfiber cloth
First, clean the dust off your screen with a microfiber cloth. You can use the lens cleaning cloth that came with your eyeglasses. If your screen was only dusty but not grimy, you can finish here. If you can see fingerprints and other marks, continue with the next steps.
Step 2. Fill the spray bottle with distilled water
Fill a small spray bottle with distilled water.
Only pure water should touch your computer screen. Distilled water is free of any salts or minerals that are usually present in tap water.
Step 3. Mix in dishwashing liquid
Add 1 drop of ammonia-free dishwashing liquid to the spray bottle. Be sure to use only 1 drop as you don’t want a lot of soap in contact with your screen. Use a dropper if you must.
Dishwashing liquid, in very small quantities, is even endorsed by some manufacturers for this cleaning.
Step 4. Spray the cleaning solution on the microfiber towel
Spray the cleaning solution on a microfiber towel. Spray enough to just dampen the surface, and not more than that.
Step 5. Wipe the screen clean
Now comes the actual cleaning part, which is quite easy.
Move the cloth in one direction with a light hand, either horizontally or vertically. Don’t buff the problem areas. Just patiently repeat the steady cleaning motions.
Step 6. Gently dry the screen
When your screen is free of all the marks, change the fold of the microfiber towel to reveal a clean and dry surface.
Use this surface to wipe any residual moisture off your screen. Avoid letting the solution air-dry, as it may leave marks behind.
Method 2: Using White Vinegar
Things you’ll need:
- Microfiber cloth
- Lint-free cloth
- White vinegar
- Distilled water
- Small spray bottle
Step 1. Dry dust the screen
Clean the dust off the screen with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Again, you can use a lens cleaning cloth you might have on hand.
Step 2. Prepare the cleaning solution
Prepare the cleaning solution next. In a small spray bottle, mix distilled water and white vinegar in the ratio of 2:1.
Shake the bottle to mix it well.
Tap water or bottled water is not advisable, as it contains dissolved salts and minerals, which are good for your body but not for your monitor screen.
Step 3. Spray some cleaning solution on a lint-free cloth
Spray the solution on a lint-free cloth. Use just enough spray to dampen the cloth. If the solution dries up while you are cleaning, you can spray some on the cloth again.
Step 4. Wipe the screen clean
Wipe the screen clean with the damp lint-free cloth using a light hand. Move the cloth in one direction, vertically or horizontally, until you’ve wiped the entire screen.
The moisture in the cloth should be only enough that it dries readily after each stroke. If any moisture remains by any chance, wipe it with a clean and dry side of the lint-free cloth.
- Be sure that the monitor is turned off and unplugged to prevent any shocks when you wipe it with a cleaning solution. Similarly, be sure that the monitor is completely dry before turning it back on.
- The monitor should be cool to the touch before cleaning it, or else the cleaning solutions will quickly evaporate and leave splotches behind.
- When using a store-bought cleaner, be sure that it doesn’t contain chemicals like acetone, ethyl alcohol, toluene, ethyl acid, ammonia or methyl chloride. Such chemicals can damage the anti-glare and anti-reflective coatings on your screen.
- Be sure to use a dishwashing liquid that is ammonia-free.
- Kitchen rags and paper towels are a strict NO at all times. Only microfiber cloths and lint-free cloths are acceptable.
- Exercise caution if using isopropyl alcohol. While it is a good cleaning alternative, it is also extremely flammable.
- Never pour or spray any liquid directly on the screen. Spray it on the cleaning cloth you’re going to use.
- Never use circular buffing motions, as they can damage the screen. Use light and vertical or horizontal motions, in one direction only.