Dust and fingerprints are not going to do any long-term damage to your monitor, but they often distract you from playing games or browsing the internet. Computer screens are brighter, sharper and more responsive than ever before, but they are also more delicate. Cleaning them properly is a more complex process than some think.
Removing dust and fingerprint smudges is not as straightforward as it might sound. It requires the right tools and techniques to prevent damaging the delicate screens of your tablet, laptop or desktop. If you use a paper towel, it is only a matter of time before you damage your monitor permanently.
Our current monitors have come a long way from the glass bulbs screens used in monitors over a decade ago, but their lighter and thinner design also means they are more sensitive. Accidentally damaging your monitor or television is an expensive mistake. All techniques mentioned below were tested on a traditional monitor.
A soft synthetic cloth is your best choice
When cleaning your monitor, a microfiber cloth is your best friend. This type of cloth is softer compared to both paper and cloth towels. A piece of clothing, or even a standard kitchen towel, might feel adequate to clean your device, but these type of fibers are too rough and could potentially damage your screen.
Microfiber is a synthetic fiber finer than most other cleaning fibers. At a microscopic level, the texture of a microfiber towel is much softer than a standard towel. The rougher the fiber, the more friction and the higher the risk of permanently scratching your delicate monitor.
Turn off your device
Before you start cleaning your monitor, turn off the device. Do not clean a device until it is cool to the touch. Proceed remove as much dust as possible with a spray of compressed air. Keep the bottle positioned correctly, as holding it upside down results in leaking a liquid that evaporates but leaves stains on the monitor.
You should keep this spray at least a handlenght or more away from the device. When you spray gas from a compressed spray, the gas becomes graduately colder the longer you spray, even though, the compressed spray is in the room temperature.
After blowing the dust off the monitor with a little help of compressed air, you wipe off the remaining leftovers with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. A simple swipe motion with a microfiber cloth is usually sufficient to remove dust and fingerprint smudges. Remember to not put too much pressure on the screen to prevent dead pixels.
Distilled water to remove the toughest leftovers
If a dry microfiber is not sufficient to remove dust and fingerprint smudges from your monitor, you can slightly dampen the microfiber cloth with distilled water and try to clean these remaining leftovers on your monitor. Distilled water is commonly used in household chores and is available at your local grocery store.
Corrosive substances, such as alcohol- or ammonia-based cleaners, break down the anti-reflective or protective coatings and this results in cloud patches or permanent impurities. Distilled water is purified water processed to remove impurities and minerals. This neutral liquid does not leave deposits on the screen.
Cleaning a delicate device
Remember that you do not want water seeping inside your monitor through the borders of the screen and openings near the edges. When using a wet microfiber towel, you should wring out as much water as possible before cleaning a delicate device. The microfiber cloth should be damp enough that it feels wet, but not too damp that any water could be wrung out of it.
When cleaning your monitor with a dry or wet microfiber towel, you should use larger sweeping motions from one side to the other or from the top to the bottom, or in the opposite direction. This technique prevents using circular motions that put too much tension on one specific spot.
Prevent permanent damage
When cleaning your monitor, it is better to be mindful of your tools and wipe techniques to prevent permanent damage to these delicate screens. Repairing a broken monitor or television is expensive, or, in some cases, not even possible. Remember to always use a soft microfiber towel and distilled water.
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