What To Clean Computer Screen With (Is Alcohol, Windex, Soap Safe?)

Welcome to a quick guide on what to clean a computer screen with. There sure are a ton of cleaning products on the market, but not many people seem to have addressed the issue – Which ones should we use to clean a monitor with? Which ones are safe, and which are not?

We should remove dust from a computer screen using a duster or blower first. Then, use a microfiber cloth to wipe it clean. Solutions such as 90% isopropyl alcohol, glass cleaner, and soap are generally safe in moderate amounts, so long as they don’t seep in and damage the internal electronics.

That covers the gist of it, but just which are the “safe and unsafe” cleaning products? Read on for more!

 

 

QUICK SLIDES

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Safe Unsafe Useful Bits & Links
The End

 

SAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS

All right, let us now get into the products that are safe for cleaning a computer screen.

 

WIPES THAT DON’T LEAVE SCRATCHES

  • Microfiber cloth – The so-called “safest fabric” to wipe a computer monitor with. These are also commonly used for eyeglasses and photography lenses. They pick up dirt well, just wash them occasionally to flush the dirt and oil out.
  • Lens wipe – The disposable wet/dry wipes used for eyeglasses and lenses. It’s just kind of wasteful though, you will probably need to use quite a few pieces to clean the entire screen.
  • Screen wipe – The “bigger” version of the lens wipe. When in doubt, just look for these “specialized screen wipes”. They are either dry or dry up very quickly to not cause any damage to the electronics.

 

 

DUSTERS & BLOWERS

  • Vacuum – A smaller handheld vacuum should work just fine for dusty monitors. But I am kind of against sticking a vacuum machine into electronics though… Especially the “giant cyclone” ones that can potentially ruin parts.
  • Blower – Personally, I am leaning more towards blow than vacuum. Yes, we techies actually use air duster cans and blowers quite commonly.
  • Duster – The good old duster, can’t go wrong. Just don’t beat the sh1t out of the monitor.

 

GENTLE CHEMICALS

Most common “gentle household cleaning solutions” are also generally ok.

  • Glass cleaner -Windex, Mr. Muscle, Magiclean, etc…
  • Dish soap – UIC, Dawn, AJAX, Magiclean, etc…
  • General-purpose cleaners – UIC, Cif, Lysol, Magiclean, etc…
  • Isopropyl alcohol – This is actually better for electronics, but try to get those 90% alcohol ones. They dry up very quickly and are suitable for cleaning electronics.
  • Contact cleaner – If you have to clean the electronic pins, use a contact cleaner.

Well, the whole idea is actually common sense. Most cleaning solutions are OK, we just don’t want to get wet electronics. Use them in moderate amounts, not dunk the entire monitor into a sea of cleaning solutions.

 

 

UNSAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS

With that, let us now get into the “no-no” cleaning products that are bad for computer screens.

 

ROUGH & REALLY WET WIPES

  • Kitchen towel and toilet paper – Yes, these are very absorbent and can soak up a lot of greases. But they are also rough-textured, they cause micro scratches. A lot of them.
  • Rough-textured fabrics – Burlap, canvas, etc… Don’t just take any piece of rag to clean a computer screen. They can cause scratches.
  • Tissues – Soft tissues are actually kind of OK, but still no, they leave more fibers behind than actually clean. Also, avoid those “moisturizing wipes”, they leave the monitor soaking wet.
  • Steel Wool – U mad? Looking to get a new monitor?

 

CORROSIVE & ABRASIVE CHEMICALS

  • Bleach.
  • Caustic soda.
  • Stain remover.
  • Other corrosive solutions, such as vinegar.
  • Polishers, such as Cif.

These are common sense again, avoid using strong cleaning agents… Unless things are really messed up, and you are willing to take a risk.

 

 

“POWER CLEANING” GADGETS

  • Steam cleaner – High heat will kill all the bad stuff, and also the internal electronics.
  • Power washer – You mad bro?
  • Spin scrubber – The monitor will be squeaky clean. Not so sure if it will still turn on.
  • Polishing machine – Unless you really know what you are doing, and trying to get rid of deep scratches.

 

USEFUL BITS & LINKS

That’s all for this guide, and here is a small section on some extras and links that may be useful to you.

 

CLEANING SAFETY & PROCEDURE

When in doubt, watch how the professionals do it. This is not a cleaning tutorial, but it is satisfying to watch how this guy repairs a trashed laptop, clean the screen, and restores it entirely:

  • Switch off the power. Captain Obvious, don’t want to electrocute yourself.
  • Start with removing the dust. Use a blower or duster.
  • After most of the dust has been removed, wipe and use a cleaning solution where necessary. Avoid getting liquids into the nooks and crannies, wet monitors are no good.
  • Lastly, it might be a good idea to let the monitor sit a while to dry out.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCES

 

THE END

Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope this has helped you to better understand, and if you have anything to share with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and may the cyber force be with you.

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