Despite the many benefits of LCD screens, from lower power consumption to crisper image quality, they must still be cleaned and they cannot be cleaned as easily as traditional CRT monitors. Before the days of LCD screens, all you needed to clean a monitor was window cleaner and a paper towel, but now you need special equipment to properly and safely clean your screen. Cleaning an LCD screen is, however, still easy once you know the correct methods.
Before cleaning is necessary, though, you can perform some preventative maintenance. Like all screens, LCD screens accumulate dust from the air, and for laptop screens, from bags. Simply dusting the screen regularly can improve the quality of the image and help reduce the effects of other substances that can dirty your screen. To dust an LCD screen, either use one of the computer “dust squeegees” you can find at little or no cost at most computer stores, or use a very, very soft, dry cloth to wipe the dust away.
Aside from dust, another common way LCD screens get dirty is from body oil on fingers. For all LCD screens, the easiest way to prevent this is to not touch the screen. This simple advice can help keep your LCD screen clean enough to only need a more through cleaning every few months. Unless, of course, you have a laptop, since on most laptops, even if you never directly touch the screen, body oils will get on the screen from the keys when the laptop is closed. A simply solution to this is to place a thin, soft cloth between the keyboard and screen, keeping the screen from accumulating key marks.
Even with this advice to keep your LCD screen from getting dirty, it will eventually need to be cleaned since fluids, grime, and dirt find a way to your screen. When your LCD needs to be cleaned, the best way to do it is with a diluted isopropyl alcohol solution made of water and at most 50% isopropyl alcohol. You can either mix your own or purchased a premixed cleaning solution (usually mixed to 30% concentration) from a computer store. To apply the solution, use a very, very soft cloth, such as a piece of soft flannel or a synthetic microfiber material, and wipe the screen gently: too much pressure can cause the screen to crack or warp. You can use this cleaning method as often as necessary.
A word of warning, though. Never use any other cleaners, especially those that contain ammonia, such as glass cleaners. Ammonia can damage an LCD screen and leave it looking cloudy. Also avoid paper towels, since they can easily scratch an LCD as they drag dirt and paper particles over the surface of the screen; that’s why it’s so important to use the softest cloth you can.
Cleaning LCD screens is a simple process, but requires some care. You must use the proper tools; otherwise you could permanently damage your screen. With the right knowledge and tools, though, you’ll be able to keep your LCD clean and functional for years to come.
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