One cleaning task that has become common for all of us is cleaning our laptop, netbook, and tablet screens. By far, the best way to do this is to use a microfiber cloth. These can be found cheaply, and do an excellent job. Here’s how they work….
Microfiber cloths do an excellent job of picking up dust and removing smudges without any chemicals. Just the cloth alone will do all of the work for you. In extreme cases, you may want to add water, but no cleansers are ever necessary, so they make for an incredibly safe and effective way to clean electronics. They will even remove oily fingerprints from a surface without spreading it around and without any additional cleaners. They are environmentally & economically friendly by reducing money spent on cleaners, paper towels and trash that has been generated.
There are many types of screens that these cloths will work on, and you can basically clean any smooth shiny surface with them. You always want to be careful, and make sure you are using high quality cleaning cloths to ensure that you will achieve great results with no risk of damage. Some things to keep in mind when cleaning your various screens are listed below:
- LCD Screens
These are not made out of glass! The LCD surface is actually made of a soft film that is vulnerable to scratches, damage by sharp articles and/or improper cleaners. Abrasive materials, and harsh cleansers should not be used on these surfaces.
- CRT Monitors
Most cathode ray tube type monitors have anti-glare coatings to help reduce reflections. This is great for durability and longevity, but any sort of scratches will ruin it, and this coating is sensitive to certain types of cleaning agents.
- Projection TVs
Many large screen and projection type TV’s have a screen that is made of a plastic or acrylic type material. These types of screens require special attention to clean properly and safely. Too rough with them, and you can cause permanent damage.
- Plasma Screens
Plasma screens are made of glass substrate but are usually coated for glare reduction. You still need to proceed with caution so as not to damage this coating.
- Glare reduction add-on screens are coated for reduced reflection.
- Most HDTV’s have surface coatings for glare reduction.
As you can see, most screens have an anti-glare coating that can be permanently scratched. THis means that only a clean, high quality cloth should be used, so no micro particles end up scratching the surface. Microfiber cloths are recommended for cleaning all types of screens because they produce professional quality results, and you never risk any damage if you are using the right kind, and are going about it the right way. A dry cloth will work perfectly in most cases, but if you have excessive build-up, simply get one damp to increase it’s cleaning power.
The most common type of screen cleaning is dust on the surface of the screen. This one is easy to take care of. A single swipe of a screen cloth will do the trick. You will be left with a grime free surface with almost no effort. Just use it dry, and it will pick up every last little particle of dust and remove it from your screen.
For more stubborn dirt, smudges and/or fingerprint removal, use the cloth damp. Whenever you introduce moisture to electronics, you want to be careful, so follow the steps below to make sure you are not taking any risks when wiping down your monitor.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR SCREEN:
Turn off your monitor or screen. This is a safety issue; also, it is easier to see the screen surface against the dark background.
- Remove any larger dirt particles: Using the microfiber cloth, gently brush away any larger dirt particles. Also, wipe the edges, lifting the dust into the cloth as you go.
- Use the microfiber screen cloth to clean the surface. Applying light pressure, wipe the screen being careful not to overwork any area. If you have areas of the screen that do not come clean, go on to the next step.
- For dirt, stains or streaking that is dried onto the screen surface; moisten the cloth under the tap. It may be necessary on larger screens to work one-half or third of the screen at a time. Make sure the cloth is only damp, NOT wet. Excess moisture could seep into the edges of the screen causing problems. Wipe the screen with the dampened cloth.
- Applying light pressure, work quickly to moisten the screen. You want to be able to come back to the same area before it dries. Reposition the cloth in your hand finding a drier section of cloth and continue wiping the screen to the point of most friction caused by the nearly dry screen. At this point, reposition the cloth one more time, and lightly wipe to finish polish.
Thats all there is to it. Our high quality microfiber cloths will outperform most any other out there, and they make it easy to achieve superior results in very little time. When used correctly, you run no risk of damage, and are virtually guaranteed to end up with a sparkling clean computer screen in just seconds. Anycommon dirt or smudge is no match for one of these cloths, and even the tougher, more caked on grime can be wiped away with ease.
THINGS TO AVOID:
Avoid using Kleenex, paper towels, or other coarse shop towels. These materials may contain abrasives that can scratch plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate surfaces or surface coatings. Also these fabrics also can be very dusty or linty. Do not clean your screen with strong cleaners, polishes or chemically treated cloths. You really don’t need anything fancy, and if you go too hardcore on your supplies, you are just asking for trouble. Of course you don’t want to cheap out and wipe with toilet paper or tissue either though. You might expect similar results, but all you will end up with is smeared dirt with a layer of lint on top.
Avoid these cleaning chemicals: ketone type material (Acetone), alkalis, acids, phosphates, chlorides or caustics, as they can cause damage to coatings or LCD polarizers. Harsh chemicals like these are just totally unnecessary, and will only get you into trouble.
We also do not recommend any cleaner that claims to leave behind any type of surface protective coating or protective layer. Most computer monitors have an anti-glare coating on the screen surface. Anything that leaves a coating to this surface is going to affect the effectiveness of that anti-glare coating. We also have noted some hard to remove smudging from these types of cleaning products. This kind of protectant is just not needed. It is much safer and easier to operate off a less is more concept when cleaning a laptop or notebook screen. Get too many things going on, and you will be in over your head. Keep it simple by selecting a simple and effective tool, and leave out all of the extras.
One of the advantages of microfiber cloths is that they can be washed and reused repeatedly. This means that each cloth can be reused over and over again without needing to be replaced. And with no cleansers necessary, it makes microfiber one of the most economical ways to clean any screen too.
Microfiber Cloth Cleaning Tips:
You can wash with normal wash machine load, but avoid washing with anything that might be linty. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners in the washer or dryer. Air-drying is good, but they also can be safely dried at low heat in the clothes dryer.
To sanitize; microfiber cloths may be boiled for 5-10 minutes to eliminate any bacteria that may form in the fibers.How do I clean ink from a screen surface? One method, which has worked well for some persons, is to saturate a clean cloth with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. With gentle wiping, this normally will remove most inks from a screen. *
Other items worth noting:
- Do not rub the surface of the screen with ball-point-pen or screwdriver etc.
- Do not place rubber, vinyl products or cellophane tape on your screen.
- Avoid touching the screen with your fingers. (oily fingerprints will result)
- Exposing the screen to direct sunlight for a long period of time or to other heat sources may cause damage to any screen.
- Kids have various games and learning devices in which they use a pen-like device to write on a screen. Explain to them the difference in their screen and your plasma TV screen, or new LCD monitor.
* Before using any liquid cleaners on your screen, consult your manual or manufacturers recommended cleaning procedures.