How can I get my monitor screen clean without streaks?
August 22, 2005 3:44 PM   Subscribe

How can I get my monitor screen clean without streaks?

I never get fingerprints on my monitors (CRTs and/or LCDs) and snap at people who touch them. Yet, they still need to be cleaned every once in awhile. I've tried everything, including the "monitor wipes" sold in computer stores, but they always leave streaks! I've also tried "safe" household type cleaners with soft, lint-free cloth but it still doesn't work. How can I make my screens look like new?
posted by robbie01 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
I usually spray Windex onto a good quality paper towel and then use the paper towel to clean the monitor (LCD). It's a smidge streaky, but only until the Windex evaporates, and then it's fine until the next set of smudges comes along. I do the same for the TVs. (FWIW, I've got three kids using my computer on a regular basis, so I get *lots* of fingerprints.)
posted by jlkr at 3:56 PM on August 22, 2005

My Powerbook LCD has this problem because of the keyboard cover I use. My method is to use iKlear, which is excellent at removing the oils which cause the streaks. Then I use a lightly damp clean papertowel to remove the residue from the iKlear. Perfect monitor every time.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:02 PM on August 22, 2005

I work around a lot of computers, and I'm the only one motivated enough to clean the monitors regularly. I swear by Windex and paper towels.
posted by katieinshoes at 4:33 PM on August 22, 2005

I was always told not to use Windex on computer screens because the ammonia would strip away...some...coating. Or something. So I use a little bottle of ammonia-free screen cleaner from an office supply shop. It doesn't really cost more.

It's possible that you're just not using enough spray; too little always leaves my screen streaky, too.
posted by bcwinters at 4:36 PM on August 22, 2005

I use a vinegar-based glass cleaner I got long ago. There still should be similar stuff out there.
posted by kindall at 4:39 PM on August 22, 2005

Another good one is Invisible Glass, which is for auto glass. It's alcohol based and very streak-resistant.
posted by kindall at 4:40 PM on August 22, 2005

Do NOT use paper towels on LCD screens--the fibers will leave scratches in the screen. Use a terrycloth towel and the solvent of your choice.
posted by curtm at 5:38 PM on August 22, 2005

I use Optyl-7 with one of them microfiber lens cloth things. I like this stuff because it is water-based so it won't harm any special coatings like you might have on LCD screens. It is very easy to wipe the surface totally dry once you are done cleaning with it.

I have also used dry lens cleaning wipes from LensCrafters for my lcd screen. Both dry and with water. They will not scratch and I believe you can get a bunch of them for a reasonable price. I hear LensCrafters has pre-moistened wipes (more expensive) as well, but I have not tried these.

In general though, most stuff that is safe for cleaning eyeglasses, etc. should be safe for cleaning screens.
posted by umrain at 5:51 PM on August 22, 2005

Do NOT use papertowerls on LCD and even some CRTs...
Paper Towel is the worst...
You won't notice at first buy in time it could mess up the monitor screens. You will notice espeically in black or dark areas.

As suggest earlier use LCD cleaners with terry cloth or something...

For weeks I used to clean my LCD with Windex... it is now dull colored when it is off and looks like the coating is starting to flake....

LCDs are still expensive investment.. keep it safe..

Ammonia based anything is worst enemy to any plastic based material...
posted by curiousleo at 7:11 PM on August 22, 2005

I use Windex (even the concentrated industrial strength stuff, which you're supposed to cut with a lot of water) with no ill effects (unless you count that 9-yo monitor I had - the antiglare coating was starting to get spotty on it). That said, I windex my screens once maybe every 3 months or more and hit it with a microfiber cloth in the meantime - I don't poke at my screens so the most they get is dusty. The cloths I pick up from Walmart for like $2 and you can probably get them elsewhere. You can use the microfiber cloth for both dry and wet cleaning too, which is a plus, and they just go straight into the washer.
posted by mrg at 7:37 PM on August 22, 2005

Here's how I clean my laptop screen. The first thing I do is fix myself a drink in a clean glass with lots of ice. Then I get a microfiber cloth and dip the corner in some 91% isopropyl alcohol and rub that around the screen trying to get all the oily bits off. Might have to do it a couple of times, the alcohol evaporates pretty quick. Then I wipe another corner of the cloth on the distilled water that has condensed on the outside of my glass and use that to rinse off any residue. Semi-vigorous rubbing with a dry part of the cloth eliminates any streaks.
posted by jackmakrl at 8:15 PM on August 22, 2005

Don't use Cleanmates monitor wipes (warning, strong language).
posted by krisjohn at 1:02 AM on August 23, 2005

I go to my opticians and buy a lens cleaner spray. They'll throw in a small cloth which I can also use to clean my glasses with. I figure if it's good for my glassses, it's good for my monitor.
posted by salmacis at 2:57 AM on August 23, 2005

I've tried all the so-called monitor cleaning wipes, and your household glass cleaner. Ferget 'em.

Best way: Rinse one of those super-soft yellow dish cloths in warm water and wring it out hard. Drip the merest drop of dishwashing liquid onto one corner - I mean a drop about the size of a couple of pin heads. Clean screen. Use another part of the cloth to wipe off. Dry if necessary with another, dry super-soft dish cloth.

Secret is to make sure the wet cloth isn't wet enough to be drippiing water down the screen, and to use a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid.
posted by TiredStarling at 6:15 AM on August 23, 2005

Don't use windex on an LCD. Some LCDs have been known to turn yellow over years of cleaning with windex. You can check with your laptop manufacturer to see if the LCD you would clean has this problem.
posted by shepd at 10:35 AM on August 23, 2005

I wrecked one monitor--I didn't know they had an anti-reflective coating. I use a glare filter over my new Sony as it is a whole lot cheaper to replace that the monitor.
posted by phewbertie at 1:43 AM on August 24, 2005

« Older When girlfriends come back to haunt you.   |   Least traumatic way to move our cats? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.