We talk a lot about internal factors of IT systems, and how to manage them, but… let’s focus on the “outer” area if you will- the actual computer screen! Dust, dirty fingers (maybe little sticky fingers?) and right now POLLEN?!? All of those things could be making a nice layer on your monitor, and let’s be honest- it shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to spring cleaning! But… What products can you use to avoid damage and still ensure a squeaky clean surface?
First, let’s talk about cleaning the screen using a microfiber cloth. Put down the paper towels! Turn off your computer, and if you are on a laptop, unplug the power adapter and battery, because cleaning a screen that’s in use can result in permanent damage, so it’s best to stay on the safe side and turn it off. Now, “why a microfiber cloth?” you may ask? Well for starters, it’s soft AND it doesn’t produce lint like a washcloth or towel might. You may already have a microfiber cloth on hand without even realizing it in your sunglass case, because these are excellent for cleaning all sorts of screens and lenses and typically come with any sunglass purchase!
Once you've gotten your cloth, let’s approach the screen gently, and use a single sweep of the cloth to remove any dust or loose particles. Don’t push on it, not much pressure is needed, and if you feel your screen is “extra” dirty, try using gentle circular motions to pick up those tougher screens. Never, I repeat “never ever” (like a Taylor Swift break up song) scrub the screen! Otherwise, you’re looking at pixel burnout…
If you feel you need to incorporate a cleaning solution (what DO you do to your screen?) it’s very important to unplug the power adapter and batter with this step, as well as unplug it from the outlet. To create a gentle (key word today) cleaning solution, the ideal concoction is plain distilled water, mixed with plain distilled water. Yes, you read that right.. If water alone doesn’t cut it? Then a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water can also be effective. NEVER use apple cider vinegar, though it has an enormous amount of benefits for your home and body, cleaning your computer screen is NOT one of them. Don’t be lazy with your water choice either, distilled is better than tap because it’s chemical free, and stay clear of cleaners that you may come across with alcohol, ammonia, or any strong solvents.
Once your solution is made, transfer it to an “atomizer bottle” which is similar to a spray bottle except you get a very fine mist when you push the pump, and then spray your microfiber rag- NOT the screen directly! A light mist will do just fine, because a dripping cloth can damage your screen! Bring back those circular motions with the cloth, and do it rapidly to eliminate streaks. Gentle, even pressure, that is just enough to allow the cloth to come in contact with the screen is perfect, and re-dampen the cloth only as needed.
If you follow these instructions, and steer clear of things such as paper-towels, napkins, and toothbrushes (yes, that has been attempted by some) you should have a nice clean computer screen in no time!