As you read back over the report or letter you just wrote, you find a problem. Is that an ‘e’ or an ‘f’? Or is it possibly a ‘b’? What symbol did you accidentally type over the ‘h’? Oh, wait, that’s not a character. How disgusting! Cleaning your computer screen will become a priority.
Get Specific Screen Cleaning Products
Don’t reach for the same spray bottle you use to wash your windows. Being able to read your screen is very important, so taking the time to drive to a store with an electronics department is worth the effort.
Find a screen cleaner and a soft cloth specifically labeled for use with computers or PDA screens. The only other type of product you might try on the screen are those designed to use on eyeglasses. The little pieces of cloth sold in eyeglass stores will also work on your computer screen.
If none of these options are available, or you would just rather mix your own computer screen cleanser, then a 50/50 combination of Isopropyl alcohol and water will do. Never use paper towels, but there are individually wrapped pre-moistened towelettes labeled for use on computers or eyeglasses that sometimes work well.
Going for Deep Clean
Turn off the monitor or the laptop. Find some light to work with by either moving the laptop or monitor or rearranging some lamps until you can see easily. If possible, sunlight is often the best way to expose smudges and smears on the screen.
Layout the things you need like the screen cleaner, cloth, or Q-tips. Never spray the monitor or laptop screen directly with the cleaner. Lightly spray the cloth you will be using and start at the corners where dust and grime accumulate, dabbing gently.
If you can’t reach a spot in the corner, give a Q-tip a sparing spray of cleaner and gently rub this into corners to remove the grim. Put the Q-tip aside and move on to smears or smudges next. Make sure there is no dirt on the cloth, and give it one more light spray before wiping the entire screen.
The Smear that Will Not Go Away
Occasionally, you will encounter a smudge that resists your cloth’s best efforts. When you meet this breed of dirt, take another clean Q-tip and spray it with cleaner until it is well moistened but not dripping wet. Run the Q-tip softly over the smudge until it is dissolved and can be wiped off.
Check the computer screen from various angles before you declare yourself done. Smears have the frustrating ability to hide in the shadows, so you should tilt the laptop or turn the monitor this way and that to make sure you have completely gotten them all.
Keeping the monitor completely clean is almost impossible since the very makeup of the screen allows it to smudge and smear easily. Laptops especially take a lot of unintentional abuse. Keeping your computer screen cleaning towelettes or a small cloth handy to pick up small problems as they arise can reduce the number of times you have to do a full-scale cleaning.