Dirt, dust, and fingerprint smudges will not harm your monitor in the long run, but they will distract you when attempting to headshot Tracer in Overwatch. Let’s face it: your monitor is filthy—time it’s to clean it.
You may believe that cleaning your monitor is simple, and you are correct. However, the procedure is slightly more involved than simply wiping it with the corner of your t-shirt—or, worse, a paper towel. Here are a few examples of dos and don’ts:
How To Avoid Causing Damage To Your Monitor
Before we begin, there are a few major no-nos to avoid, as accidentally damaging your monitor is an expensive mistake that we want to avoid.
First and foremost, stay away from corrosive substances! That means no cleaners containing alcohol or ammonia (like diluted rubbing alcohol or Windex). These cleaners can harm your screen by removing anti-reflective coatings, causing clouding, and other problems. CRT displays used to have huge glass bulbs on them, but monitors have come a long way in the last few years. They are also much more sensitive.
Next, use caution when wiping the screen. Paper towels may appear to be a good option, but they are actually quite abrasive on a microscopic level. The same goes for t-shirts or other household rags, which may contain a speck of sand, metal.
Finally, never spray your cleaning solution directly onto your monitor. Excess liquid has the potential to pool in the corner of your screen, seep in through tiny weak spots, and wreak havoc on the sensitive materials inside.
How To Clean Your Computer Monitor
Now that we’ve cleared that warning, let’s get to work cleaning that monitor. For light dustings, a blast of compressed air (the same stuff used to blow dust from case fans) should suffice, possibly followed by a quick dry wipe-down.
When it comes to wiping, a microfiber cloth is your best friend. Microfiber is known for attracting dust and absorbing oils and is extremely soft (at the microscopic level). Most importantly, it will not harm your screen. These are our favourites, or these if you prefer something a little more plush.
Of course, before using the cloth, ensure that it is clean and free of grit. A speck of dirt or sand could be more damaging than all of your meticulous planning. Depending on your environment, you may be able to use the same cloth for several weeks or it may need to be replaced after only a few uses.
To give your cloth a little extra cleaning power, Dampen it lightly with distilled water (no impurities that could cause accidental damage), but not so much that it can be wrung out. Keep in mind that we don’t want liquid to run down the screen and collect in the edges and corners. If water alone isn’t cutting it, make a cleaning solution of 50% distilled water and 50% white household vinegar. As before, apply the liquid to the cloth rather than the screen.
Avoid using circular motions or buffing a single spot when wiping your screen. Instead, use light pressure and broad, sweeping motions from side to side or top to bottom. It may seem insignificant, but remember that we’re cleaning sensitive electronics, and it’s better to be careful than to buff in a costly repair.