How to clean your notebook screen for next to nothing!

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Monday, 25 January 2010 14:26

cleanscreenI have often wondered what the correct solution and method would be to clean a notebook screen. The notebook screen is not like the old CRT 14" monitors where we used to clean the them with Windolene and a cloth. The LCD screens are extremely sensitive and need to be handled with care.

These tips on cleaning notebook screens will also apply to LCD TV screens.

As you may already have guessed or unfortunately have found out, LCD screens are nowhere near as robust as the old CRT glass screens. The Liquid Crystal Display has just that inside the display and manhandling (I actually see more women abusing their notebooks!) the surface damages the liquid crystal and you either get dead pixels spots, or even worse dead areas where the display is damaged. Also if you use detergents that have ammonia or other strong chemicals, it will damage the surface of the display - often causing the display surface to lose the transparency, or create permanent streaks on the surface.

Also, don't use hard or scratchy material to clean the display, this will scratch the surface.

There are many notebook/LCD cleaning kits available from stores, which are fine to use - provided they don't contain ammonia or other strong chemicals.

But a solution of white vinegar and water will work perfectly. The mixture should be 50/50 water and vinegar. Switch off the notebook, unplug the battery, as when cleaning you may switch it on by mistake and liquid you are using might spill on the notebook. Use a soft cloth (an old t-shirt or baby's blanket), dip it into the solution (make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the cloth) or spray the solution onto the cloth (never onto the screen as the liquid runs down into the electronics and that will be the end of your notebook) and wipe the screen from edge to edge, as it dries keep moving the cloth to a dryer area of the cloth so as to remove the streaks as it starts to dry.

A tip.....if you do manage to get liquid into the notebook or screen, leave the system off and take it to a computer repair centre, or if you are brave, leave it off and stand it in the sun for a good few hours. If you are in a hurry, use a hairdryer on the spot where the liquid got into the system. How long?... I think until you are happy that there is no liquid left inside - be careful not to get the hairdryer too close for too long as it will melt the plastics. Oh, and when you switch on, stand back ;-).

To summerise:

Do's when cleaning a notebook screen:
Switch off, and remove the battery
Use a soft cloth
Use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water
Keep wiping the screen as the solution dries to prevent streaks
Wipe from side to side, like painting
Be gentle, and don't apply pressure.

Don'ts when cleaning a notebook screen:
Never spray onto the screen when cleaning
Make sure the cloth is damp and not dripping
Don't apply too much pressure, it will damage the screen
Never clean the screen when the power is on
Don't let the solution dry on it's own- keep wiping until the cloth dries the screen
Don't wipe in all directions.

To clean a CRT glass screen, use the same technique but use something like Windolene.

There you have it, simple and effective way to keep your screen clean.

Here is my favourite clip on cleaning a notebook - be careful of children when they start helping to clean around the house!

Contributed by:
Malcolm Pearson
www.tech4law.co.za