If you read the post about cleaning computer keyboards, you’ll know I cautioned against using alcohols as cleaning agents on computer keyboards. However, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) specifically is suggested all over internet sites as a preferred cleaner for keyboards as well as monitors and TV screens. The Internet doesn’t lie, does it? So It must be a good cleaner, right? And yeah, I’ve used IPA as a cleaner and I know it is an effective cleaner against dirt and grime…

But doggoneit, wait a minute! Even though the internet recommends it and I’ve used it with some success, I also know it can  cause damage to plastics!  I know it because I took the finish off keys on a keyboard using IPA!   So, even though it is highly recommended, can IPA hurt my monitor? Me oh my! What is one to believe?

I believe, when in doubt, to err on the side of caution. I believe that experience trumps polyparrot advice. So when in doubt about cleaning monitors and TV screens, I thought it prudent to seek out the manufacturer’s advice.

After checking several manufacturers of LCD monitors, laptop screens and Plasma TVs for their recommended cleaning procedures, I found they have a few common best practices. These are:

  •  Always turn off the device and unplug the power cord from the wall or surge protector before cleaning.
  • Always use a clean, soft microfiber cloth to wipe surfaces to remove dirt and dust.
  • Always wipe in one direction to avoid streaks.
  • NEVER use cleaning products, paper towels, tissues or other abrasive materials to clean screens.
  • NEVER use alcohols or ammonia-based cleaners.
  • NEVER use aerosol or liquid cleaners sprayed directly on the screen.
  • NEVER use heavy pressure against the screen while cleaning.

If smudges remain after wiping, then moisten a clean microfiber cloth with water, wring it out to remove excess moisture and gently clean the dirty area.

For difficult dirt, Dell recommends a product called KlearScreen. Apple recommends a product called iKlear. Both products have good reviews and can be explored at http://www.KlearScreen.com.

One suggestion from the Dell site was to frequently wipe dust from the screen with the clean microfiber cloth, but not to clean the screen too frequently, even with a recommended cleaner. Dell explained that excessive cleaning can eventually wear away the special coatings on the surface of the monitor that are meant to make your computing experience easier on your eyes.

Hoping that these suggestions might help you see more clearly now…