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How to clean your computer monitor

Your computer screen is going to get dirty. That’s just an unavoidable fact of life, unless you live in a totally sanitized environment or something like John Travolta in that ’70s made-for-TV movie. You probably don’t though, and that’s okay. We’ve got you covered with some pointers on how to keep your screen clean.

 Step 1: Turn Off the Monitor

First of all, it’s easier to see smudges and stuff on a black screen, so turning off your monitor makes it easier to see what you are doing. It’s also safer for you and for your computer: cleaning your monitor while its on and the pixels are all fired up could damage your screen or potentially give you an unpleasant electrical jolt. So, turn it off!

 Step 2: Clean the Casing and Frame

If you’re going to clean your computer’s monitor, you might as well clean the whole thing. Spray Windex or some other gentle cleaning product onto a cloth and wipe the casing, frame, and keyboard. Don’t spray directly onto the computer though: you could accidentally get Windex on your monitor, which would be bad. Windex is ammonia-based, and ammonia (along with alcohol) can seriously damage your screen by stripping it of anti-reflective coating or by causing it to cloud up.  Use a Q-tip to clean spaces you can’t reach with the cloth.

Step 3: Wipe Monitor with Cloth

Do not use paper towels. Paper towels are meant to clean up spills around the house–if you look at them super closely, they are fuzzy and abrasive. They can mess up the finely crafted, delicate piece of technology that is your computer’s monitor. So, use a clean cloth instead. Do you wear glasses? If so, use the cloth that you get whenever you go in for a new pair of glasses, known as a microfiber cloth. If you don’t wear glasses, find a friend who does and be all, “Gimme your cloth, yo.” Just kidding, don’t do that. Instead, buy some microfiber cloth, which you can get at Bed Bath & Beyond or any home-supply store. Microfiber cloth won’t scratch your monitor and it won’t leave behind any lint residue, so it’s perfect. Wipe the monitor with a dry cloth in broad, straight strokes, pressing as lightly as possible. Then, dampen the cloth with water and wipe again until all the smudges and grime are gone.

Step 4: Create Your Own Monitor Cleaner

If you have a stubbornly dirty monitor to deal with, you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar and water in equal proportions. This will be strong enough to get rid of the worst of smudges but mild enough to not damage the screen. Dampen a microfiber cloth with this homemade concoction and wipe as normal. Again, do not use ammonia- or alcohol-based cleaners!

Step 5: Let It Dry

Gently dry your monitor with a microfiber cloth or let nature do the work for you. To avoid any moisture or electrical damage, make sure your screen is completely dry before turning your computer back on.

Your screen is now clean. Enjoy!