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Old 13-08-13, 01:55   #1
 
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Computers How to Clean LCD Monitor Screen & Keyboard

Guide to Cleaning Your LCD Monitor Screen

HTG





Whether you’re trying to get the dust off your monitor or your kid’s fingerprints off your gorgeous new HDTV set, removing dust, dirt, and oil from the plethora of screens around you requires the right tools and the right touch. Read on as we show you how to safely clean your expensive screens.


Why Do I Want to Do This?

When you improperly clean your screen, be it your computer monitor or your television, it’s only a matter of time before you damage it. Modern HDTV and computer screens are brighter, sharper, and more responsive than ever before but they’re also more delicate. It takes quite a bit of manufacturing magic to create a razor sharp image in such a slender form factor and brute polishing it with a bottle of Windex and a rag you grabbed from the kitchen is a sure fire way to shorten the life of your screen and ruin the image.

It doesn’t cost much to clean it right and the keep your screen out of the dump prematurely.


What Shouldn’t I Do?





Normally we start off tutorials by introducing the topic, listing off the tools you’ll need, and getting right down to emphasizing the How in How-To Geek. However, since so many people have been cleaning their screens incorrectly for so long, we’re taking a different tact today by starting off with a list of the things you shouldn’t do because there’s a good chance we’ve all done them before.

Now, before we start listing off all the things you shouldn’t do to your poor screen, let us cut any protest off at the pass. Already we can sense many a reader about to shoot back with “But I use X on my monitor and I’ve never had a problem!”
In that same vein, you can go ten years without changing the oil in your lawn mower. That doesn’t mean that just because your lawnmower didn’t seize up or otherwise fail on you, that going ten years without changing the oil is a good plan (or even remotely recommended by the manufacturer or any mechanic). We’ve all done dumb things with our gear but that doesn’t mean we weren’t lucky to avoid ruining it or that we should continue to abuse it in the future.

Never apply cleaning fluid directly to the screen. Spraying cleaning fluid directly onto your monitor or HDTV is an absolute recipe for disaster. Even though it has never been recommended to spray a cleaning product directly onto a monitor or television set, historically the CRT component of monitors and television sets was essentially a giant glass vessel that was, at least when approached from the front with a spray bottle, water tight. The chances of you damaging a 2″ thick 1980s-era glass monitor screen with a quick blast of cleaning fluid and a wipe with a rag were as close to zero as you can get.

That’s absolutely not the case with modern screens. Flat screen monitors and HDTV sets are made with layer upon layer of material including various plastics, glasses, adhesives, arrays of display elements, and other fine and very thin materials. When liquid touches the edge of these finely layered screens that liquid can very easily wick, via capillary action, right up inside the layers just like water quickly moves across a piece of cloth that touches it.

The photo at the start of this section, with the horrible black blob in the corner of the monitor, is an example of what happens when liquid reaches the edge of a monitor’s display panel and wicks up inside. Although the damaged spot may shrink slightly, the chances of the liquid evaporating are next to zero and the chances of it evaporating without leaving residual damage are zero.

Never use alcohol or ammonia-based cleaning fluid on your screen. We understand why many people use window cleaner on their monitors, many high-end flat screen computer monitors and HDTV sets have a nice glossy glass screen. The problem, however, is that both ammonia-based cleaners (e.g. window cleaners like Windex) and alcohol-based cleaners (diluted rubbing alcohol or specialty alcohol cleaners sold in electronics stores) can strip anti-reflective coatings off screens, cause clouding, or otherwise damage the screen. Even if you have a glossy glass screen that screen is most likely coated with things that aren’t as durable and chemically resistant as glass. Don’t risk using using alcohol or ammonia-based cleaning fluids.

Never use paper towels or general purpose cleaning rags. At the risk of sounding like we’re repeating the same caution over and over again–modern displays are very delicate. Paper towels are not designed for cleaning delicate surfaces, they’re designed for wiping up bacon grease and hairballs; the surface of paper towel, on a microscopic level, is fairly abrasive and can lead to buffed spots and scratches on your monitor. In the same league as paper towels are general purpose rags from around the house. A single tiny spec of anything abrasive in the rag (e.g. a tiny sliver of metal from the garage or a hitch hiking grain of sand from a beach trip) will wreak complete havoc on your screen. By the time you’ve made a pass or two with the tainted rag, you’ve already left a scratch in the screen.

If you can steadfastly obey these three rules: never spray on the screen itself, never use harsh ammonia/alcohol-based cleaners, and never use paper towels or household rags, you’ll automatically avoid just about every cleaning-related tragedy that could befall an unsuspecting monitor.


How to Safely Clean Your Screen





Now that we’ve made you terrified of Windex and rags (as, on behalf of your beautiful widescreen monitor, you should be) it’s time to get down to the business of properly cleaning your screens.

Before we proceed it’s worth noting that the best way to clean your screen is to avoid having to clean it in the first place. This means training your kids not to smash their snack-covered hands against the television set in an attempt to high-five Bob the Builder and training your spouse not to tap on the laptop screen with the pad of their finger to emphasize what they’re trying to show you. The less you have to clean your screen the better and things like skin oil and other stuck-to-the-screen stuff is so much harder to get off than simply things like dust particles. That said, in even the tidiest of households a little cleaning must occur now and then.

The following cleaning instructions are meant to be followed in order from start to finish; stop at the step that gets the job done and only proceed if there is still dust or oil on the screen that needs removal.

Prepare the screen. At minimum turn the device off, ideally you should unplug it. Do not clean a screen until it is cool to the touch, cleaning warm/hot screens (like those found on plasma HDTVs) makes them more difficult to clean at best and can damage them at worst.

Dust the screen. Your step in cleaning a screen should always be to remove as much from the screen as possible without actually touching it. To this end a can of compressed air (held upright and at least a foot or more from the screen) can be used to dislodge most electrostatically-adhered dust particles. More ideal than a can of compressed air (which can potentially blast your screen with residual propellant from the can) would be to use a simple rubber dusting bulb (much like the kind we used to clean out a DSLR camera). Remember, the less you touch your screen the better.

Lightly wipe the screen with a dry and clean microfiber cloth. Microfiber is a miracle of modern technology, put it to good use. No paper towels, no kitchen towels, no household rags, just microfiber should touch your screen. For stubborn dust that won’t blow off the screen and the occasional fingerprint, a simple pass with a clean and dry microfiber cloth is usually sufficient.
When wiping the screen always avoid making circular “buffing” motions. Clean with a slow and light touch moving in as broad a motion as you can either left to right or up and down across the screen. Although the microfiber should pose little to no risk to the screen, by avoiding cleaning in small circular motions you avoid the risk of creating buffed out spots or whorl marks on the surface of the screen. Light pressure and wide movements are the safest.




RELATED
:

How to Clean Your Filthy Keyboard in the Dishwasher (Without Ruining it)




We’ve already shown you some great ways to get your keyboard clean.

Click here:

Clean Your Keyboard


For geeks that aren’t faint of heart, check out how to make your keyboard dishwasher safe and clean it with half the work and in half the time.

Keyboards can be, and often are, literally dirtier than toilets. But taking off keys and swabbing with alcohol can really be time consuming and painstaking work, where making a keyboard dishwasher safe is a simple ten or fifteen minute job.

Here’s how to clean and sanitize your keyboard

(Author’s Note: As with any how-to involving opening up equipment, you’re risking damaging it if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, most keyboards are extremely simple, so this is more or less safe for anyone with enough skill to operate a screwdriver. Still, DIY is only for the brave at heart!)

Start with a dirty keyboard, full of caked on food, drink, bacteria, sneeze, and whatever else you might have done to it over the years since you either bought it or—ahem—cleaned it last.

Don’t’ worry about all the dust bunnies, etc that live between the keys. Pretty much, for our purposes, the dirtier, the better. But, if you like, you can always give it a quick blast with a can of compressed air, or spend some time pre-treating it to get it extra clean.

Flip the keyboard around to the back, where we’ll need to pop out several of the screws holding the keyboard case together.

You’ll find there are rather a lot of them. Check all of the visible screw holes, including some of the deeper, counter sunk ones hidden beneath the outer surface.

An ordinary Philips head screwdriver will get the job done for nearly all keyboards. You may find that some Apple models or various other keyboards may use less common screw heads like hex or torx, in which case you’ll need an allen key, or some other tool. However, most keyboards should be assembled with basic screws and require only basic screwdrivers.

They keyboard assembly should basically fall apart without the screws. Your keyboard may have a snap or other catch that allows the assembly to fall apart, but most likely if it does not immediately come open, you’ve still got screws holding it together.

Let’s take a quick look at the parts inside the keyboard. This is in the back of the actual “keyboard” part of the keyboard, made with purely mechanical buttons and keys. Nothing but plastic and metal.

Then the controller and the dome-switch membrane. You can easily reach in and pull out the membrane with your hands—it is likely not attached to anything.

The controller will be held in by several screws and attached to the PS2 or USB cable that leads out of the case. Your same screwdriver should remove them without issue.

Gently remove the cable and controller in one piece, then remove the flexible circuit board beneath. These are the only parts of the keyboard that are water sensitive. Put them away where they’ll be safe, so you can put them back together in this same order.

And your various parts, including the flexible circuit board, controller and cable, dome-switch membrane, and all the various screws. Again, keep these in a safe place. You won’t be cleaning these.

Toss the board in the dishwasher just as if it was a ketchup-covered plate, and wash away. Once it is dry, simply re-assemble it the same way we took it apart, taking care to install the flexible circuit board, controller, dome-switch membrane, and finally keyboard top properly. Not re-installing any single part will cause your keyboard to not work. However, it’s not terribly sensitive, so simply try again until it does.

It may seem sort of risky, but this method is no more likely to ruin your keyboard than spilling alcohol on it while swabbing the keys. The total time taken, apart from the time it takes to run it through the dishwasher, is around 15 minutes, and that is if you’re really taking your time. All things considered, this is quite a fun way to learn about how keyboards work, and get it clean and sanitized without a lot of effort.
END

I dont think I would risk trying to do this, I will leave it to the real Geeks
.
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