Ask LH: How Should I Clean My Screen?

Dear Lifehacker, What is the best way to clean the screens of my laptop, LCD monitor, LCD TV and (MacBook) Retina screen? There are so many “don’t do this”, but no “do this” articles around. What is the best way to get my screens looking amazing without hurting them? Thanks, Smudged

Cleaning product picture from Shutterstock

Dear Smudged,

There are plenty of monitor and TV cleaners on the market that are specifically designed for this purpose. But if you want to save a few bucks, you could try using micro-fibre cloth and a 50-50 mix of water and white vinegar instead.

Start off by just using the cloth and resist the urge to push down too firmly — this can damage the screen’s pixels. If there’s a stubborn grease buildup, dampen the cloth with the diluted vinegar and give it a good wipe. (If you want to be extra careful, use distilled water, as tap water can sometimes leave white spots on the screen from salt or other deposits.)

The main thing to remember is the micro-fibre cloth — try to avoid using paper-based cloths like paper towels or tissues as these can scratch up your monitor. It’s also a good idea to avoid spraying the liquid onto a laptop display as you might accidentally wet the interior components; instead spray it onto your cleaning cloth first.

Apple has its own specific recommendations on how to clean its products. You can also check out some more tips in our complete gadget-cleaning guide.

As always, if any readers have a particular product or method they swear by, let Smudged know in the comments section below.


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