LCD, Liquid Crystal Display, screens are soft plastic which means you have to be careful when cleaning the screens. Here are some tips for cleaning LCD screens.
Traditional CRT screens have a hard glass surface that survives all sorts of weird cleaning methods and solutions. LCD screens have a soft plastic surface that is delicate by comparison. There are a very small number of expensive LCD screens with glass surfaces and they can be cleaned the same way as the soft plastics which means you never have to risk scratching a surface you though was glass but is actually plastic. The same soft cleaning method can be used on CDs and DVDs.
Use these tips to keep all of your LCD screens in great condition. Whether its your brand new flatscreen tv or netbook, following this advice is guaranteed to help extend the life of your LCD's.
Start with a soft cotton or linen cloth, one you have washed a few times to get rid of the chemicals added during manufacturing. An old tea towel, t-shirt, or handkerchief is ideal. Do not use plastic, no microfibre, no polyester or poly anything, no acrylic. Stay away from Enjo products because they are cheap plastic.
You can try paper towels and tissues but most leave more dust than they wide up. The cheaper tissues are too rough. If you cannot wipe your nose with a brand of tissue for several days then it is too rough. If you sneeze after using a tissue then it is too dusty.
A small medium soft brush with natural fibre bristles will get dust out of corners and grooves. you can make the brush slightly damp with clean water to remove static but make sure there is no spare water to seep into joins between the screen and the frame of the screen.
You can apply a little water to your cloth to remove static and catch dust. make sure there is no loose water to seep into the join between the screen and the frame. Never apply water direct to the screen.
Water removes the dust. The next problem is the oil from your skin that goes on the screen each time you point out something to your friends. You can use a small amount of natural organic detergent to remove the oil. Dilute the detergent in water and apply to the cloth, not to the screen. Make sure the detergent contains no additives, no solvents, no acids or alkalis.
Acids and alkalis corrode metal and destroy electrical contacts which is a good reason to keep the chemicals away from LCD screens in case you use too much and some seeps into the screen edges. you let a little dribble into the edge of the screen now and over the next few weeks the liquid seeps around to the electrical circuits at the back of the screen.
Solvents can react with plastics to produce a flat hazy look that is hard to notice until it builds up into a foggy look. Read about cataracts then imagine your LCD screen with the cataract instead of your eye.
Alcohol is harmless to most plastics and is also hopeless at dissolving common grime. Eucalyptus oil will clean the grime out of wool but may damage come plastics. There are lots of special cleaning ingredients and they all have plastics that they can attack. Stick with a mild organic detergent.
People are quick to sell you antistatic sprays and additives but the antistatic gunk works by leaving a layer of chemical on the screen which makes the picture fuzzy. You are better off cleaning the screen without antistatic anything. If dust is a real problem then use a negative ion generator to settle dust. You might consider buying the Rainfresh Air RFA5000 Ion/HEPA Cleaner with a HEPA filter to clean up the air for both your screen and your lungs.
You could build your own negative ion generator after reading Fantastic Electronics: Build Your Own Negative-Ion Generator & Other Projects.
The liquid crystals in LCD are soft velvety strands almost like firm jelly. You can press the surface of the LCD screen and see the colour distortion caused by the pressure distorting the liquid crystals. Just a small amount of extra pressure will permanently damage the display. You do not want to scrub the screen with the pressure you might use to clean grease off a barbeque.
A Long Life
I am used to working with CRT screens that are used 24 hours a day every day of the year for ten years despite being abused by operators who take out their frustrations on the screen and keyboard. An LCD screen would have a tough time lasting a year with the same abuse. My LCD screen lasted five years with care the right care and the help of a stress ball to throw around the room. You can offer your LCD screen the same chance at a long life.