Care and Cleaning of a LCD display

  • The important thing to remember is you're cleaning Plastic not Glass.
  • Do NOT use ammonia, "glass cleaners" (which often contain ammonia), or other heavy duty cleaning agents.
  • Plastic is an oil by-product and does not have the hardness of glass.
  • Thus it is much more likely to scratch or 'fog'
  • These displays are not constructed to be touched. It's very important to exercise care in the handling of a liquid crystal display. The tiny dots that make up the images on the screen are each a separate transistor/crystal. Pressure can "crack" pixels easily, and when the pixels are damaged, black spots fill those areas of your monitor.
  • Pressing and poking, whether with a dull object such as your finger, or a sharp object, such as a pen or knife, typically damages far more than one individual pixel.
  • It's a good idea to stay away from paper towels (which is woodfiber regardless of it's "softness") and stick to cotton, or micro-fibers.
  • Silk is unnecessary and because of it's non-absorbent nature makes for a poor wiping material. Silk, despite its ooo-ahhh factor, is really just going to push things around.
  • It's also important to note that dust is much harder than plastic.
  • Don't attack a dusty monitor with a great deal of force, regardless of your cloth. Attacking a dusty monitor with anything transforms your wiper into a piece of fine gritted sandpaper. Use a Swiffer duster (the "feather duster" type with a handle... not the cloth), a microfiber or cotton cloth, or a can of compressed air to get the dust off before you clean with a liquid product.
  • Isopropyl alcohol at 100% would not be something you'd want to soak a piece of plastic in, but in a 50/50 combination with water (or even less) it will dissolve finger-print oil and many other marking agents and evaporate quite fast (thus while it may HARM plastic if left exposed it doesn't get the chance) and it's evaporation process forces the water around it to also evaporate quickly.
  • And spray the cloth, not the screen. These things aren't designed to be water-proof.

What you need:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Distilled Water (NOT tap water!)
  • Soft lint-free cotton cloth, microfiber cloth, or lens wipes.


  • Make a mixture of no more than 50% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and distilled water. Don't use tap water as it can leave mineral spots and streaks on your screen.
  • Put the solution in a small spray bottle, the type that you push from the top to get a fine mist.
  • Unplug the monitor before cleaning it or you risk exposing yourself to an electrical shock.
  • Use a Swiffer duster, a dry microfiber or cotton cloth, or a can of compressed air to get the dust off before you clean with a liquid.
  • Apply the mix to a clean lint free cotton cloth, such as an old T-shirt, lint-free microfiber cloth, or other very soft cloth. A large cloth is best, since it will help to reduce the risk of leaving streaks across the screen from finger pressure. You can also use lint-free lens wipes (the type for cleaning eye glasses and/or camera lenses) instead of a soft cotton cloth.
  • Wipe the cloth against the screen in a counter-clockwise, or other consistent motion. Apply an even pressure to the cloth but take care not to press your fingers into the cloth or screen.
  • Plug the monitor back in and turn it on.


  • Expensive store-bought products usually contain the same mixture of alcohol and water. Some may include Ethylene Glycol. You do not need these additions, which may be harmful to your health and that of the environment.
  • Tissues will likely leave flakes of paper on your monitor. It's better to not even try using them.
  • Using a 100% cotton cloth or shirt alone, without the alcohol mix, can sometimes produce the same smudge-free results without going to the trouble of mixing a solution.
  • If you are looking for a cheap, ready-made cleaning solution, try CD/DVD cleaner, which is often 55% Isopropyl alcohol and is not harmful to most plastic surfaces.


  • Do not drink Isopropyl alcohol. It is not grain alcohol. It is toxic.
  • Do not use paper towels. They can scratch the LCD screen.
  • Avoid using products such as Windex because these contain ammonia and it can damage the LCD panel.
  • If in doubt, test a small area of screen first.