Advice Tips

Clean that Gross Screen!

It’s a problem we all have in the digital age.  How do you properly clean the screen of your computer monitor, tablet or even flat panel TVs?  Dust, fingerprints and even spittle are typical on most.  How can we get rid of this crud easily without damaging them?

There are lots of things people try; paper towels, old rags, corner of their shirt to name a few that don’t work very well.  The result usually ends up to be a smeared or streaked display not much better than what you started with.

Most are also concerned about damaging the softer surfaces of a typical computer monitor.  If the surface is plastic rather than glass, some cleaners or the rag you use can even damage the display.

There are commercial products you can certainly go buy.  Usually some combination of spray solution and a fancy cloth.  The problem is that the next time you go to use it you may not have both the spray and the cloth.  Worse yet you haven’t kept the cloth pristinely clean and it may have picked up particles that can damage the screen.

Rather than spend $20+ on a commercial product, I can offer you a simpler solution.

Microfiber Magic

All you need is a common Microfiber towel.   You probably have some of these at home already, just a typical microfiber towel you can pick up in 24 packs at Walmart for $12 (why are they always yellow?).

What to do

The process is simple.  Get a clean towel damp (not wet – you don’t want any chance that a ‘drop’ of water can drip out why you are cleaning) with just plain water.  No soaps, solutions or other magic.

Use the damp towel and gently wipe the face of the display.  Just a simple pass should easily lift away most dust or spittle.  Don’t scrub.

Use another clean towel to immediately dry the surface.  Use a light touch.  Just dry up the dampness to a streak free finish.

Check the result.  If the display is clean and streak free, you’re done!

Stubborn Spots

If there are some stubborn fingerprints, then I suggest you try this.

Use a small kitchen bowl (or similar container) and add one drop (a single drop, not a squeeze or blob) of common dish washing detergent (like Dawn or Joy) to the bowl filled with warm water.  Mix the drop in gently.

Dampen a clean Microfiber towel with the mild soapy water (again be sure it’s not dripping wet).

Use the damp towel and wipe the screen a little more aggressively in the areas with the fingerprints or stubborn crud.

Follow-up by drying the screen quickly with another clean dry microfiber towel.

Repeat if necessary.

Do ’em all

I’d suggest that if you gear up to clean one screen at the home or office, just take the time to do them all once you have the towels in hand.  It only takes a minute or two to do one, so in less than 30 minutes you can clean all the screens and keep things in tip top shape.  Your family or staff will be pleased that you did.

Word of Caution

You’ll notice I’ve been saying ‘Clean’ microfiber towels.  If a microfiber towel ever gets dropped on the floor and there is any fine grit (like sand particles) on the floor, they will get trapped in the fibers and may not wash out.   You’ll essentially be using mild sand paper to try and clean your screen and the results could be a scratched screen.   Keep the towels clean and wash them after use.   If you are worried, just use a new towel each time and hand the old ones down to typical household uses.

Since your existing IT person didn’t share this with you, perhaps you would consider working with the people that did. If you need a little help with your Practice, this is what MME Consulting does. Just give us a call at 866-419-1102 or check us out online at

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By Steve McEvoy

Car Guy, Nerd, Canadian hiding in California