Howto clean LCD displays

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 28 2006 @ 20:29 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
LCD screens are commonly found in laptops, PDAs, iPods and high definition TVs. If you look around your home, you will probably see 5 or more of these screens in your presence. They are everywhere!

However, anyone who owns any type of LCD screen knows there is one minor problem with them. These screens or displays gather dust and dirt like there is no tomorrow. Just within a few weeks of purchasing your once pristine LCD screen, it starts picking up lint, dust particles, and smudges -- ruining your full enjoyment of this technical marvel.

Once you see your favorite LCD screen picking up a bit of dust, you immediately grab a tissue or paper towel and some water to clean it. DON'T! Or you will made a big mistake and you could possibly even do permanent damage to your delicate LCD screen.

LCD screens are not like ordinary monitor screens. LCD screens are NOT GLASS, rather they are made up of a soft film that can easily be damaged by harsh paper towels and the chloride and other chemicals in ordinary tap water. These screens are very delicate, they must be handled with care and very, very gently.

You must proceed with caution if you want to keep all your LCD screens in perfect mint condition. This is one case where a little knowledge could save you a whole lot of trouble and disappointment.

The history of Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) goes back over a hundred years. It was first mentioned by Otto Lehmann in 1904. The first operational LCD was made by RCA in 1968. Each display is made up of countless pixels, with light being filtered through them in a controlled manner. Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) is a form of LCDs which uses an active matrix to improve image quality. LCD technology has found its way into countless displays in laptops, PDAs, and high definition TVs. (Source -

LCD Screen Cleaning Tips

Most experts suggest you can use a cleaning solution of 50% distilled water and 50% isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). You should use a soft cloth such as an old cotton T-shirt or handkerchief. Don't use paper towels, tissues, or ordinary dish cloths, as harsh cloths may damage the soft surface of an LCD screen.

Shut down any devices before cleaning them. Inspect the screen very carefully to take note of any special areas that need to be cleaned. Don't spray any cleaning solution directly onto the screen but rather dampen your large cleaning cloth with your solution and apply very gentle pressure, cleaning the display in a circular motion.

Don't apply any hard pressure or touch the screen with your fingertips. It has been suggested you think of the screen as a smooth baby's bottom and give it the same kind of care as you would give an infant's delicate skin.

Make sure you let the screen thoroughly dry before turning your device back on. You should now have a perfectly cleaned screen ready for your full viewing enjoyment once again.

Word of Caution - you should always check your owner's manual or the manufacturer for the recommended cleaning method for your particular LCD TV or Laptop Screen.

You should also note, commercial LCD cleaning kits are very inexpensive. These cleaning kits will have everything your need to clean your LCD screen. Most will have a Microfiber Cloth or Chamois that are excellent for picking up dust and removing fingerprints and smudges. A can of Compressed Air is also handy for removing dust from your screen and from those hard to reach places.

There are also stronger cleaning solutions to remove ink markings just in case your small child has confused your expensive laptop for an itch-a-sketch toy and created a modern masterpiece. Ouch!

Some commercial cleaning formulas may contain the same mixture as the home-made one mentioned above, but newer cleaning solutions are alcohol and ammonia-free. Some have an anti-static coating that will help reduce the build up of dust particles. It would probably be wise to pick up one of these cleaning kits if you own a lot of LCD screens. You can also purchase single wipes and cleaners for traveling.

What ever route you take, or cleaning formula you use, just remember to treat all your LCD screens with a whole lot of respect. Be gentle, be careful and be diligent. Make sure you clean all your LCD screens when the need arises. That way you will go on enjoying all your perfect pristine LCD screens for years to come.

This article was written by our guest writer of the day, Titus Hoskins. For other handy LCD cleaning tips and all the materials you need to clean LCD screens go here: How To Clean LCD Screens. To learn how to clean a laptop LCD screen try here: How To Clean Laptop Screen.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Sunday, Jan 28 2007 @ 22:03 CET
I wouldn't recommend cleaning an LCD television with the alcohol solution, go alcohol free.

  • Reply by Anonymous on Wednesday, Sep 12 2007 @ 10:35 CEST

    Wy not?

    • Reply by Anonymous on Thursday, Nov 08 2007 @ 05:38 CET

      Solvents like alcohol will dry and yellow plastics over time, causing coloration of the image and, eventually, hairline cracking in the surface.

      • Reply by Anonymous on Sunday, Jan 15 2012 @ 07:23 CET

        If you rub it with pure ethanol every day for two years, maybe.

  • Reply by Anonymous on Tuesday, Sep 15 2009 @ 17:11 CEST

    What about the electronics cleaner specifically made for this purpose?

Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Friday, Dec 14 2007 @ 18:20 CET
My 1 year decided he would use a yellow crayon to draw a pciture on my LCD screen how will i get it off?

  • Reply by Anonymous on Wednesday, Jun 06 2012 @ 05:33 CEST

    I also have kids that tried their crayons on our LCD. I tried Powglass and it took it off completely. Plus it's natural. Not sure if its in stores yet as one of my friends shared it with me. I love it.

Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Thursday, Dec 27 2007 @ 01:04 CET
I'd be careful as well with the alcohol based cleaner. I've installed blast resistant windows that call for the same type of cleaner (50% / 50%) and one time when I bought the isopropyl alcohol, I just happened to notice on the MSDS sheet that it contained a minute amount of acetone in it as well. Acetone and ANY type of plastic film are not compatible. I would never take the chance with my new expensive TV.

Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Friday, Feb 29 2008 @ 15:24 CET
This is my first LCD screen on a laptop. Thank you wonderful people for the warning against using alcohol especially acetone!!! Pays to do a little research. God Bless.

  • Reply by Anonymous on Tuesday, Apr 22 2008 @ 22:51 CEST

    What kind of screen did you have on your laptops before? duma$$

    And I bet those blast proof windows were made of, what? Glass? hah I would maybe suspect plastic compound?

Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Friday, Jul 25 2008 @ 14:18 CEST
The Shaggymac Optimist Prime is the best lcd cleaner. iKlear leaves residue and streaks.

by Anonymous on Saturday, Dec 06 2008 @ 21:33 CET
As indicated by this article ( ) Most LCD manufacturer say that cleaning your lcd with a 50 / 50 distilled water and alcohol solution is safe.. Personally, I've used the solution from monster, which can be had for less than $10 on amazon.

Re: Howto clean LCD displays
by Anonymous on Friday, Feb 05 2010 @ 00:34 CET
My 2 yr old boy has put greasy handprints on my LCD TV. I have tried a homemade 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol/water & that didn't work. Any ideas?

  • Reply by Anonymous on Sunday, Jan 15 2012 @ 07:21 CET

    Put a drop of dishwashing soap on a wet cloth and rub it off.

    LCD screens are made of fairly resistant plastic; you want to avoid chemicals that might turn it slightly yellow (with repeated use), but they won't melt away or anything like that (unless you use a plastic solvent like acetone, of course).

  • Reply by Anonymous on Wednesday, Jun 06 2012 @ 05:35 CEST

    There is a new high def glass cleaner on the market called Powglass. This should do the trick.

New High Definition Glass Cleaner
by Anonymous on Wednesday, Jun 06 2012 @ 05:41 CEST
One of my friends recently shared a bottle of Powglass. I highly recommend it. I use it to clean my lcd, glass and computer screens. Absolutely love it. it is natural, and I like the fact that it saves me money - i don't have to buy expensive specialty cleaners.