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by JB Burke

Q. I recently got a new flat screen monitor and was warned to be very careful when cleaning it. What’s the best way to clean an LCD screen?

A. LCD screens have a sensitive surface that should be treated with care. Many all-purpose household cleaners are not good for your screen. Many stores can sell you a special cleaning kit for LCDs that is premixed and ready to use. Distilled water is probably the safest thing to use but it may not work well on a greasy fingerprint. Don’t use tap water because it has dissolved minerals which may cause smears and scratches. If you don’t have a cleaning kit and water just isn’t getting it clean, try white vinegar mixed 50:50 with distilled water.

When cleaning the LCD, do not spray the liquid directly on it because the liquid could run between the frame and the screen and cause electrical shorts. Instead, spray the liquid onto the cloth, just moistening it.

Above all, be careful about not pressing very hard. Don’t scrub at stubborn spots because pressing on an LCD screen can damage pixels. I'd rather have a spot on my screen than burned-out pixels.

The cloth you use must be very soft. Most experts recommend a soft microfiber cloth available in many stores. I reserve a cloth for use just in cleaning my LCD so it doesn’t pick up grit and scratch the screen. Don't use paper towels which are not as soft as they seem.

Published: Courier 4/4/10 - Page 5C