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  • LCD Cleaning

    July 21, 2003


    This article was last updated on July 21, 2003

    One of the most common questions I am asked, now that LCDs are in wide use, is how to clean one.  Every manufacturer has their recommended method.  What Envision recommends will ruin an NEC LCD and void your warranty.  As you will be able to tell, every LCD needs to be cleaned in a different way.

    Another thing I learned from finding all this information is that every manufacturer has the same warning: Never touch or press on the LCD screen with your fingers – NEVER!!!  Doing so can cause the pixels to short out and die.  Then you will have blank spots on your LCD.

    Here is the cleaning information I have gathered from various manufacturer’s web sites.  The text is taken verbatim from the manufacturer’s websites, “read-me” files, PDFs, and e-mails.

    List of manufacturers:


    I called CTX tech support and was told the way to clean their LCDs was in the Technical Glossary and General FAQ.  I asked the guy to check that out and he said he couldn’t find it either.  He said to use very mild soap, tepid or lukewarm water, and a just slightly moist lint-free cloth.  This is supposed to be added to their General FAQ.



    I received an e-mail in response to a web-based tech support request.

    —-Original Message—–

    From: Bob Seidel []
    Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 9:07 AM
    Subject: TV set


    You should only touch the screen with a DAMP moist cloth and and VERY gently clean.




    How do I maintain and clean the LCD screen on my Dell™ notebook?

    Discussion: A common cause for marks on the LCD is oil and dirt deposited on the keys of the keyboard that can get pressed against the LCD when carried in a carrying case or when pressure is applied to the lid.


    There are many cleaners sold specifically as LCD cleaners. These are perfectly acceptable for cleaning LCDs on Dell notebooks.  If you do not wish to purchase one of these products designated specifically as an LCD cleanser, the following is a list of what is and is not acceptable for cleaning your LCD.

    The following cleaners are acceptable:

    • Water
    • IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol)
    • Hexane
    • Petroleum Benzine

    The following cleaners are unacceptable:

    • Acetone
    • Ethyl alcohol
    • Toluene
    • Ethyl acid
    • Ammonia
    • Methyl chloride


    These cleaners might cause permanent damage to the LCD due to a chemical reaction. Some commercial window cleaners contain ammonia and are generally unacceptable.

    Clean the computer’s built-in LCD display with a soft, clean cloth and one of the cleaners listed above or a commercial window cleaner that does not contain ammonia, wax, or abrasives. Apply the cleaner to the cloth, and then stroke the cloth across the display in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom. If the display contains grease or some other contaminant, use a cloth with an acceptable cleaner listed above instead of a commercial window cleaner.




    • Turn off the product before cleaning.
    • Use only a dry soft cloth or clean wipe when cleaning the LCD panel surface.
    • Use a soft cloth moistened with a mild detergent to clean the display housing.
    • Use only high quality and safety approved AC/DC power adapter.
    • Disconnect the power plug from the AC outlet if the product is not used for a long period of time.


    • Do not touch the LCD panel surface with sharp or hard objects.
    • Do not use abrasive cleaners, waxes, or solvents for your cleaning.
    • Do not operate the product under the following conditions:
    • Extremely hot, cold, or humid environment.
    • Areas are susceptible to excessive dust and dirt.
    • Near any appliance generating a strong magnetic field.
    • Place in direct sunlight.




    Q. How do I clean my monitor – LCD & CRT?

    A. You can use Windex® to clean the screen and 409® clean the outer casing of the monitor. Please use a “soft” non-fibrous cloth to clean the screen. Do not use any paper products to clean the screen.

    I would use the non-ammonia based Windex (Webster)




    Cleaning your LCD monitor

    Shut down and unplug the computer and clean the LCD screen with a soft cloth moistened only with water. Wet the cloth, wipe the display, and then dry the screen with another soft cloth.




    Caring for and Cleaning the Display

    To maximize screen life and prevent damage to the LCD panel, we recommend that you:

    • Use the display power management system (if available on your PC).
    • If you don’t use a power management system, turn off the display when you won’t be using it for an extended period.
    • Don’t press, rub, or poke the display with your finger or other objects.
    • Handle your display with care

    Your LCD module is a high-quality optical device that requires special care when cleaning.

    To clean the screen:

    1. Shut down the PC.
    2. Turn off and unplug the display
    3. Gently dust the screen with a dry, soft, lint-free cloth. If the screen is still dirty, you can dampen the cloth with several drops of distilled water.  Make sure the LCD panel is completely dry before you turn the display back on.[/box]
    4. Plugin the display.
    5. Turn on your PC and display.




    To clean the screen:

    1. Turn off the monitor and remove the power plug (pull the plug, not the cable)
    2. Soak a soft gauze cloth with isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol diluted with water (1:1) and gently wipe the surface of the monitor. Do not dust it or wipe it with a cloth dampened with pure water.
    3. Dry with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

    CAUTION: Never use pure water to clean the LCD screen. Do not use cleaning solutions containing fluoride, acids, or alkalis. Do not use ketone substances such as acetone or solvents such as xylene or toluene to clean the monitor. Do not use benzene, thinner, ammonia, or any volatile substance to clean the monitor’s screen or cabinet. These chemicals may damage the monitor.




    This is the strangest one ever.  On March 21, 2003, I e-mailed every e-mail address I could find on Hyundai’s web sites.  I guess I threw them for a loop because I received a phone call from a Peter at AVC Tech USA.  That must be Hyundai’s USA distributor.  Peter told me that Hyundai has NO written instructions for cleaning their LCDs.  Quoting Peter this is what he told me to do: “use alcohol and soft cotton cloth and don’t run too hard”.

    I will assume he means rubbing or isopropyl alcohol and a cotton lint-free cloth.

    You are on your own for Hyundai LCDs it seems.  Sorry I couldn’t find anything more concrete for you.

    AVC Tech, Inc.
    777 Mark Street
    Wood Dale, IL 60191
    Tel: 630-595-0123 or 800-568-0060
    Fax: 630-595-2345 or 800-784-9422

    Updated April 21, 2003:
    I received an e-mail from IQT on April 21, 2003.  Here is the entire e-mail:

    —–Original Message—–

    From: IQT []
    Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2003 9:02 PM
    To: Carl Webster
    Subject: Re: cleaning my LCD

    Dear Sir/Ma’am,

    Thank you for your interest in Hyundai ImageQuest.

    Please do not use alcohol and solvent, when you clean up the screen. Window and glass cleaner with a soft cloth or a flannel be recommended.

    Thank you for your consideration, again.

    Truly yours





    Caring for your Monitor

    Be sure to turn off the power before you perform any maintenance on the monitor. Clean your monitor as follows:

    • Gently wipe the device covers and the screen with a soft cloth.
    • Remove finger marks and grease with a damp cloth and mild detergent;     do not use solvents or abrasives.
    • Never use flammable cleaning material to clean your IBM monitor or any other electrical apparatus.




    (From a message received from KDS technical support)

    In regards to your message, please follow the steps below:

    Items that will be necessary before proceeding to the next step:

    • Soft Non-Abrasive Cloth)
    • Rubbing Alcohol or Windex (Ammonia-Free)
    1. Moisten the cloth with either the rubbing alcohol or the Windex (Ammonia Free).
    2. Apply the moistened cloth anywhere on the monitor that requires cleaning, in a circular pattern.
    3. Continue steps 1-2 until adhesive residue in its entirety.

    KDS Technical Support

    From the User Manual for the RAD-5 page iii:


    The display area is highly prone to scratching.  Do not use ketone-type cleaners (i.e. acetone), ethyl alcohol, toluene, ethyl acid or methyl chloride to clean the panel.  Doing so may result in permanent damage.

    Water, IPA (Iso Prophyl Alcohol), and Hexane are safe cleaners.

    Do not allow oil or water to penetrate the display, as droplets cause staining and discoloration with time.

    Keep food particles and fingerprints away from the display area at all times.




    MAG was another hard one to get any information on.  On April 21, 2003, I finally received an e-mail response (I sent my first request for information back on January 21, 2003).  Here is the reply I received:

    —–Original Message—–

    From: Osiel Ocampo []
    Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 1:43 PM
    Subject: Re: Cleaning my LCD

    Dear customer.

    You can use regular Windex, just do not spray directly to monitor screen, spray to a soft rag or cloth and then wipe out gently, any other question please let us know and thank you for your time.

    Technical Support




    Clean the LCD monitor surface with a lint-free, non-abrasive cloth. Avoid using any cleaning solution or glass cleaner.

    Sounds like you need to use lukewarm water with a very weak detergent, like Palmolive.  Don’t lather the solution and just barely moisten the cloth.




    Clean the monitor with a soft, dry cloth.

    CAUTION: Do not use benzene or thinner or rubbing alcohol.  Doing so may adversely affect the surface, e.g. discoloration.  In addition, do not use commercially-available cleaners and cosmetics as they may contain components harmful to the surface.

    Do not directly add or spray water or detergent.  If liquid enters the inside, this may cause the display to work improperly or be damaged.




    Unplug the monitor, if you need to clean it with a slightly damp cloth. Wiping the screen with a dry cloth is possible when the power is off. However, never use alcohol, solvents, or ammonia-based liquids.

    Q: How should I clean the LCD surface?

    A: For normal cleaning, use the clean, soft, and fine. For extensive cleaning, please use Isopropyl alcohol. Do not use other solvents such as ethyl alcohol, ethanol, acetone, hexane, etc.




    Cleaning LCD monitors:

    Wipe the screen with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. This removes dust and other particles.

    If still not clean, apply a small amount of non-ammonia, non-alcohol based glass cleaner onto a clean, soft, lint-free cloth, and wipe the screen with only slight pressure. Too much pressure may damage the screen.

    Warning: DO NOT use water on LCD monitor.

    Cleaning monitor case:

    Use a soft, dry cloth.

    If still not clean, apply a small amount of a non-ammonia, non-alcohol based, mild non-abrasive detergent onto a clean, soft, lint-free cloth, then wipe the surface.




    How to Clean a WinBook Notebook Computer
    Tech Article Number: WBTA00000416

    NOTE: You, the customer, are solely responsible for data security. WinBook strongly recommends that you perform a backup of all personal data contained on your system prior to performing this procedure. Warning: WinBook will NOT be held responsible for any data loss incurred during this process.

    As part of a proper system maintenance routine, WinBook Corporation recommends cleaning both the case and the screen of your notebook.

    Q: What should I use to clean my WinBook?
    A: We recommend that you use a cleaner specifically designed for electronic equipment to clean the case and, if necessary, a separate cleaner specifically designed for cleaning LCD Panels. This should be used in conjunction with a soft, lint-free cloth.

    Q: Should I apply the cleaning solution to the cloth or just spray it on the machine?
    A: Any cleaning solution should be applied to the cloth. Under no circumstances should you spray the cleaner directly onto the machine. The excess cleaner may find its way into sensitive areas of the machine and can cause severe damage.

    Q: Do I need a separate cleaner for my LCD screen?
    A: In general, the answer to this question is yes. Most cleaners that are satisfactory for cleaning the case of your WinBook are not satisfactory for cleaning the LCD panel. You should look for a cleaner that is specifically designed and labeled for cleaning LCD screens.

    Q: What kind of chemicals SHOULD I NOT use on my machine?
    A: You SHOULD NOT use any sort of harsh solvents to clean your WinBook. This includes fingernail polish remover, alcohol, turpentine, gasoline, lighter fluid, acetone, paint thinner, mineral spirits, kerosene, ammonia, dishwashing soap, glass cleaner, vinegar, or any other commonly found household cleaner.

    Q: How often should I clean my WinBook?
    A: Whenever it becomes necessary. Screens may require cleaning as frequently as once a week. The case may require cleaning once a month or more.

    Q: Where can I get these cleaners that I need to use on my WinBook?A: Most good computer stores will carry these cleaning supplies. Also, they may be found at local electronics stores or office supply stores.


    I hope this helps.  If you have an LCD that I did not list let me know and I’ll see what I can find out for you.


    About Carl Webster

    Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

    One Response to “LCD Cleaning”

    1. Nick Says:

      How about for Macs?


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