Instructions to clean a computer monitor vary depending on the type of monitor, as cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors have different tolerance levels for handling techniques and cleaning agents. If you are not sure what type of monitor you have, LCD monitors are typically very thin and flat, and CRT monitors are big and bulky. In addition, a CRT monitor has an obvious glass panel in the front, while a LCD monitor looks almost gel-like in appearance, although you should never touch it with bare hands. If you have a laptop, it has an LCD monitor. If your monitor came with an owner's manual, always follow the directions listed there to clean it, rather than a generic guide, as failing to follow manufacturer's instructions may void your warranty.
To clean a computer monitor that uses CRT technology, start by turning it off and totally unplugging it from the power source and your computer. Then, use an anti-static cloth or a very soft, clean cloth to wipe dust from the surface. Next, spray a small amount of monitor or electronic appliance cleaning fluid onto the cloth, and rub the cloth consistently in one direction; top to bottom is a common choice. When you are done, use a dry cloth to dry the monitor right away. Never spray cleaning fluid directly onto the monitor, as it can damage the monitor and other computer components.
If you have a LCD monitor, the process to clean it is slightly different because the screen is more fragile. As with a CRT monitor, you should power down and fully unplug your LCD monitor before you clean it. Start with an anti-static or very soft cloth and gently wipe dust from the surface of the monitor. Next, put a solution of rubbing alcohol or cider vinegar and water onto a cloth and wipe the monitor, always moving in the same direction, and follow by gently drying the monitor.
Some people have plasma monitors, which are similar in some ways to LCD monitors. To clean a computer monitor that uses gas or plasma, follow the directions for cleaning an LCD monitor, but use a special fluid designed for this type of monitor rather than alcohol. When you clean an LCD or plasma monitor, make sure that you do not use abrasive cleaning fluids such as those containing ammonia because they can damage the screen, causing it to turn brittle, yellow, or crack in extreme cases. Try to avoid touching both types of monitors with any object, as they are highly delicate and can break or become dented.
If you clean your computer monitor on a regular basis, you will find your computing experience in general more pleasant, as you will not be forced to peer around streaks and dust on the screen. You can also clean other components, like your case and keyboard, at the same time, eliminating pet hair, dust, dirt, accumulated food particles, and other debris. Depending on the number of animals and children in your home, you should clean your monitor every three to six months, or whenever it is obviously dirty.