How I cleaned my laptop screen. Now its spotless and no streaks! Freebie here!

Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by uberman, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. uberman

    uberman Golden Member

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    Caution: I don't know if what I did is a good idea. I only know it worked for me and wow, it sure looks great! If you do the same, please do so at your own risk.

    CRT screens were great to clean, a little window cleaner and it looked like a million bucks. Cleaning glass was easy, but flat screens are more complicated.

    In the past I've done searches for screen cleaners and read articles about how some commercially available cleaners had damaged screens. I've only tried using some distilled water in the past and that even scared me. Today I found a .5 ounce bottle of Lens Cleaner from the Wal-Mart Vision Center. It was a freebie and I cleaned my glasses with it and it worked great. I grabbed a tissue and cleaned my laptop screen on my T61 ThinkPad.

    It worked great for me. The screen is spotless and no streaks. It says on the bottle to buy it in 2 and 8 ounce bottles. I couldn't find it on the web, but I found a page to a PDF link for a coupon for a FREE cloth and 2 ounce bottle from Wal-Mart. Linky below:

    http://hunt4freebies.com/free-lens-cloth-and-cleaner-at-walmart-vision-center/
     
    #1 uberman, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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  3. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    Per its MSDS Walmart's Vision Center lens cleaner contains <6% (this means close to 6%) 2-butoxyethanol. http://www.setonresourcecenter.com/msdshazcom/htdocs//MSDS/Retail/W/WAL-MART%20VISION%20CENTER%20LENS%20CLEANER.pdf

    2-butoxyethanol is a solvent and can be found in various cleaning and degreasing products. http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/search?queryx=111-76-2&tbl=TblChemicals&prodcat=all

    In some states it's listed as a toxic chemical and a carcinogen. https://www.fishersci.ca/viewmsds.do?catNo=E1794

    There are other safer LCD screen cleaners on the market.
    I use a 1:1 mix of isopropanol and distilled water on a microfiber cloth.
     
  4. gorcorps

    gorcorps aka Brandon

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    Thanks OP, good to know. Free refills too is nice.
     
  5. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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    Anything containing any form of alchohol can, over time, have a bad effect on screen coating. Microfiber and distlled water is the approved school solution.

    I have some lens cleaners from Lens Crafters, and it contains isoproponal - a no no for coated LCDs.
     
    #4 corkyg, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  6. C1

    C1 Golden Member

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    Standard bottled alcohols such as rubbing alcohols all have additives which are problematic (eg, leave deposits and can even krayz plastics). Lens cleaning solutions will be less problematic in this regard, but may not be the "end all and be all" solution. First, do no damage.
     
  7. ThatsABigOne

    ThatsABigOne Diamond Member

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    I just use Windex. Works wonders for the last 8 years.
     
  8. gorcorps

    gorcorps aka Brandon

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    Not sure if you're trolling or not, but if not Windex is the biggest no-no in the LCD world. Works on glass but damages coated LCDs.
     
  9. ThatsABigOne

    ThatsABigOne Diamond Member

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    It doesn't damage anything. :)
     
  10. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    I been using windex for the past 8-10 years also.

    Guess what, i dont own a laptop long enough to even see the side effects of windex ruining a screen and I own a lot of laptops.

    Its not like I clean it every day with windex. I dont touch my screen at all, not like some people out there what has smudges all over their screen, i get occassion dust that I can blow away but sometimes, some people decides to touch the screen and leave a finger print. Thats when I pull out the windex.. usually once every 2-3 month.
     
  11. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    This subject has been debated here many times.

    Yes, the approved method for cleaning LCD screens by manufacturers is to use only distilled water and microfiber cloths. Of course they want to cover their butts from liability suits if they recommend any other type of screen cleaner with a solvent or detergent in it.

    But distilled water alone is not going to clean greasy fingerprints, food, dried Mountain Dew, or other crap you or your kids get on your LCD screen. You need a detergent or a solvent.

    Being a chemist, the safest solvent I know of to use on LCD screens is isopropanol, a.k.a, isopropyl alcohol, 2-propanol. Of course you do not want to use it full strength, spray it directly on the screen, or clean your screen daily. I have a 6 year old LCD monitor and clean it about every 2-3 months with a 1:1 mixture of 91% isopropanol:distilled water. If you think that's a bit strong use a 1:2 or 1:3 mixture. I have not seen any yellowing or crazing (fine cracks) on my screen.

    You can purchase isopropanol in Walmart or a drugstore. The label on my bottle of 91% isopropanol from Walmart states it only contains isopropanol and water, no other additives.

    Other alternatives if you do not want to use isopropanol is to use a mixture of a few drops of dish detergent, i.e. Dawn, in a quart of distilled water; and a final rinse of the screen with distilled water; or use a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water. Vinegar contains ~5% acetic acid.
    I have not tried cleaning my LCD screen with vinegar, but it works great undiluted with a couple of drops of dish detergent on the tile grout in my showers to clean off red iron oxide deposits.

    There are also a number of solvent free commercial screen cleaners on the market.

    OTC chemicals not to use on your LCD screen:
    Acetone
    Ammonia, found in some window cleaners
    Methylene Chloride (dichloromethane)
    Toluene
    Ethanol (ethyl alcohol)
    Mineral Spirits
    Turpentine
     
    #10 MadScientist, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  12. uberman

    uberman Golden Member

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    Thank you MadScientist, corkyg and all.

    Interesting information. I used distilled water to clean my screen before, but it didn't clean it at all. Then I looked up LCD cleaners and read stories of the commercially available products and how they've damaged screens. So I looked through messy screens for 2 years.

    I'm still not sure what is really the best way to do this. I'm thinking of the "clean it about every 2-3 months with a 1:1 mixture of 91% isopropanol:distilled water. If you think that's a bit strong use a 1:2 or 1:3 mixture." However, there is some contention about this maybe being destructive.

    Hello MadScientist: So do you think the chemical% of the lense cleaner is really destructive?

    If you can imagine about how funky my screen looked after 2 years of no cleaning, you can understand why I became thrilled when I cleaned it.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

    Thanks to all.
     
  13. Brainonska511

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    I've always just used a little dish soap to clean a greasy LCD.
     
  14. Mir96TA

    Mir96TA Golden Member

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    From last 10 years I been using Glass (Eye Glass) cleaner.
     
  15. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    If you are concerned about what affects isopropanol or 2-butoxyethanol (lens cleaner) may have on your LCD screen or you, then go with the dish detergent/distilled water method of cleaning your screen.