Healthy Clean Workplaces

Cleaning your Computer


In everyday use, a computer screen accumulates dust, dirt, and fingerprints. An occasional cleaning is definitely in order. The correct way to clean your monitor depends on the type of monitor you have. Here are a few tips for the two most common types of computer screens.

Please note, turn your computer screen off before you clean it.  This is particularly important for Flat Panel LCD’s.

CRT’s

Those big chunky CRT monitors have glass screens which are easily cleaned. The important thing to remember is that you don’t ever want to spray any liquid directly on the screen. Instead, spray the cloth with water or a mild window cleaning solution then wipe the screen. You can use the same damp cloth to clean the entire monitor case as well.

Flat Panel LCD’s

LCD monitors the types of screens that are used in laptop computers, and they are also becoming very popular for desktop computers. LCD screens are softer than CRT glass screens, so they require some extra tender loving care. Keep your fingers and sharp objects away from these screens since they are susceptible to damage and scratches.

Use a soft dry cotton cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges from the screen. If this does not completely remove the dirt and splotches, use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on the cleaning cloth that has been dampened with water. (A small amount of vinegar can be substituted for the isopropyl alcohol.) Again, spray the liquid on the cloth and never directly onto the screen. Do not use paper towels on an LCD screen as they can scratch the screen. Never use ammonia, ammonia-based cleaners, or strong cleaners which can cause the surface to yellow and become brittle.

It is good to have a special clean cloth that is dedicated to use on the LCD screen. Don’t pick up any old rag, as dirt particles in the rag can scratch the surface of the screen. Special LCD cleaning cloths are available and can be an excellent investment.

The best cleaning method is to stroke the cloth across the display in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom.

Cleaning Your Keyboard

Unplug the keyboard, noting the location of the connection so you can reconnect it later. Turn the keyboard upside down and shake gently to remove crumbs and small pieces that may be lurking between the keys.

Use a soft cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution to wipe dirt off the keys. A moist cotton swab can be used to clean between the keys, if necessary. A can of compressed air can be used to dislodge any large particles that do not shake lose. Again hold the keyboard upside down and use the long straw nozzle that comes with the can of air to clean between the keys.

Let the keyboard dry completely before reattaching it to the computer.

Sticky Keys

Use a flat screwdriver or a butter knife to gently pry up the sticky keycaps.  Use a moist lint free cloth and cotton swabs with water or a mild cleaning solution.  Replace each keycap by pressing firmly back in place. If the space bar, enter key or one of the other larger keys is sticking, they can be removed, but it may be better to remove the rectangular keys around them and clean under the larger keys as best you can before turning to the last resort of removing the larger keys.