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How to clean your computer screen not just digitally but physically

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Even in today’s modern age, computer glass is still quite delicate

By TAMARA CHUANG | tchuang@denverpost.com | The Denver Post

Q: You posted an article about how to clean your computer screen a long time ago. I cut it out but now I can’t find it. … Physically spraying, wiping and cleaning. ~ Lois Paul, Denver

Tech+ Sometimes I just use my sleeve to wipe my computer screen. I don’t recommend spitting on it because that’s gross. Also, I don’t remember tackling this issue before but I do have a terrible memory.

What immediately came to mind however was a story I wrote about Dish Network’s in-home support services a few years ago. Dish technicians were helping customers not only install satellite dishes, but hang TVs on the wall, run cabling throughout the house and set up wireless networks. And before they left, they’d use a squirtable screen cleaner to wipe up fingerprints. The Dish Screen Cleaner, now $15.99, has become one of the most popular items sold to customers.

But there is some science behind this. Typical glass cleaners like Windex may have ammonia or other harsh cleaning chemicals that are great for spotless windows but may wear down the anti-static or anti-glare coating on TV and computer screens. Stuff like Pledge can leave streaks.

Spray too much liquid on the screen and that too could damage the display, as HowToGeek.com notes in its tips guide. An image of the corner of a computer monitor shows what looks like a dark ink blob rising upward into the display. It’s actually the result of liquid reaching the edge of the display panel and wicking its way up inside. Chances of the liquid evaporating without leaving damage? Zero, says the site.

Dish’s 2-ounce cleaner touts a “proprietary anti-static cleaner” that won’t damage screens with special coatings. It leaves an anti-static finish on the screen. The Douglas County TV service provider said the cleaner is made by Commercial Support Services, a nonprofit organization near San Francisco that hires people with developmental disabilities.

A variety of glass-cleaner companies do make electronics cleaner formulated for LCD screens The simply named Windex® Electronics Wipes come in packs of wipes.

More screen cleaning tips:

Skip paper towels that could scratch a screen and instead use a soft microfiber cloth.
Don’t spray the screen itself but spray the cleaner on a cloth.

If you don’t want to invest in a special screen cleaner, use a 50/50 mix of distilled water and white household vinegar.
If you are cleaning, don’t forget to turn off electronics and unplug for safety.

And for those who thought this was about cleaning up the digital clutter on a computer screen, a regular cleaning could improve the computer’s performance. However, having too many icons on your desktop probably isn’t going to impact performance considering how powerful computers are today. But it might impact your performance if the screen is so cluttered, you can’t find what you need fast. Some advice:

Delete unnecessary home-screen icons you don’t regularly use.

Then right-click a blank spot on the Windows screen, select “View” and “Auto Arrange Icons” to make everything line up nicely. Similar instructions for Macs: right click a blank space on the screen and select “Clean Up By” to view options.

Postpone the cleanup (as I do) and create a folder on the desktop for the clutter. Drag everything into it and voila! Clutter free screen.
Limit how many programs start up when your computer restarts. In Windows 10, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, select the “Startup” tab and under the “Status” column, enable or disable programs from starting up automatically on reboot.

https://www.denverpost.com/

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