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How to clean a PC monitor: Top tips and our favourite products for cleaning your display

Keep your screen clean from dust and spills with our handy guide.

A new monitor is an expensive and valuable piece of kit, and like all expensive and valuable pieces of kit, it should be looked after properly. Although most monitors are somewhat less prone to picking up fingerprint marks and smudges than your glossy TV screen, they’re still a magnet for dust and dirt, and it won’t be long before you start to notice the build-up – especially since you’re sitting so close to the panel itself.

The thing is, with the average price of monitors today, the thought of applying any kind of cleaning solution to the screen can be a daunting one. With a little know-how and some guidance toward the best tools for the job, however, we’ll help to make cleaning your monitor as easy as possible.

Why is it important to keep a monitor clean?

Since PC monitors are kept in indoor spaces next to various other pieces of technology, they can be an absolute dust magnet. Too much dust is never good, and although it may not necessarily damage your monitor, it can clog up the vents and cause unnecessary overheating. The sad news is, even matte screens can pick up dust and fingerprint smudges. As much effort as cleaning may seem, you don’t want to look at wiped dust trails and fingerprints – because they’re gross. A routine clean every now and again will help to keep that dazzling panel wowing you for years to come.

And of course, in the unfortunate case of a liquid spill, it’s important to clean your monitor quickly and thoroughly to avoid lasting damage or general stickiness.

What should I do first?

We’d advise keeping the monitor switched off and even unplugged during the cleaning process – electricity produces static, which in turn attracts dust. It’s also a good idea to start cleaning around 15 minutes after the monitor has been switched off. Depending on the type of monitor you have, the screen panel can generate heat while in use, and this heat can cause streaking when you give the thing a wipe.

For the best cleaning results and the smallest risk of scratches, the next step when cleaning a monitor screen should be to remove any abrasive dust and particles off the surface. This can be done with a dry microfibre cloth but shouldn’t be done with a paper towel or anything else. If you’d like to be super-thorough and make sure dust and other particles aren’t hiding out in the small cracks between your monitor’s screen and any side panels, a canister of compressed air can help to blow everything away.

Once this is done, it’s time to break out the cleaning products.

What products should I clean my monitor with?

Nowadays, there’s a cleaning product for everything, and that includes TV screens and monitors. It should be noted now that you definitely shouldn’t use tap water to clean your PC monitor. There are distilled water recipes and other natural remedies that will do the trick, but for the most reliable and safe clean, we’d recommend the wipes and specific sprays below.

Another thing to be aware of is that with the cleaning sprays we recommend, it’s best to spray them onto a microfibre cloth, not the screen itself. When it comes to wiping, be gentle, as too much pressure could cause damage. Let the products do the work, and don’t give it too much elbow grease.

READ NEXT: Best monitor deals

The best products for cleaning your monitor

Q-Connect Screen and Keyboard Wipes: Best screen wipes for monitors

Price: £1.34 | Buy now from Euroffice

These simple and easy-to-use wipes are perfect for cleaning your monitor. They’re soft and non-abrasive, and are thus screen-safe. The cleaning solution on them will cut through grease very effectively, too. Q-Connect makes very consistently strong cleaning products for electronics, so the name is definitely to be trusted. If that wasn’t enough, you can get a pack of 100 for under £2.

Buy now from Euroffice

AF Multi-Screen Clene & Microfibre Cloth: Most versatile monitor cleaner

Price: £3 | Buy now from Staples

If you’d like something you can use on more than just your monitor screen, this multi-screen cleaner from AF is a great option. AF is another brand that’s trusted for its electronic cleaning kits. The cleaning liquid is safe for plasma and LCD technology, making it very versatile. Simply spray some onto the bundled microfibre cloth, and give your monitor screen a gentle wipe.

Buy now from Staples

Betron Cleaner Kit: The best all round cleaning kit

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Why buy just one cleaning product when you can buy a kit that will supply you with all the right tools for the job? This cleaning bundle from Betron includes a cleaning solution spray that’s perfect for LCD and LED monitors, a dust brush, a microfibre cloth, and a secondary screen and glass-safe cloth. It may cost a little more than the other two options we’ve mentioned, but it will also serve you well when cleaning other belongings like your TV, phone or glasses.

Buy now from Amazon

What should I do about the sides and back of my monitor?

The sides and back of your monitor aren’t as sensitive as your screen, you’ll be glad to know. Again, depending on the make and model, it may be more prone to dust gathering. For the most part, using a microfibre cloth with the aforementioned cleaning products should still do the trick, just take care when wiping that you don’t tip the monitor over or apply too much pressure.

If you have speakers built into your monitor, definitely do not spray any liquid cleaner into them. To be safe, with speakers and vents, limit the amount of cleaning liquid you use and again, do not spray directly onto the surface of the monitor. And finally: while you can take your monitor apart to give it a thorough dusting, do not place it screen-first onto a surface, especially if the monitor is curved, as this may damage it.

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