A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
Post Reply
fine-tune
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 4:53 pm
Contact:

A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by fine-tune » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:17 am

Do you remember the original recipe for cleaning LCD monitors? I subscribed to PC Magazine and PC World for decades.
Both magazines suggested a 1:1 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar. Countless websites still recommend
this recipe for cleaning monitors. Years ago I switched to a Bausch & Lomb product that's also used for eyeglasses
with anti-reflective coatings. It's a very safe and effective cleaner.

I've got several monitors at home, but only one has faint swirls with an almost invisible whitish haze. I called a guy
who designed monitors for 20 years. I know it sounds crazy, but he actually recommended using isopropyl alcohol!
To prove his point, he emailed several URLs like this one:

https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how- ... -tv-screen

The fact is, there are thousands of sites recommending isopropyl alcohol to clean monitor swirl marks. I'm totally
bewildered! I keep a bottle of 91% isopropyl in my workshop. It's on a shelf with other solvents like acetone and paint
thinner. It will remove uncured epoxy, paint, grease, etc. I use it all the time in my shop.

After several Google searches, it's undeniable that isopropyl is suggested as a safe method to remove hazy swirls from
a monitor screen. The monitor designer I mentioned is an expert, but I'm still apprehensive. Is there a nonsolvent that
will remove swirl marks from a monitor? If not, should I use isopropyl?

User avatar
jwax
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:01 am
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by jwax » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:58 am

Soap, and a water-damp microfiber cloth.

User avatar
haklesup
Posts: 2968
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: San Jose CA
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by haklesup » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:19 pm

The real key is starting with a very clean cloth and enough cleaner.

Isopropyl is a great solvent for dirt and grime but it evaporates so quickly that it is very hard to remove all the haze. Soap and water with a microfiber cloth (especially the kind that ships with most LCD monitors) is generally effective. Water vinegar and a touch of acetone is also a common lens cleaner.

Mixing the alcohol or acetone with water reduces the evaporation rate while retaining much of the cleaning power of the solvent. Vinegar or acetic acid is a wetting agent which reduces spotting and also keeps hard water deposits in solution. Soap provides the wetting without the hard water benefit but can replace the iso or acetone for a gentler solution for softer plastics.

User avatar
jwax
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:01 am
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by jwax » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:30 pm

I'd be very cautious with any acetone anywhere near a plastic screen.
Never tried it in light doses, but unless you have the likes of lard or vaseline on the screen, avoid acetone.

User avatar
Lenp
Posts: 1399
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: Maryland
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by Lenp » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:51 pm

Acetone and plastics? That better be a 'light' touch! Many years ago I worked in an office electronics service company. Our service kit included, aside from the many tools, a rubber cleaning solvent and a Triplett 310 VOM. About once a week someone would come in with their coveted 310 firmly wrapped for protection with the standard red shop cloths. The problem was that the cloths were sometimes used for the cleaning solvents, and although they were dry the fumes attacked the plastic, firmly embedding the red cloth into the softened plastic. No amount of buffing ever made it right, Fortunately in those days Triplett sold the meter fronts for a reasonable price so all was not lost.

Years later I had a number of plastic project boxes on hand that suffered from shop rash. I used a cloth soaked in acetone to etch an interesting cloth/linen like pattern into the plastic to cover the scuffs.
So, just a 'light' touch....
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

fine-tune
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 4:53 pm
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by fine-tune » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:17 pm

I just returned to this forum and I started to read the first sentence of my post. Yikes! I omitted the word "you"
when I typed "Do remember the original recipe for cleaning LCD monitors?" It's kind of embarassing to mess up the
first sentence in a post! Maybe I should retire my brain, or something.

Anyway, back to the subject.

Shortly after LCD monitors appeared in computer publications, there were all sorts of scary warnings about using harsh
chemicals on that flexible screen. I had no reason to doubt the experts who authored all those articles in PC Magazine
and PC World.

99.99% of the world (including me) believed that solvents or surfactants should never be used to clean a monitor.

I'm not sure what caused that swirly haze, but after reading your replies I'm going to try some mild detergent or isopropyl
alcohol. When I phoned that monitor designer he started listing all the chemicals that were safe to use. Until I searched
the web to varify his advice, I didn't believe a word he said!

It seems like the professionals who design, build, or repair computer equipment know all about cleaning "hazy" monitors.
The computers I've built have been for my home or business, but I'm not part of the computer industry. I believed all those
warnings from monitor manufacturers like "don't sneeze or breath too hard near your monitor." A little exaggerated, but
almost true!

User avatar
Lenp
Posts: 1399
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: Maryland
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by Lenp » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:53 am

Many years ago a tv repair customer told me to not clean the screen since someone told her it makes the colors fade..
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

User avatar
Janitor Tzap
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:17 pm
Contact:

Re: A Slightly Uncommon Monitor Cleaning Problem

Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:32 am

Lenp wrote:Many years ago a tv repair customer told me to not clean the screen since someone told her it makes the colors fade..
:lol: :lol: :lol:
{Wipes tears from eyes.}

On the old CRT Monitors they would have a Anti-Glare coating on the front of the glass.
Thus, manufacturers wanted the owners of these monitors to use only warm water and a soft lint free cloth.
{Came a cross several, where someone had used glass cleaner and ruined the coating.} :lol:

As for removing the swirls on a flat screen LCD/LED Monitor.........
I agree with most of the others, that Acetone is going make the problem worse.
Isopropyl will leave a haze on the screen, but it can be cleaned up with mild dish washing soap and warm water.
But, you'll probably need to wash several times to get the haze off. :roll:

If the issue is just finger prints, and smudges from greasy hands.
Then using a mild dish washing soap, and warm water would work best.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests