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- by Anjum Dhir Kulkarni

The LCD screen of your computer is one of its most expensive components and is also one of its most delicate. It is extremely sensitive to dust, fingerprints, smudges and stains and even gets scratched easily. Hence, it is important to clean the screen regularly. Though it is just a few minutes’ task, keep these cleansing tips in mind:

1. Turn off the computer
On turning off the monitor, the screen becomes dark, enabling you to see the dust, stains and fingerprints clearly. Alternatively, if you are pressed for time, you could set the background to black and hide all the icons and minimize the open windows.

2. Clean the monitor casing first
Spray an anti-static cloth with a suitable cleaner and gently wipe the monitor’s casing. Be careful not to touch the screen with the cloth or the cleaning solution. Do not spray the cleaner directly on the casing to avoid it leaking onto the screen.

3. Make the cleaning solution
Mix de-ionized or distilled water and white vinegar in equal proportions. If possible, you could replace the vinegar with isopropyl alcohol. Do not use tap water or mineral water as they could leave white marks on the screen because of the dissolved salts.

4. Use a microfiber cloth
Such cloths are available in automotive and electronic stores. You could use the soft cloth used to clean eye glasses. In an emergency, you could even use old cotton T-shirts or handkerchiefs. Never use toilet paper, tissue paper and the like as these can scratch the screen.

5. Wipe in one direction
Spray the cleansing solution on the cloth and very gently move the damp cloth from top to bottom. Moving the cloth this way gets rid of the maximum dust. Do not spray the cleaning solution directly on the screen. Never put even the slightest pressure on the computer screen with your hand as this can cause pixels to burn out.

Once you have finished cleaning the screen, make sure it is dry before closing it or using your computer. Never touch the LCD screen with your fingers as even this can cause the pixels to burn out. Also, avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia, ethyl alcohol, acetone, toluene, ethyl acid or methyl chloride. These chemicals can react with the materials that the LCD screen is made of and can yellow the screen or cause other kind of damage. Use a bit of caution and you can clean your way to a shiny new screen!


You carry it around and make optimum use of it, but how often do you actually clean your laptop? Dirt can build up anywhere -- inside and on your laptop -- and this can mar your display, affect the performance of the fans and block or cause problems with I/O (input/output) ports.

What you would need to clean your laptop: compressed air, cotton swabs, cleaning solution, a soft cleaning cloth such as a cotton t-shirt.

To clean the exterior/casing:
• Use a soft damp cloth such as an old cotton t-shirt.
• Don't use harsh cleaning products or spray cleaning solution directly onto the casing -- spray onto a cloth first.

To clean the cooling vents:
• Use a can of compressed air to clean the cooling vents.
• Be careful not to spray the compressed air too hard and get liquid on the fan blades.
• Use cotton swabs to hold the fan in place while you clean it.

To clean the I/O ports:
• Use cotton swabs to wipe away large pieces of dirt that have accumulated.
• Compressed air can be used as well to blow the rest of the dirt away.
• Just be careful to not blow dirt into the I/O Ports.

To clean the screen:
• Turn off the laptop before cleaning the display. This will make the dirt more easily visible on the screen.
• Always use a non-abrasive cloth such as a cotton t-shirt. Never use paper towels or tissues to clean your display.
• Do not use any ammonia based cleaners on the display as they are known to leave a film.
• Always spray on a cloth first then wipe the screen from left to right, top to bottom.
• You can make your own cleaning solution using isopropyl alcohol and water. Mix them in the ratio 1:1.

To clean the keyboard:
• Compressed air can be used on the keyboard to get rid of dirt build-up.
• Cotton swabs are useful for cleaning in and around keys.
To Spruce Up A Dragging Mouse

Periodically, when you feel your mouse dragging, take the mouse apart. Turn it over in your hand, twist the ring around the mouse ball until it opens into your hand, turn the mouse upside down until the mouse ball falls into your hand, then blow out the inside of the mouse. Look inside at the rollers and wipe it with an anti-static wipe. Check for dirt that has built up on the rollers and scrape it off. Clean off the ball, put back into mouse and close it up.

Note: Never spray any kind of liquid (i.e. cleaning fluid) onto any part of the computer.

Keep all paint, glue, glitter, etc. away from a computer. Make sure the children have clean hands before using the computer.

Has your CD been exposed to dust, or did you touch it with slightly greasy fingers? When in doubt use water or isopropyl alcohol and wipe the CD from hub to edge with a clean cloth. Note that you MUST NOT rub in a circular pattern.
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