When it comes to our computer screens, nothing can be more aggravating than a viewing space that is filled with more fingerprints and smudges than icons on the desktop! The advent of touch technology only makes matters worse. We are often asked for cleaning advice and while there are a number of cleaning supplies at our disposal, only a few stand to carry the responsibility of the approved monitor cleaner.
The most common display you'll find on our desks these days, the flat panel liquid crystal display (LCD), is subject to a lot of dirt and dust over time. This display, which replaced the older cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor, tends to fair much better when it comes to dust collection directly on the screen because it generates less static electricity.1 However, the LCD is more delicate than the glass face of a CRT. The screen has an exposed soft surface made of polymers that does not fare well with many of the cleaning products acceptable for CRT monitors.
As display units transition to also function as input devices, many of the screens will come with protective capacitive glass over the displays. A prime example of this is an iPad; this device sports a Corning Gorilla Glass surface that was developed by Corning to protect from glass shatter and breakage from accidental forces. The material is essentially the same aluminosilicate substance in other glass applications, but hardened by a chemical process with potassium.4 This makes the material much harder than traditional glass, and absolutely more durable than LCD monitors.
While our phones and tablets can usually take a little more of a beating, they'll certainly benefit from a delicate touch. Practice these techniques to keep your screens clean and you will be one happy user when interacting with your computing environment!