How To Make Your Own LCD Screen Cleaner

October 18, 2009

A while back I bought a screen cleaning kit from Staples. I forget what I paid but I would guess it was about $20. It came with a small spray bottle of a screen cleaning solution and an interesting device that had a brush on one end and on the other end you could attach one of the many microfibre clothes it came with. The kit worked great, but eventually I ran out of cleaner and forgot about it. Recently, after discovering it buried in my laptop bag, I went into Staples to get a replacement bottle. For a small spray bottle containing only a few ounces of screen cleaner they were asking $12.99. For a slightly larger bottle they wanted $19.99. I scoffed at this, knowing that the liquid inside was worth only pennies and had not expected to pay more than $5 for a bottle. So I left empty handed.

I knew there had to be some way to make my own screen cleaner. I also knew, like many others, that you should never use Windex or lens cleaner on an LCD screen as it would eat at the finish. It turns out that the recipe for making your own screen cleaner is quite simple and the ingredients are quite cheap. All you need is:

  • 1 Part Distilled Water
  • 1 Part Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)

Make sure you mix the solution in a well ventilated area, as isopropyl alcohol evaporates very quickly and its fumes are not only toxic but flammable. Also be sure to use distilled water and not mineral water or tap water as they contain dissolved minerals which will result in streaks on your LCD. After mixing your solution, pour it into an empty spray bottle. An empty lens cleaner bottle works well and is small enough to fit in a laptop bag.

When applying the solution to your monitor make sure you power it off first. Also never spray it directly on to the screen, rather spray it onto your cloth and then rub it on to the screen. Make sure to use a soft, clean cloth, and not a paper towel or tissue as they can scratch the screen or leave fluff on it. After cleaning the monitor, wait a few moments for it to dry before turning it back on.

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  1. @Cassandra – The vinegar will break down any oils on the screen, but it does not evaporate cleanly and will leave a residue on your screen. If you chose this method I would recommend wiping it with distilled water afterwords.

  2. Today, manufacturers are saying to not use Isopropyl Alcohol and since I personally don’t know the long term effects of using Isopropyl Alcohol/water 50% mixture I’ll stick with the Alcohol-Free Staples spray.

    I figure it this way:

    An 8oz spray bottle should last years when using a periodic cleaning schedule.There are many rave reviews online about how well the Staples cleaner works so why skimp on $8 and risk using an alcohol-based cleaner ?

    I just bought an Asus VE247H 24″ LED monitor for $200 so I think I’ll stay with the $8 Staples cleaner that I know works well and has no long term effects.

    Staples also has micro-fibre cloths (3 cloths per pack 12″ x 12″) for $10 which is a competitive price
    compared to online stuff.

    If you shop at Staples, be sure to buy the micro-fibre cloths and spray bottle cleaner separately – the cleaning kits are very over-priced.

  3. @tomana – To each his own, if you’re not comfortable using a Isopropyl based cleaner then by all means buy some alcohol free cleaner. I’m sure you could also make your own alcohol free ones as well using something like naphtha. However, it sounds to me like you work at Staples 😉

  4. i also have lcd led 20 in hp .. but don;t how to properly clean that . some sites say ..don;t use water .some says use cleaning liquid.. i am confused …………..?>:

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