clean-lcdLCD screens are everywhere. The most sensitive ones are probably on your HDTV, computer monitor or notebook. However, many smart phones, tablets and e-readers have non-glare or oleophobic (grease resistant) coatings on their LCD screens. While you may be tempted to grab a bottle of window cleaner, chances are the ammonia in it will eventually remove the coatings, or even cloud the plastic screen. Here are 5 alternatives to glass cleaner:

  1. Hands down the best choice, whether it’s finger prints or dust, is a microfiber cloth. Avoid using liquid if you can. Clean in a circular motion. To avoid permanent damage use a light touch. TIP: Washing your microfiber cloths with liquid or sheet fabric softeners will reduce their effectiveness.
  2. Easy peasy lemon squeaezy. You probably have this stuff on hand right now. Mix approximately 10% white vinegar, and 90% water. Apply?sparingly?to a clean cloth, an old t-shirt or bath towel works well. TIP: Don’t use paper towel which can scratch.
  3. Alcohol (no don’t grab a beer). Use 100% pure isopropyl alcohol (available at drug stores). Not rubbing alcohol, it can have added lubricants and leave behind a residue. Mix no more than 50% isopropyl alcohol with 50% water. This may be better at removing greasy finger prints and other hard to remove “gunk” but is more likely to streak than vinegar. TIP: Some manufacturers no longer recommend isopropyl alcohol, so you’ll probably want to use the weakest mixture you find effective (10-25%).
  4. Use distilled water. Tap water contains minerals (calcium, magnesium) that can build up deposits. Combine with vinegar or alcohol as needed, and described above. TIP: Put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray it on the cloth, not the screen, it will make it easier not to use too much, and easier to store.
  5. Price no object? iKlear Complete Cleaning Kit?(from Amazon) is popular and well reviewed. I’m not sure what the fluid contains, but there is no ammonia or alcohol (as recommended by Apple). The complete kit contains: a 6 oz. bottle and 2oz. travel bottle of fluid; a large and small micro-chamois cloth; an anti-microbial cloth; a micro-fiber terry cloth; and 12 travel wipes.

Void your warranty. Not recommended!?Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind. In my case it was an unattended 2-year old, a recently unboxed LCD TV, and a permanent marker. While this will certainly void your warranty, and may damage your screen, it worked for me. I grabbed a bottle of white board cleaner. It completely removed the permanent marker, and now a year later, with seemingly no ill effects to the screen.

Have LCD cleaning tips or tricks to share? Please comment below.