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How to Clean Monitors and Scanners

Most PC owners are aware that they should keep the viewing surfaces of their monitors and scanners clean — but beware, because you can do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are guidelines you should follow when working with monitor screens and scanner glass:

  • Abrasives are taboo! Even some household glass cleaners — which you might think could be trusted — can scratch the glass in your monitor or flatbed scanner when used with a rag or paper towel. With a scanner, small scratches can mean real trouble because a scratch can easily show up in your images at higher resolutions.

    Therefore, use only a dry, soft photographer’s lens cloth (which doesn’t scratch) or lens cloths with alcohol that are made specifically for monitors and scanners.

  • Never spray liquids onto a flatbed scanner or an LCD monitor. If liquid gets under the surface, you could end up with condensation on the inside of the scanner when you use it. Again, a dry photographer’s lens cloth is a good choice, or a premoistened lens cloth, which doesn’t carry enough alcohol to do any harm.

  • Monitors should never be opened. Never take the cover off any type of monitor, even if it needs cleaning. Why? Well, your PC’s monitor is one of the two components of your system that carry enough voltage to seriously hurt you. (The other one is your PC’s power supply.) If your monitor needs to be serviced or cleaned on the inside, take it to your local computer shop.

  • Use a cover for your scanner. Scanners are somewhat different from most external peripherals. They don’t generate any heat while they’re on (unlike an external hard drive), and most use a scanner only once or twice a week. Therefore, your scanner is a perfect candidate for a cover that keeps it clean and dust-free — and by no small coincidence, you can find this type of cover at your local office supply store.

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