Quick tips to take care of laptop screens

The best way to clean a laptop screen is to keep it clean in the first place; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Avoid touching it with your fingers. Especially avoid touching it with objects such as pens and pencils. Make a habit of using the mouse to point out something you want someone else to see.

Early desktop computers had glass screens, but not modern laptops. So remember not to spray glass cleaner on a laptop screen. The harsh chemicals will damage the screen. If you need to clean the screen, start by turning off the monitor. With the black background, you can see fingerprints and other marks easily. Gently wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth, not a paper towel that can scratch the screen. You can find soft cleaning cloths at many department stores. Just check the label and packaging to make sure it's safe for laptop screens.

Just add water

If simply wiping with the soft cloth doesn't do the trick, dampen the cloth with distilled water, not tap water. Remember to wet the cloth, not the screen. Then dry with another soft, lint-free cloth. You can also use cleaning wipes. Just check the label and packaging to make sure they are ammonia- and alcohol-free.

While the first rule of thumb for a laptop is not to touch the screen, you have no choice to do that with touch screen laptops. However, just follow the same cleaning instructions as noted above. These same rules apply to an LCD TV screen, by the way. With stubborn fingerprint marks, you can add a little isopropyl alcohol to the distilled water. The alcohol will help dissolve the natural oils left behind by your skin. A 1-1 ratio of water to alcohol works best.

Laptop screen repair is a bit of a misnomer

If you've dropped your laptop or left it out in a bitter cold car, you can tell a laptop screen is cracked when you can't see everything that's on the screen or when it looks like there's an inkblot on it. You can also break the screen by carrying it while holding onto the screen, too. Once it's cracked, there is no repairing it. It's time to look at replacement laptop screens.

The simplest way to get your laptop up and running again is to take it with you as you shop for laptop replacement screens. A sales associate can help you find a new screen. Some retailers have staff members trained in repairing computers. You can pay a fee to have the new screen installed. If you want to save money, consider doing it yourself. A screen is not difficult to replace. Laptop screen replacement instructions can be found on several internet sites. The only tools you need are a couple of screwdrivers and patience.

With a little bit of TLC, you can keep your screen and the rest of your laptop in tip-top shape and use it for years.

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