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Quit Streaking: Cleaning Glasses and Screens Without Streaks or Smudges

Quit Streaking: Cleaning Glasses and Screens Without Streaks or Smudges

Most of us spend a fair bit of time in front of our computer screens, and a fair number of us squint through eyeglasses while doing so. What’s ridiculously frustrating is trying to focus on a screen through greasy, streaky eyeglasses, and even worse when the screen is slathered in smudges as well. Is there a way to solve these problems without pitching both out the window? Yes. Yes, there is.

Let’s tackle eyeglasses first, shall we?

Though this is heralded worldwide as the tried-and-true method for cleaning glasses, it doesn’t always do the trick: if the soap you’re using has any sort of oil or moisturizing lotion in it whatsoever, you’ll end up with a greasy film all over the glass that’s nearly impossible to focus through. Trying to rub it away with a lens cloth or chamois doesn’t work either—it just smears that oil around and makes it worse. There is one kind of soap that works really well for cleaning glasses, though: dish soap. It’s naturally formulated to cut through grease and oil to leave drinking glasses squeaky clean, and it’ll do wonders for your specs as well. All you need to do is wash your hands, put a couple of drops of dish soap on your now-clean fingertip, and use it to wash all around the lenses. Be sure to get around the nose bridge as well: that tends to collect a fair bit of oil too. When you’re finished, rinse them clean with hot water, and dry them off with lint-less fabric such as very clean cotton (like an old tee-shirt or handkerchief), or microfiber cloth: they’re the least likely to shed lint onto your nice, clean glasses.

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If every bit of soap you have in the house has oils in it—some dish detergents have “hand-softening” cream, or essential oils in them—then you can also use a bit of white vinegar on a cloth to clean the glasses: vinegar cuts through oil really effectively, and is actually the best cleaner on earth for mirrors and windows. If it can get those clean, it can do the same for your eyeglasses. Just dip some lint-free cloth into a 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar, rub the lenses gently to clean them, and then let them air dry—the liquid will evaporate quickly, leaving the glass streak-free.

Do not use:

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  • Windex or other glass cleaners
  • Alcohol-based wipes (they can discolor plastic frames over time)
  • Dryer sheets when washing microfiber cloths (they’ll leave film on them)

So, now that your eyeglasses are nice and sparkly, what can be done about those streaks plaguing your computer screen? Well, there are a couple of different cleaning options depending on the kind of screen you have, i.e. glass computer monitor versus flat LCD screen.

Cleaning a CRT Monitor

You can treat your CRT monitor as you would a mirror or other delicate glass surface, and use that same 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar that you used for your eyeglasses. First, ensure that the monitor is turned off: you’ll be able to see smudges and spots far more easily against the black background. Next, moisten a lint-free cloth with the mixture and wring it out so it doesn’t drip, and wipe your screen in a single direction (as opposed to a back-and-forth motion) until you’ve cleaned the entire surface. Wipe away any moisture with a clean, dry,cloth, or use a hairdryer on its “cool” setting to speed the drying process.

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Cleaning an LCD Screen

For a flat LCD screen, you can also use the vinegar/water solution applied with a damp cloth, but many people seem to prefer a rubbing alcohol/water mixture for a streak-free shine.

To use this method, you’ll want to get yourself 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and some distilled water, and blend the two of them into a 2:1 ratio solution of water and alcohol (so there’s twice as much water as there is rubbing alcohol). Just like with any other glass, ensure that you use a lint-free piece of fabric to clean it with—any paper-based material (bathroom tissue, paper towels, etc.) will leave dust and paper fibers all over the place, and nobody wants that.

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Turn off your monitor or laptop so all the smudges pop out from the black screen, and use the same process with the dampened cloth as for a CRT monitor.

Do not:

  • Spray liquid directly at your screen—always moisten a cloth and use that on the surface instead
  • Press on the screen as you’re cleaning it. You have to be very gentle so you don’t scratch it or damage it accidentally

Once you’ve wiped it down, you can dry it gently with another clean cloth, and you’ll be left with a shiny, streak-free screen you can stare at happily for hours.

Featured photo credit:  A small man cleaning a pair of reading glasses via Shutterstock

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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