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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 March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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