Cleaning your screen with sandpaper

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by kiwigirl, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. kiwigirl

    kiwigirl Member

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    A couple people in the office just got new $3000 Mac books and the other day saw them cleaning their screens with the office paper towel! If you know the stuff Im talking about, this stuff is like sandpaper, (the industry stuff that they have in all schools). If its too rough to wipe your nose with it, its too rough for any screens. I would never even consider using this ever on any of my screens. I always see this, its like people using their shirt to clean their eyewear lol. Instant scratching.
     
  2. RémiM

    RémiM Active Member

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    Subjectively, you are right. What is not good for your nose is not good for your screen :)

    Objectively, you are wrong. The hardness of the glass is way above the hardness of any paper. Theoretically (if the paper is 100% paper), it would do nothing to the screen.
    Sand paper is made out of silicon particles (also called sand) which have a higher hardness, and then would scratch the screen.
     
  3. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

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    Paper towels are fibrous to glass surfaces, especially optical glass and shouldn't be used regularly -- you'll see a build up micro-scratches with repeated use of paper towels, etc. Clean cotton towels are good. Micro fiber cloths are fine, as long as you regularly clean or replace them.
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @kiwigirl, You are right.

    Those of us who wear eyeglasses know that even the best scratch-resistant coatings can't keep scratches away.

    A major part of my work as a petrophysicist involves microscopic attention to fine particles and how they interact.

    Debris, including aluminum, iron, and silica particles get on the lens or the computer screen. That's why it was 'dirty' and needed cleaning. Then the cloth can grind those particles in, producing the scratches. Must pay attention to the lens or screen, not merely the cloth or cleaning solution.

    Soft cotton cloths have crevices which somewhat hide and tuck away the debris, avoiding some of the scratching. Common paper towels, recycled paper, or synthetic fabrics carry the debris on the surface, a bad thing for the lens or screen.

    Side note: This is why I try to avoid amateur/fund raising/touch car washes. Dirty sponges, towels, and cloths grind sediment in. This becomes sandpaper on your car. Same with your screen.
     
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  5. RémiM

    RémiM Active Member

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    stupid question: how come metallic or ceramic particles could end up in toilet paper ? There must be a norm somewhere to prevent our intimate parts from being scratched by toilet paper ? Yes, I proudly do not care about my screen in the first place :D

    It sounds stupid, but I am pretty sure there is no such debris in toilet paper.
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The debris is on the SCREEN not the paper. You smush it around with the cloth.

    Note: These abrasive metallic or silica particles are suspended in the dust of the air. They are about 10 microns in diameter. A human hair is 50 microns in diameter, or five times larger.

    dustparticles.jpg
     
  7. RémiM

    RémiM Active Member

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    Ok, then the moral of the story is : do not use your screen as toilet paper. And not: do not use toilet paper to clean your screen.

    I got it this time. Thanks for the clarification @sharpcolorado :D
     
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  8. Gavin Lewarne

    Gavin Lewarne Member

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    wait....i've been doing it wrong all this time? damn
     
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  9. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Funny thread.

    Seriously, though, another good habit is to spray the screen, then wipe. Micro particles then become coated in liquid, and are far less likely to scratch the surface.

    I'm out in the mountains often with my Surface. Lots of exposure to particles in the air, which can adhere to my screen. But I don't worry much, because I use glass protectors on my devices.
     
  10. BearFlag

    BearFlag Member

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    Hey! I'm totally that guy that uses paper towels and Windex to clean my SP3 screen. I really don't understand what the big deal is. I mean the screen is supposed to be scratch resistant and I have MS complete coverage. In fact the dude at the MS store told me that he accidentally dropped his car keys on the SP3 screen and nothing happened to it. I honestly haven't run into any issues scratching the screen so far. To each their own I guess.
     
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  11. Gavin Lewarne

    Gavin Lewarne Member

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    So Mr Particulate expert...

    what is your take on applying a layer of non abrasive car wax (high grade carnauba without micro polishing particulates) on the screen? can that help prevent particulate buildup and scratches? i know someone who does this on his iPad and it hasnt seemed to damage the screen in the slightest and he reckons its much easier to clean and crap does not build up on it anywhere near as much
     
  12. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A layer of wax is okay. Less harmful than the acidic oils typically on your fingers. Might play funny with light, giving you a spectrum, though, if the microscopic wax coating is uneven.
    Be careful to avoid the camera hole. Use no grit.

    Your own risk.
     

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