Fellowes "Screen Cleening Wipes" Leave Nasty Junk All Over Screen

A reader says he bought some Fellowes Screen Cleaning Wipes and, “to my amazement, they leave a sticky white residue.”

At right is the picture he sent us (click to enlarge).

Several Amazon reviewers agree, saying things like, “It’s like wiping your monitor off with WD40,” “These cleaning wipes left streaks all over my monitor,” and, “It left behind annoying streaks and film.”

Instead of wasting money on these pieces of garbage, one reviewer recommends their homebrew, a soft cloth with solution of 1 part water to 1 part rubbing alcohol.

Our tipster asked Fellowes for his money back. We’ll see how that goes. — BEN POPKEN

UPDATE: Readers say the problem may be that these wipes were designed for CRT monitors (the big boxy ones), not LCD (the thin type shown).

Comments

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  1. drowned_in_milk says:

    That’s because they weren’t for LCD monitors; they were for CRT glass ones! LCD monitors are finnicky and if you put anything ammonia-based on them they cloud up. DON’T put any store-bought cleaning solution or product on your LCD screen unless it explicitly says that they are for LCD screens!!

  2. Bob says:

    Windex. It cleans everything.

  3. joeblevins says:

    I was going to say what drowned_in_milk said. Those aren’t for LCD’s. Don’t know if they say it on the container…

  4. enm4r says:

    @drowned_in_milk: This (wo)man speaks the truth. I worked at a computer lab for a couple years, and these are not made for LCDs. There are even ones made that say “will work with LCDs” but those aren’t much better.

  5. rekoil says:

    I guess the bigger question is: Is there something out there that can get rid of the cloudiness, or is the reader SOL?

  6. Xabora says:

    To get rid of the cloudiness grab some wipes that has Isopropryl Alcohol in them.

    We have some in our office to clean up our CRT and LCD Screens.

  7. Xabora says:

    Sorry about a second post, you can buy some Isopropryl Alcohol Wipes here:
    http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/824w.html

  8. tracilyns says:

    get a microfiber cloth. no cleaning solution is necessary (unless you have some serious gunk on your monitor, in which case it sounds like you have other issues to deal with first). it also works on tv’s, glasses, etc.

  9. jbnlsd says:

    I sent a comment about how I was not happy with my Fellowes screen wipes to the company via their website and they sent me a few packages of a different “made for LCD” type of wipes (#99700) that come in dry and wet form. The wet ones are somewhat better, you just have to dry the screen really quick with the dry ones after (which are also good for dust and fuzz balls).

  10. Technick says:

    Do not use windex on lcd displays!!! I did this on my laptop a few years ago and it left a perm. mark on the laptop, an area of discoloration. Something in windex will destroy the protective film on the screen.

  11. Starfury says:

    The best thing to use is rubbing alcholhol on a soft cotton cloth if you need to clean a CRT or LCD. With the LCD you don’t want to press too hard or you can break it (voiding the warranty)

    Windex (or ammonia based cleaners) will eat the non-glare coating off of CRT monitors over time.

  12. kerry says:

    I have an optex cloth made by RadTech, which I keep between my keyboard and my screen when I close my laptop and also use to clean my screen and even my eyeglasses when they get dirty. If I sneeze on the screen or something and need serious cleaning, I use a Kendall brand alcohol swab (should be available in the first aid section of the pharmacy, I get them from work) to dissolve the gunk and then polish with the optex cloth. Oh, the alcohol wipe is also good for getting schmutz off of the wrist rest and keyboard.

  13. kerry says:

    Yeargh, it ate my comment.
    What I was trying to say is that I have an optex cloth made by Radtech (http://www.radtech.us), which is great for cleaning gunk off my laptop screen as well as off of my glasses. I also use it to protect my screen from the keyboard when closed. For gunkier crap (like if I sneeze on the screen, it’s happened before) I use a Kendall brand alcohol swab, which I think are available at most pharmacies in the first aid section. That dissolves the crud and the optex cloth polishes away any streaks from the swab. Oh, those alcohol wipes are good for getting schmutz off the keyboard and wrist rest, too, without damaging the finish of the laptop.

  14. Chongo says:

    I’m holding a package of LCD/DVD/CD wipes from Office Depot in my hands now. They do the EXACT same thing on both my LCD monitors. Very annoying. I had to spray regular windex onto the wipe to get anywhere.

  15. ajn007 says:

    It is best to used distilled water (available at the supermarket) as ordinary water (especially tap water) will leave residue (it’s got all sorts of crap in it). Many helpful pages I’ve read suggest that the alcohol is not necessary. In any case, use the softest, lint free cloth you can find (professional grade lens cloths are a good choice). And wipe with a damp cloth, don’t spray the monitor.

  16. schmosef says:

    Monster ScreenClean is the best product I’ve ever found for cleaning monitors and televisions (both CRT and LCD).

    It does an excellent job of cleaning off dust, finger prints and food splashes with no residue.

    The downside is that’s it is expensive; about $30 CDN per bottle here in Toronto. It comes with a shammy

  17. blue_j says:

    Interestingly enough, I used the same Fellowes-brand screen cleaning wipes to clean LCD monitors for years, and I’ve never come across the level of ick the tipster has. I’d get the occasional streak now and then, but crap!: that pic is disgusting.

    I’m wondering if the tipster just got a bad batch, or maybe I was just getting good ones. :)


    Anyway, I’d agree with the commenters above and say a micro-fiber cloth is the way to go. My problem with the wet-wipes was that the can would dry out long before the wipes were used up.

    Use a microfiber cloth for everyday dust and fingerprints, and keep a few indivdual wet-nap style wet-wipes on hand for the messy stuff.

  18. mathew says:

    “Have you been using Fellowes screen wipes, or were you just pleased to see me?”

  19. jgodsey says:

    i keep a microfibre cleaning cloth nearby for my screen and my glasses. as well as a tiny spraybottle of streakless cleaning solution.

  20. I agree — it just really wasn’t made for LCD, but when you see the following on the Amazon page, it makes it easy to see how the mistake was made:

    “Product Description
    Alcohol-free cleaning wipes safely remove dust, dirt and fingerprints from all types of computer screens and glass surfaces. Works on all CRT and LCD computer monitors, LCD laptop screens, privacy and anti-glare filters, PDAs, scanners and television screens. Includes 100 ct. tub. Not for use on mesh screens.”

  21. kerry says:

    @mathew: Ewwwww.

  22. ryan_h says:

    I have used these on a CRT screen before, and let me tell you…… they must have designed these to give people glimpses of what its like to have a cataract.

  23. My ViewSonic monitor explicitly said in the manual to only use water. No cleaning agents period.

  24. idandfei2 says:

    Never use alcohol on an LCD display. It ruins the finish. Micro-fiber with a little water will take off even chocolate laced kiddy fingerprints.

  25. blue_j says:

    fwiw, I snapped some pics of the can of Fellowes wipes I keep at work:

    http://flickr.com/photos/jleveque/453117602/
    http://flickr.com/photos/jleveque/453135759/
    (i stuck both in the consumerist pool :) )

    First pic has the front label of the canister, showing a wipe cleaning off a laptop’s LCD screen. Second pic shows the back text, reading “Alcohol-free” and “safe for Laptops,”.


    So, the can I’ve got is clearly giving the ‘impression’ that Fellowes wipes are OK for LCDs.. but then again, the label on my can (perchased last year) looks slightly different from the label on the Tipster’s can. It’s possible they changed the formula when they changed the label.

    Anyway, I just thought it would be worth pointing this out with the number of comments guessing the wipes weren’t LCD safe.

  26. JShore says:

    I use Nice ‘n Clean wipes from Wal-Mart. They are made for laptops and LCD screens, they work great and I have never seen any streaks from them.

  27. Scazza says:

    DO NOT use Wet+Dry wipes ever on LCD screen, they will eventually scratch the living shit out of them after awhile. Also no ammonia based anything. I use an Alcohol-free spray from Kingston WITH the wiping device from the Belkin red bottle stuff

  28. snowpuff says:

    No, NO. Not rubbing alcohol!!!! That has too much water in it.

    Use only Isopropyl alcohol (91 percent or better) for cleaning your LCD. It’s right next to the rubbing alcohol in your market.

  29. Zatos says:

    I have to say that it does not matter if you’re not supposed to use it on LCDs. This happens with CRT monitors too! I have these wipes and I hate LCD monitors so I only have a CRT. It leaves a mess all over the place. Every time I use them to clean my monitor, I have to go back over it with a wet cloth and a dry towel. It may be harmful to LCDs but thats not the reason it leaves a mess all over the place.

  30. Red_Eye says:

    How about a fine RTFM and use only what your manufacturer says. Every manuf. can use different plastic composition and/or AR/AG coatings and those can all be affected differently by different products. If your manual doesn’t say it’s EXPLICITLY ok to use you are probably voiding your warranty. This applies to both CRT and LCD.

  31. eightfifteen says:

    Another handy tip is to use anti-static sheets on your monitor. Wiping it down with a Bounty sheet on a regular basis will cut down on the amount of dust that is attracted to the screen.

  32. MarvinMar says:

    I read this review a few weeks ago
    http://www.pixelclean.com/
    Sounds like good stuff

    http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/PixelClean_LCD_Clea

    PixelClean LCD Screen Cleaner

    Conclusion:

    The PixelClean perfectly filled the need for me to have a safe high quality cleaning kit for my delicate LCD monitors. Never again will I suffer with a smudged or dusty LCD screen. This kit was both professionally packaged, easy to use and priced affordably. For a retail price of just $19.95 for the deluxe kit , there is absolutely no reason that everyone reading this review on an LCD, or owns a laptop shouldn’t own this product.

    The “clean” that results from using this product was well above my expectations. Utilizing the perfect combination of specially formulated solvent, a high quality and lint free micro fiber buffing cloth, the screen seems to just glow without a single spec of dust remaining. PixelClean states that the formula repels dust and boy it sure looks like it. I wish I could capture this scenario in pictures, but you really can’t. You have to see it first hand.

    I highly recommend this product to everyone out there with an LCD monitor or TV or anything else on the list of compatible items for this cleaning kit. It worked flawlessly and gives me a better feeling that I’m taking good care of my investment (namely that expensive LCD screen). I don’t say this very often but…Protect your investment and GO BUY THIS NOW! :)