Anyone who uses a bottom machine or GPS/chart recorder aboard a boat knows how spray—especially salt or brackish water— and dust or greasy fingerprints on the screen can mess up the viewing clarity. Some top anglers have begun experimenting with different methods for cleaning the screens of their electronics. One of the more innovative ways is the use of Rain-X and Rain-X-Wipes.
Minnesota walleye pros Scott and Marty Glorvigan use it—after all the dust is removed, of course, so as not to scratch the screen’s glass. Available at hardware and automotive stores, Rain-X tends to make water bead up (as it does on vehicle windshields) on the screens so a following wipe results in crystal clear viewing.
I checked with a technical expert—Luke Morris, at Lowrance Corp.—to get his read on cleaning agents in general for electronics. While the folks at the company hadn’t tried Rain-X products, Luke feels there are a lot of cleaners on the market that could provide benefits. He cautions, though, that while the actual screen is a special coated glass that should handle most glass cleaners, their concern is for the surrounding plastic faceplate and bezel assemblies. Some cleaners like auto soaps contain chemicals that could cause discoloration or damage. Luke suggests that before you try any off-beat cleaner, that you test an area about the size of a fingerprint on the back of the unit, up high where it’ll receive sunlight. You’ll not damage the vital front face that way.
The technicians at Lowrance, among others, recommend ammonia-free glass cleaner (not blue cleaners like Windex). Or, you can mix up a quick solution of 50-50 alcohol/water.
I’ve personally found the alcohol/water mix works very well. I keep a small bottle handy near my unit.