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How to Properly Clean a TV Screen

How to Clean a TV Screen

If you want to get the best picture quality from your TV, it’s important to clean it every once in a while. However, most flatscreen TVs are made of fragile materials, which can easily be damaged by harsh chemicals, such as Windex. Here’s how to clean your dusty or dirty TV screen without damaging it.

How to Clean a Flat-Screen TV

To clean a flat screen TV, first, turn it off and unplug it. Then use a dry microfiber cloth made for electronics to wipe off any dust. If you have any hard-to-remove stains, you can dampen your cloth with distilled water and use a small amount of screen cleaner or dish soap diluted in water.

These steps work with any LED, LCD, OLED, or plasma TV screen. However, we recommend that you check your owner’s manual if you still have it, or search for it online. Some TVs have very specific rules on how to properly clean the screen.

  1. Turn off your TV and unplug it. Turning your TV off is safer, and you can see more dirt and smudges when the screen is totally black. Plus, this gives your TV a chance to cool down, which will help you clean it better.
  2. Using a soft, dry microfiber cloth, gently wipe the screen in a circular motion to clean any dust. Never use paper towels, tissues, or rags to clean your TV screen. These contain fibers that can leave scratches on your screen. You can use an anti-static microfiber cloth, like the ones used to clean eyeglasses, camera lenses, computer monitors, and vinyl records. Also, remember to avoid pressing down too hard. Pushing on the screen too hard can cause pixels to burn out. Cleaning in a circular motion helps to avoid streaks and you’ll hit every area from several angles.
    how to clean flat-screen tv
  3. For hard-to-remove stains, moisten your cloth with distilled water. Never apply any kind of cleaning solution directly onto the screen. This can cause moisture to get into the seal around the screen and damage the electronics. You should only apply cleaning solution to the cloth itself. 
  4. If that fails, use a small amount of screen cleaner or a solution of mild dish soap and distilled water. If you want to use soap, you won’t need much. In fact, Panasonic only recommends a solution of 1 part detergent to 100 parts water.

Using harsh cleaning products (such as Windex or Formula 409) can react with the materials the screen is coated with, which can permanently discolor the screen. If you want to use a packaged screen cleaner, make sure it does not contain alcohol, ammonia, benzene, acetone, or any other harsh chemicals. These can strip the anti-glare coating on your screen and cause permanent damage.

How to Clean a Tube TV Screen

If you have an older CRTV or tube TV, you can use the same glass cleaner you use on your windows. First, unplug your TV and wipe any dust away with a microfiber cloth. If you need to, you can moisten the cloth with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.

  1. Turn off your TV and unplug it.
  2. Wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust and debris.
  3. Moisten your cloth with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.
  4. Wipe the screen again with a dry cloth.

Once you get your TV cleaned, you can make it look even nicer by mounting it. Take our short quiz to find the best tv mount for you.

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