There is nothing worse than trying to see through a smudge or a dust film on your TV screen. OK, the only thing worse may be ruining your TV screen from cleaning it the wrong way. It seems like wiping down a TV screen may be an obvious way to clean it, but many of us don’t know how to clean tv screens properly.
Even though we can tell you how to clean the TV screen, it’s always best to refer to your manufacturer’s manual and warranty. If you threw this out, a simple Google search could fix that. However, here we can go over how to clean flat-screen TVs, including plasma, LED, LCD, OLED TVs, and even tube TVs. They all require something a little different. So let’s get into it.
General Rules Checklist
- Make sure you use a high-quality soft microfiber cloth that doesn’t have loose threads. You don’t want the cloth shredding on the screen. Anything too rough will also scratch the surface.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals and never spray directly on the screen. This can not only cause streaks but damage the screen. Instead, spray on the cloth lightly, then wipe.
- Consider cleaning your TV screen once every two to three weeks while always referring to the owner’s manual first. Don’t do it if there is any doubt on whether you should clean the screen a certain way. Better to be safe than sorry.
How to Clean Flat-Screen Plasma, LED, LCD, and OLED TVs
If you want to know how to clean fingerprints off TV screens, then grab your microfiber cloth and start here. If you don’t have one, go buy one because using paper towels, toilet paper, or other cloths will result in a bigger mess and potential screen damage.
- Make sure your TV screen is off and hasn’t been used for a little while. Also, the screen shouldn’t be warm.
- Using a vacuum with a low setting, run the vacuum an inch away from the screen without making contact. This will help pick up dust. Then go over the screen with a dry microfiber cloth to get the remainder up.
- Use a dry cotton ball to get the edges and speakers of the TV so that it gets into the nooks and crannies. Don’t apply too much pressure.
- Use your manufacturer-approved cleaning spray by lightly coating the microfiber cloth. If you can’t find an already made spray, you can also use white vinegar distilled water. (See what to use to clean a TV section)
- With gentle pressure, wipe down the screen leaving no splotches or wet areas. If you want to know how to clean TV screens without streaks, let them air dry and avoid hand drying them.
How to Clean Tube Televisions
Tube televisions are said to be the easiest kind of TVs to clean. This is because they are not as thin as the previous set of TVs and have a tougher screen that isn’t so sensitive. Now that doesn’t mean you can throw acid on it, but water will do just fine.
You can follow the same set of instructions above if you want to be extra careful. Simply using a microfiber cloth and a little water on the cloth to wipe down the screen will work. You can also use cotton balls to pick up dustier areas but ensure to do this first as the cotton ball can shed once wet and stick to the tube TV.
How to Clean a 4k TV Screen
A question that commonly confuses many is how to clean a 4k tv screen. 4K TV screens refer to the picture rather than the actual TV. If you are dealing with a TV that can run in 4K rather than HD, you are likely dealing with a TV that follows the same process of flat-screen plasmas, OLED, LED, LCD, etc.
Common 4K TVs follow the same cleaning method as above.
Note that this doesn’t mean your 4k TV is plasma. It just means you can clean it the same way.
What to use to clean a tv screen
When it comes to the products you use, you want to choose a good TV screen cleaner solution and wiping cloth. Unfortunately, most products on the market can cause damage to your screen because of the harmful chemicals that are in their makeup. Here is a checklist of what products you should use when cleaning a TV screen.
- Microfiber lint-free quality cloth. Get two. One for the initial dry wipe and a second that can be slightly wetted
- Store-bought and manufactured approved cleaning solution.
- Hand-held vacuum (this should never touch your screen)
Cleaning Your Remote Control
When cleaning your remote control, you can use a disinfectant wipe that you pick up from the grocery store. You don’t want to soak your remote control or spray it directly, but a simple disinfectant wipe will work. You can also use the below DIY solution mix to clean it like you would for your TV or any other electronics.
While you don’t need to use a microfiber cloth, you want to keep in mind that if you use something that shreds easily, it may get stuck in between the buttons. This could potentially ruin the remote control so use something sturdy.
DIY Solution Mix
Here is an easy-to-make DIY TV cleaning solution from the pantry or household products you probably already have. If you want to know how to keep your tv clean, this is a good place to start.
- Mix an equal portion of white vinegar and distilled water into a bowl.
- The ratio is 1:1, but you don’t need much of either as you will only want a slightly damp cloth.
- Pour the solution into a mister bottle as you don’t want to dunk your cloth in the bowl.
That’s it! Simple and easy to make. You can also use store-bought cleaners but remember only manufacturer-approved ones. Let’s talk about what you can’t use.
Things to avoid when cleaning a tv screen
You must avoid the three A’s when it comes to cleaning a TV screen. Any of them are very likely to cause damage to your TV permanently. They are:
All three of these products contain harmful chemicals that will burn right through the anti-glare coating and result in picture damage. Paper towels are tempting to wipe down the screen at times. However, they have a rough surface and can leave lint or shreds behind. The only thing you should use is a microfiber lint-free cloth.
You don’t want to wipe your TV screen like you would wash your car. Instead, keep your wiping in one direction. Some swear by circles; this leaves a whirlwind pattern on your screen. Wiping in one direction keeps things going in the same direction.
It may be tempting to also dry the TV screen after wiping it down so you can see it in action. Hold off on this. Letting it air dry is the best way to avoid smudges and streaks. You also want to give the TV some time to dry before turning it on. While unlikely, you don’t want to be shocked.
Getting The Job Done
Cleaning a TV feels like it should be a simple task. However, it’s unfortunate when we have to learn the hard way, and we spray Windex right on the screen burning through our beautiful plasma picture. When it comes to wiping down the TV, it’s always better to proceed with caution and read the user manual first. If you threw it out, no big deal because this guide can walk you through a number of steps to help get the job done safely.
Remember, you always want to use a microfiber lint-free cloth because it’s soft enough not to scratch the screen but also won’t leave any fuzzies behind. Many of us think paper towels will work, but this is the first big no-no. The only thing that isn’t a microfiber cloth that can be useful is a cotton ball to get the edges of the screen where dust may build up.
Also, consider that different types of TVs have different needs. For example, a tube TV is more rugged and resistant to pressure, while an OLED, LCD, LED, etc., certainly is not. If you aren’t sure about what products to use, you can always come up with your own DIY solution of white vinegar and water. Using this once every two to three weeks is the perfect way to wipe down your flatscreen!