There’s nothing worse than turning on your favorite television show and seeing oily fingerprints peppered across the TV screen. The same goes for blurry streaks running across your favorite characters’ faces. Whether there are a hundred streaks, or only one, any smudge on your screen is an annoyance you need to fix fast. When learning how to clean a TV screen, there are several options available to you.
This article will address five of the best ways to clean your TV screen and leave it spotless! Television sets have changed drastically in the past decade or so. Many of us no longer use the old “tube TVs” and instead have newer versions made with a unique, protective coating.
This anti-glare coating on television screens means cleaning our flat-screen TVs with the same window cleaner we used on our “tube TVs” will damage the screen. Sometimes using the appropriate cleaning cloth will do the trick, but when necessary, mild dish soaps, vinegar, and other natural cleaners used in place of harsh chemicals will leave a streak-free shine without ruining your TV screen.
Fantastic Tips for How to Clean a Television Screen without Damaging Your Electronics
The best way to clean an LED TV screen does not require using any fancy gadgets, rigorous cleaning methods, or heavy chemicals. Note that many of these tips also work to clean a computer screen or that of your laptop or iPad. These electronics require a delicate touch so that you don’t damage the screen or the internal works behind it.
1. Use a Lint-Free Cloth When Cleaning a Flat Screen TV
Resolve simple cleaning issues by using no more than a soft cloth. Avoid using paper towels, toilet paper, or tissues to wipe down a TV since many of them contain fiber that will scratch the television screen.
Instead, use a microfiber cleaning cloth when dusting, such as those used to clean eyeglasses. These cleaning cloths may come with your television screen when you purchase it but can also be found in cleaning kits with or without glasses cleaner. These are also the best cloths to use when wiping away fingerprints and oils from your smartphone.
Before using, turn the TV off to make the smudges more apparent. Use a gentle, circular motion to wipe down the TV screen.
If the fingerprints or streaks do not disappear after dusting, do not press down or scrub at the spots on the screen. Doing this can apply pressure to the inner workings of the TV and damage the pixels in your screen. Smudges and grime that cannot be cleaned using a microfiber cleaning cloth should be cleaned using a mild screen cleaner, not elbow grease.
2. Cleaning an LCD Screen with Mild Dish Soap
Popular brands like Sony and Panasonic suggest using mild dish soap to clean stubborn spots on your TV screen that cannot be cleaned using a microfiber cloth. The recommended ratio for this cleaning solution is 100 times the amount of water to the amount of dish soap. This comes out to approximately one teaspoon of liquid dish soap for every two cups of water.
When cleaning, do not substitute tap water for distilled water. Tap water contains minerals that can leave water spots or residue on the screen, so distilled water is the only way to clean your LCD screen without leaving streaks.
Soak the cleaning cloth in the solution then wring it out thoroughly. Avoid leaving too much water in the cleaning cloth, or it might make its way into your television and ruin it.
The liquid dish soap breaks down the oils in the grime left behind on your TV screen, making it easier for you to wipe away greasy residue. Afterward, dry your TV screen using a dry cloth of the same variety used to clean it.
3. How to Clean a TV Screen Using a Vinegar and Water Solution
Vinegar is the all-purpose cleaner that just makes your life easier. Not only is it effective at removing stains, odors, and most bacteria, it makes an excellent DIY TV screen cleaner. This natural TV screen cleaner is non-toxic and easy to make.
Mix the vinegar and distilled water, using equal parts of both ingredients. Add these to a spray bottle and spray them onto a microfiber cleaning cloth. Just as with the dish soap and water solution, it is important not to spray the solution directly onto the TV screen to avoid excess liquids seeping into the electronics.
The owner’s manual for Samsung TVs warns that moisture inside the Samsung TV screen can cause the TV to stop working and increases the risk of electrocution or fire. Instead, spray the solution onto the cleaning cloth, then wipe down the TV.
4. Cleaning a Flat Screen TV with Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is a common substitute for vinegar in cleaning solutions when vinegar is not readily available. Isopropyl alcohol also dries quickly and does not leave as pungent a smell behind as vinegar, making it preferable to the ingredient in many cases.
As a window cleaner, isopropyl alcohol delivers a beautiful, streak-free shine that will do the same for your TV screen. This method is also a fantastic way to clean your laptop screen. So for those of us who binge-watch our shows on a computer monitor instead of a flat-screen TV, it makes watching all your favorite shows more enjoyable.
Mix the alcohol with distilled water, and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the TV. Most rubbing alcohols contain isopropyl alcohol, meaning you can also use it to clean your TV screens. However, it is essential to check the ingredients on the bottle to ensure that the rubbing alcohol you are using doesn’t contain ethyl alcohol.
This kind of alcohol can be as harmful to TV screens as chemicals like Windex and other window cleaners. Either way, it is preferable to use a product with a higher grade of isopropyl alcohol. Rubbing alcohol usually only contains 70% isopropyl alcohol, while other brands may provide as much as 99% in their bottles.
5. Clean an LED TV with Essential Oils to Clear Away Sticky Messes
For those of us with small children, or maybe clumsy adults, sticky fingerprints and residues are inevitably going to show up on our TV screens at some point. Since scrubbing the display only causes more harm than good, what can you do when regular TV screen cleaners don’t get the job done?
Citrus juices like lime, lemon, and even grapefruit seed extract, are natural degreasers and are an excellent way to break down oily or sticky messes. Essential oils are a perfect way to integrate ordinary cleaning solutions with a product that smells great!
Using the same vinegar and distilled water solution from before, add ten drops of lime or lemon essential oils into a spray bottle. Shake the contents well until they are perfectly blended. Again, be careful not to spray water, or any of the cleaning solution directly onto the TV screen.
Dry the area after removing the gooey gunk from your TV screen. The scent of the essential oils also counteracts the sour smell of the vinegar with a fresh, clean fragrance that lasts for hours.
What’s the difference between an LED, LCD, plasma, and CRT screen?
How to clean a television screen is determined by the type of monitor you have. Older models allow you to use traditional cleaning solutions that won’t damage TV screens, where the brand new models require a gentler touch.
So, what are the different types of TV’s, and how can you tell the difference? Many households have a mix of the new and the old, so a cleaning method for one TV may not work for all of them in your home.
CRT screens, short for cathode-ray tube, were the most common television screens back in the day. These were the classic “tube-TVs” which can be cleaned using traditional glass cleaners like Windex. After the technology began to improve, plasma TVs slowly made their way onto the market.
These televisions were similar to the CRTs, except for their larger, but slightly less heavy, sizes. Most plasma screens also began using anti-glare coating, which meant cleaning them with a window cleaner would not work.
The LCD TVs and LED TVs are the newest types of TVs which have gradually made the CRT and plasma models obsolete. These TVs boast a lower energy consumption, better brightness levels, and a higher resolution than their predecessors, all of which are essential qualities in the age of HDTV. The most significant difference between the LED and LCD TVs is their light source, which hinges solely on whether the television uses LED lighting or traditional bulbs, respectively.
What should I avoid when cleaning a flat-screen TV?
There are several harsh chemicals and cleaning products to avoid when dusting your television screen, computer monitor, or even your smartphone. All of these products use relatively the same materials and are especially sensitive compared to older models.
Window cleaners, ethyl alcohol, and anything flammable should be avoided at all costs. Not only can they remove the essential coating from the surface, but they also wear down materials used to make the television and can pose serious safety hazards.
Another product to avoid is any material that might scratch the surface of the screen. These materials include paper products like tissues or paper towels but also encompasses materials like fabrics and a washcloth. Fabrics will only work if they are lint-free since lint might become trapped on the pieces of cloth and scratch the screen.
While the costs of quality TVs are now more economical, that doesn’t mean you should take risks when it comes to protecting your TV screen. How to clean a television screen is a simple solution, with quick and easy recipes for cleansers that won’t break the bank. Taking the additional time and effort to understand how to care for your television screen properly will increase its longevity and save you unnecessary headaches in the future.
Hopefully, you enjoyed these TV screen cleaning tips as much as we enjoyed making them. If so, please share how to clean a TV screen with your fellow TV-watchers on Pinterest and Facebook.