How to Clean a TV Screen: A Step-by-Step Guide to Daily and Deep Cleaning
Chances are, you spent a lot of money on a TV screen with an incredible high definition picture to watch your favorite shows, movies, or sporting events. But as dust builds up, it can distort the quality of the picture, says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority.
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To keep the television screen and picture as crisp as it was the day it was purchased, experts recommend a weekly cleaning to remove the inevitable dust, fingerprints, and film buildup. “The longer these remain on the screen, the harder they are to remove,” says Stapf.
With that in mind, we asked the pros to walk us through the most effective cleaning routine. Here’s what they had to say:
One thing to know before you clean your TV:
Before you do anything, turn the TV off. It’s not only safer—electronics and liquids do not mix—but it’s also easier to see dirt, debris, and fingerprints on a blank, black screen, so you’ll know exactly where the tough spots are.
What’s the best way to clean a TV screen?
We know you’ve got a lot on your to-do list, so you’ll be glad to know that cleaning your TV is one of the easier tasks to tackle.
Though it’s always smart to refer to your television’s owner’s manual for specifics related to your exact model, experts say the following guidelines are fairly universal.
For daily cleaning:
The safest and most gentle way to dust away any fibers and fingerprints is with a soft, dry microfiber cloth, because it effectively grabs particles, but won’t scratch or leave lint behind, says Stapf. “Other cloths or towels, including paper towels or rags, are too harsh and can leave scratches behind. Over the course of time, these scratches will be noticeable and distort the quality of the screen.”
For your basic one-a-week clean, the step-by-step (well, it’s one step) couldn’t be easier:
- Swipe the screen: Simply swipe the dry microfiber cloth across the TV gently and slowly in an up and down or left to right movement, says Stapf. (Circular motions could leave whorl marks on the screen.) Don’t forget to wipe the frame and the base of the TV, too.
For tougher spots:
Though tempting, you should never use pressure to lift these spots—this can damage delicate screens and their pixels, says Stapf. Here’s what to do instead:
- Lightly dampen your cloth with water: Apply a small amount of warm water to your microfiber cloth. (Never spray any water or cleanser directly onto the TV—this is too saturating.)
- Swipe the screen: Run the dampened microfiber cloth across the TV as you would for an everyday clean—gently and slowly in an up and down or left to right movement. Don’t forget to wipe the frame and the base of the TV, too.
- Dry everything: Using the same motions, dry the screen—and any other areas you cleaned—with a separate clean, dry microfiber cloth to lift any residual moisture.
How to Clean a TV Screen With Vinegar
If you have spots on your TV screen even a water-damp cloth can’t tackle, don’t fret. The same simple supplies, plus a cleaning solution made by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar should take care of it, says Jennie Varney, brand manager for Molly Maid, a Neighborly Company. Here’s how to proceed safely:
1. Turn off your TV
As mentioned above, working on a dark surface will enable you to see dust, fingerprints, and dirt more clearly than if the TV is on.
2. Dust your TV with a dry microfiber cloth
Use one microfiber cloth to gently dust the surface of your TV screen. Don’t forget to dust the frame and the base, too.
3. Make your cleaning solution
Mix a solution of half white vinegar, half distilled water. This cleaning solution is effective, yet gentle enough for such a delicate item. Though regular water is suitable in a pinch, using distilled water prevents hard water residue from making your screen look even dirtier.
4. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution
Never spray any cleaning solution directly onto your screen. Dip your cleaning rag into the vinegar-water mix instead. If you’d rather use a spray bottle, that’s fine; spray the cloth, not the screen.
5. Wring the cloth well
Your rag should be very damp, not dripping wet. Again, electronics and liquids are not friends.
6. Gently wipe down your TV screen and the frame
Wipe down your TV screen with your damp microfiber cloth. Start from the top and work your way down, using up and down or left to right movements. Don’t forget to wipe the frame and the base of the TV, too.
7. Buff dry with a dry microfiber cloth
With a clean, unused microfiber cloth, buff your TV dry to eliminate potential water spots.
Can you use Windex to clean a TV?
“Cleaning products such as Windex may contain harsh ingredients, including alcohol and ammonia, which can be damaging to the LCD panels of the screen,” says Stapf. “For the latest OLED and LCD TV screens, it is best to steer clear of Windex or other glass cleaners.”
Of course, you can always consult your owner’s manual for specifics pertaining to your TV.