How to Clean a Flat Screen TV in 5 Easy Steps

Researchers…found the [television] remote has one of the highest levels of bacterial contamination [in a hotel] room — more germs, in fact, than the bathroom door handle.  Kathleen Doheny, Safebee

How often have you sat down to catch up on your favorite shows and before you switch on the TV notice handprints, streaks, and smears all over the screen? Oops! Like many other people you have been neglecting your screens in your household cleaning.

You really should be cleaning your flat screen TVs and computer monitors (not to mention remote controls and keyboards) regularly. This will keep germs, fingerprints, dust and dirt at bay.

When it comes to cleaning a flat screen TV, you will need to be gentle. A liquid crystal display (LCD) flat screen is made up of two panels of flexible plastic with a solution of liquid crystals between them. Both the panels and liquid crystals are very sensitive and need to be treated with care.

Flat Screen Cleaning Agents Image - ST

Top 5 Tips on How to Clean a Flat Screen TV

1. Check the Manufacturer’s Recommendations

This is important, particularly if your television or device is new and under warranty. If you end up damaging your device by using a cleaning product or method that is not recommended, it is likely that your warranty will be void.

2. Switch off and Unplug the Device

A dark screen makes it easier to see which areas need cleaning. Turning the device off prevents you from accidentally pushing buttons and actually unplugging the device avoids any risk of electric shock.

3. Use a Soft Cloth

This is one of the most important steps in how to clean a flat screen TV. Paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper or clothing can damage the display.  You should be using a very soft, non-abrasive cloth for cleaning. Microfiber is ideal as it won’t leave scratch or lint behind and it actually traps dirt and dust within its fibers.

TV screens often just need dusting and this can be done with a dry cloth. However, if you do need to clean off marks or fingerprints, then lightly dampen the cloth with water and very gently wipe the cloth across the screen.

Remember not to rub too hard as too much pressure on the screen when cleaning can result in pixel burnout, or dead pixels, producing tiny black spots.

4. Use a Gentle Cleansing Agent

Never use cleaning products that contain ammonia (found in window cleaners), ethyl alcohol, paint solvents, acetone or ethyl acetate (found in nail polish remover) on your flat screen TV. These chemicals can react with the LCD panels and anti-glare coatings resulting in permanent discoloration or other damage to the display.

You can buy special screen cleaners or you can even make your own with a mixture of vinegar and distilled water. Never put any liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, lightly spray the cleaning cloth and have another dry cloth at hand to remove residual moisture. Any liquid left to dry on the screen will leave even more marks.

5. Use a Screen Wipe

This is my top tip on how to clean a flat screen tv. Savvy Travelers In the Klear screen wipes are individually wrapped so they don’t dry out, and are pre-moistened with a cleanser specially formulated for screens. The biodegradable material of the wipe also won’t leave streaks or lint behind.

Best of all, these screen wipes are multi purpose, so can be used to clean not only your flat screen TV, but also your cell phone, laptop and computer screens and even your camera lenses.


What is an LCD? 

Microfiber Fact Sheet

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