How to clean TV screen without streaks

Cleaning a television screen can be as easy as using a wringed microfiber cloth (dipped in clean water) to wipe off the dirt from the surface.

While that is especially good at removing any smudges, fingerprints and grimes imprinted there by our vital three year olds, it’s actually terrible at one thing, and that’s preventing the formation of streaks all over the cleaned surface.

The main culprit there is water, and you can be sure of its blameworthiness when you’ve tried using a brand new cloth to clean the surface of the screen when you taught the dirty rag was the problem, and then ended up with far more streaks than you actually started with.

The solution of water plus nothing just hasn’t got enough chemical compositions to prevent the formation of streaks on your TV screen.

As a matter of fact, water does one thing poorly well too, it creates a thin layer on the television panel, especially on LCD’s and LED’, that acts as an extra static which easily attract dust from different corners of the room and make the TV needy of a fresh wipe.

If you’re especially preventive of dust accumulation around the house, you can easily get away with this limitation, but the streaks? You’ll have to use an entirely different approach.

I’ve outlined four easy ways to do that below, but i must say, neither of them is a foolproof solution for completely removing streaks.

Doing so is mission impossible especially with a surface as wide as a TVs’ and hands as small and shaky as a humans’.

Using the methods from below, just go gently, use clean cloths, and wipe the surface as evenly as you can and maybe, just maybe, you might be lucky for an all panel shine!

How to clean a TV without streaks

1) Use distilled water + vinegar

For a streak-free cleaning experience, consider using a solution consisting of water and white vinegar. The key to eliminating the streaks wouldn’t be the addition of vinegar only, but the use of a clean, soft microfiber cloth and gentility and evenness when wiping the surface of the screen. That’ll get you the almost streak free experience that you’ve always longed for, but your kids love!

Here is how to use the water plus vinegar solution

  1. Stir well, a solution containing half part white vinegar and half part distilled water. We’re using distilled water because mineral water has the tendency to leave whitish residue on the screen which can make it look dirty.
  2. Pour the solution in a spray bottle or leave the mixture in the bowl or container you mixed it in.
  3. Get two or three flat, non-rugged microfiber cloths for cleaning the screen. These are less prone to retaining grit and other abrasive particles which can end up scratching the surface of the screen. Microfibers are also excellent for trapping and retaining dirt and also absorbing cleaning liquids more than any other rag i.e. a cotton rag. This is all thanks to their split fibers and the perfectly sized filaments on them. In addition to all these, they are also lint free which means you don’t get any fluff on the screen which is not only annoying to look at, but also has the tendency of building up charge and causing damage to the monitor.
  4. A manageable alternative to microfiber cloth is any other cloth that is soft (preferable lint-free). They could be your mateless socks, t-shirt, flannel shirt etc. Just let your intuition and sense guide you.
  5. Quickly go over the TV screen with one of the dry cleaning cloth to remove all dirt that have accumulated on it. This is crucial for getting rid of streaks since any dirt left on the screen can end up causing them when it’s time to use the solution.
  6. Spray or (dip) a second cloth with the solution of vinegar (or in the solution) respectively, and wring well so it’s left only dampened and not dripping wet. A wet cloth can get moisture into places where it’s not supposed to be which can cause issues like failure, fire and even electric shock. Additionally, having too much moisture on the rag can lead to more streaks after the screen has completely dried. So you want to make sure that you attain a state where no solution drips even after you wring the cloth with force.
  7. Use this cloth to first, spot clean all gunk and smudges on the surface of the screen, and then go over the screen lightly in a defined pattern, preferably from top to bottom and then back to the top. This will minimize the formation of any streaks. It is very important that you do not apply too much pressure on the TV screen as this can eventually lead to dead pixels which will affect viewing experience and also cause more streaks. Just go lightly, quickly, and in a defined pattern. When you’re done with the screen, use this same cloth for the base and frame of the television and also other components like the cord or auxiliary devices.
  8. Next, quickly use the third rag to go over the screen in the same fashion to leave it squeaky clean. And there you go, hopefully, an almost streak-free screen.


Ensure that the TV is off before cleaning. Let sit for 15 minutes if you turned the power off recently, or clean first thing in the morning before turning on the television. This has three advantages, one, is that it enables you to see all the spots and smudges that require attention, second is that it make the TV less apt to evaporation which goes a long way at preventing the formation of streaks, and third, is that it’s the safest route out there because we’re dealing with electronics.

While cleaning, a quick idea of spraying the TV panel directly with the solution (as you would a normal widow) might pop into your fairly boxed head. Knock the thoughts off with immediate effect. That’s a quick recipe for disaster, as the liquid can easily get to places where the eyes can see and they are not supposed to be i.e to inner electronic components, which can cause them to begin malfunctioning. This can lead to shock or a possible fire hazard.

3) Use distilled water + soap

When white vinegar is scare in the house, feel free to use distilled water plus soap, according to a guide from Panasonic. Make sure to check the manual first for any warnings against the use of soap. If there isn’t, proceed with the steps from above, but substitute the vinegar solution with water and tiny amount of mild liquid dish soap.

4) Use distilled water + isopropyl alcohol

Another decent alternative for a streak free cleaning is to use distilled water plus isopropyl alcohol. To create the solution, dilute isopropyl alcohol (rubber alcohol; make sure it’s isopropyl alcohol and nothing else), in a 1:1 solution with water. Use this solution the same way as outlined above.

5) Use a professional cleaning kit

Finally, saving the best for the last, is to use a professional cleaning kit meant for TV or PC screens. That’s the best way to get an almost streak free panel as these are usually treated with chemicals that specifically work for that. Some professional cleaning kits come in liquid forms (likle this, ), while other come in pre-moistened wipes that really do a good job at cleaning without streaks while also providing anti-static properties on the panel which cause it to resists fibers and dust from accumulating on the surface of the cleaned screen.