A squeaky clean TV screen is best achieved using the guidelines, products and instructions provided by the manufacturer for that particular model or product.
Some manufacturers like Samsung simply package in a microfiber cloth for wiping off the screen and that’s all, but if you’re the type with playful kids that love to incorporate the TV as part of their regular playing toys, you want to consider other options besides a microfiber cloth as you’ll definitely end up with waves of set-in smudge spatter all over the TV screen. We have 3 more outlined below.
If you’re not here for the TV screen only, and want to learn how to properly clean the plastic exterior as well as the remote control, don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered. There’s a detailed tutorial at the end of the article that explains exactly how to do so.
What to clean TV screen with?
- A dry, lint-free microfibre cloth.
- A microfibre cloth dampened with plain water or water plus mild liquid dish soap.
- A microfibre cloth dampened with a solution containing one teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol to a bowl of water.
- A cleaning kit specially meant for cleaning TV screens.
1) A dry soft cloth
When it comes to cleaning television screen, a dry microfiber cloth (like the small-cut cloth meant for cleaning your eyeglasses, smartphones screens or camera lenses) is the safest bet.
That’s because; one, you’re not using any liquid cleanser or solution that can cause possible damage to any pixel on the screen or even lead to a deadly shock hazard, and two; because it’s mostly lint-free, meaning it doesn’t give off any fluff which can build up charge and cause damage to the monitor or flat screen.
Being lint-free also has the added advantage of not leaving lint or scratches behind which is great for anyone that is easily triggered by them, like me.
Going soft, dry and liquid free is especially useful when you don’t have access to the owner’s manual of your television and are thus, not sure what solution should work best for your television screen and what shouldn’t.
It’s totally universal and you can safely apply it to all types and brands of televisions, from Sony’s cathode ray-set to LCD and plasma televisions made by Samsung.
But despite all the good, there’s actually one perk tied with this method and that’s the fact that it doesn’t work well with TV’s that have so many grimes, gunk and stubborn stains spattered all across the screen. (In homes with active kids, you can bet to find Nutella cocoa spread used all over the screen — Lord, thank you for the blessing).
And that’s because it lacks any wetness or dampness that creates a drag to pull off any set in elements along with it. So in any case you fall into this category, you want to consider using other alternatives on this list.
Here’s how to properly clean a television screen using a dry microfiber cloth.
- Unplug the television and any other auxiliary devices connected to it such as DVD players and cable boxes from the power source. This really isn’t a necessity when going dry, but it’s nevertheless a good practice to get used to when dealing with electronics. Besides, it can help you catch those hidden smudges that the moving pictures of a powered on television would have otherwise concealed.
- Use a clean and particle free microfiber cloth to gently wipe the screen of the television in one direction, starting from the top of the display to the bottom in a vertical or horizontal fashion. It’s very important that you go very gently especially with LCD, LED and OLED which are very sensitive and can end up having a damaged picture from a burnt-out pixel resulting from the application of too much pressure.
- Ensure to clean TV screen on a weekly basis to prevent grime, dust and dirt accumulation which isn’t only aesthetically unpleasing, but can also affect the performance of the television on the long run.
2) Soft microfiber cloth + water (and soap)
This method is second to the first, although it’s very effective at removing stubborn stains that are normally left intact when using a dry cloth.
For this method, spray or dampen a soft cloth with water, make sure it’s not dripping, and use this to wipe (super gently) all over the screen and also at the stains until they come off.
If you’re getting water droplets from cleaning, you’re using too much water and pressure and you have to reduce!
You can add soap to the water solution for an even more effective cleansing. To do that, use 1 part mild liquid dish soap diluted by 100 times the amount of water.
Also, if you happen to have any pre-moistened wipe meant to be used on electronic screens, you can use that instead as it’s more effective at removing grimes, dusts, fingerprints, dirt, and most importantly, cleaning streaks than anything else. But make sure it’s the right type of wipe and not just any type!
When you’re done with the wet session, you want to follow up with a dry lint-free cloth like cotton cloth or flannel to carefully dry the screen.
Make sure to not use a dirty cloth which can contain particles that can end up scratching the surface of the screen. When you’re done, ensure you wait for any moistness to dry completely before plugging back the TV and other components.
3) Soft cloth + spray of liquid TV cleansers recommended by Manufacturer
If your manufacturer recommend using a particular solution, you want to use it the same way you used spray water earlier i.e. to dampen a little portion of the cloth so it isn’t dripping wet, and then use it to wipe the surface of the TV screen in one direction. That’ll reduce the formation of streaks.
One general solution that seems to work for every type of television screen is one containing less than 50% isopropyl alcohol and as much percentage of water that makes up a hundred percent.
This serves as a reliable LCD, OLED snd LED cleanser and also as a disinfectant which is especially useful during this Covid-19 pandemic.
If you want a more direct recipe, then use one teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol (most rubbing alcohol contain that), to a bowl of water which will create a perfect cleaning solution.
Make sure to check the bottle and verify that you’re using isopropyl alcohol and not an ether alcohol or ethanol which aren’t suitable for flat screen televisions, although they may prove fair game for cathode-ray sets.
Further, when using any pre-made solution or cleaner, not just the homemade isopropyl alcohol plus water, make sure to avoid spraying directly on the screen which is an easy way to get moistness into places where they are not supposed to be i.e. inner electrical components behind the screen. If you don’t already know what that spells, it’s damage and a possible shock.
When you’re done cleaning, let the television dry for at least 5 minutes before plugging and turning on.
4) Use a cleaning product or kit targeted at your flat screen TV
If you preferred to go professional and have the cash to back up that decision, then go ahead and purchase specific cleaning kits recommended for the for your type of TV you have. Use according to the instructions provided.
What not to clean your television screens with
1) Fibrous or abrasive cloths
I’ve been exaggerating the use of microfiber cloth in the earlier section, but it’s for a reason. Fibrous cloths like wood based papers i.e. tissue or toilet paper and paper towels are just too harsh for delicate flat screen.
That’s because they create ruffled surfaces which can end up leaving ugly scratches that can affect your viewing experience, although on a cathode television screen, they may prove perfectly fine. So you want to stick with using soft cotton cloth or microfiber that have been proven safe.
Additionally, abrasive cloths like leather or fabric are also not soft enough to be used on a screen.
2) Window cleaners
Window cleaners are harsh for delicate things like your flat screen TV. They mostly include chemicals like acetone, ammonia or ether alcohol that can easily strip the anti-glare coatings from screens (flat screen TV’s) and leave damages on the.
Not only that, some of them like ammonia can cause streaks and films after cleaning which can easily attract dust and moisture and get dirty. A TV screen is no window you can rise with water to rid off streaks!
For cathode ray tubes, you can safely use window or glass cleaners on the since the outer screen is primarily glass. Make sure to follow the above approach carefully and not spray directly on the screen.
3) Abrasive cleaners, all-purpose cleaners or regular household cleaners
Chlorine-based cleaners such as bleach, peroxides, and solvents like paint thinner, benzene, methylene chloride or toluene are all no good for your flats screen television and cathode-ray sets. They can interact with the coatings and special materials on the screens and cause damage.
How to clean other parts of a television
Clean other parts of the television using a soft cloth or cotton swab dampened with water or cleaning solution. Use compressed air to dislodge any dust and dirt present in the holes vents at the back of the television or on a cord, and make sure you’re cleaning the screen first before any exterior component, especially when planning on using the same cloth.
When cleaning cords, make sure to avoid leaking moisture inside the holes which can stand and end up causing a deadly shock when it’s time to power up. Dry very well before plugging.
How to clean TV remote
First, pop out the batteries and then put the cover back. Tap on the remote with button side down to remove any loose dusts and crumbs stuck around the buttons.
You can use a toothpick or office pin to carefully follow round the button to loosen stuck particle, and then turning and tapping from behind to let the fall preferable over a dust bin.
Next, use a friendly disinfectant or a solution of isopropyl and water as outlined above and dampen a soft cloth. Use it to gently clean all over the remote including the buttons, and then let sit to completely dry. Replace the batteries and you’re good to go.