Here’s The Right Way To Clean Your Flat Screen TV Display Or Monitor
When it comes to cleaning flat screen televisions and monitors, most of which are LCD displays, a gentle touch and some extra care is called for.
Older and bulkier CRT screens, the kind used in large “tube” monitors and TVs, are glass and can be cleaned in pretty much the same way as you would any other glass in your home or office.
Flat screen and touch displays, however, are much more sensitive and can easily be damaged during cleaning. Antiglare coatings can be scratched, and rub too hard and you can burnout pixels .
Here’s The Right Way To Clean Your Flat Screen Television Or Other Display
Tim Fisher has more than 30 years’ of professional technology experience. He’s been writing about tech for more than two decades and serves as the VP and General Manager of Lifewire.
Flat screen televisions and;monitors, most of which are LCD , as well as touchscreen devices of all kinds, require special attention when cleaning.
Older CRT screens, the kind used in large “tube” monitors and TVs, are glass and can be cleaned in pretty much the same way as you would any other glass in your home or office.
Flat screen and touch displays, however, are much more sensitive and can be easily scratched and damaged during cleaning. The same applies to your laptop or tablet screen, and often, too, to the screen on your smartphone or eBook reader.
Plasma TVs are glass, as are many touchscreens, but often also have very sensitive anti-glare coatings applied. I recommend taking the same special care with those types of displays.
Follow the easy steps below to safely clean your flat screen monitor, TV, laptop screen, or other device in just a few minutes.
This information applies to televisions from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.
Tips & More Information
Avoid using paper towels, toilet paper, tissue paper, rags, or something like your shirt to wipe the screen. These non-ultrasoft materials can scratch the display.
Avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia , ethyl alcohol , toluene , as well as acetone or ethyl acetate .
These chemicals can react with the materials that the flat screen is made of or coated with, which could permanently discolor the screen or cause other kinds of damage.
Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. It could leak into the device and cause damage. Be sure to always put the cleaning solution directly onto the;cloth;and then wipe from there.
These same cleaning “rules” apply no matter if your TV is 8K, 4K, or 1080p . Those differences don’t mean the display is necessarily made out of anything different, requiring different cleaning, it’s just a measure of how many pixels per inch they shoved in the same space.
Want to buy your own cleaning products to clean your TV screen and other electronics? See our Best Tech Cleaning Products list for some of our favorite picks.
If you’re cleaning your TV because it appears dirty, but then find that the screen is actually physically damaged, you might be ready for a new HDTV. See our Best TVs to Buy list for our top suggestions, or this Best Cheap TVs list for some budget-friendly HDTVs.
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Tips For Cleaning Your TV Or Laptop Screen Safely
A couple of months ago, I decided that my TV screen, a 55″ Vizio E-Series flat screen, needed some maintenance. I play a lot of video games, and it was slightly unsettling to chase players down in with these great swaths of dust littering my field of vision. Seriously, it was like watching a battle take place inside an Australian dust storm. When I had finally had enough , I took it upon myself to grab a can of pledge and a paper towel and wipe my bad gameplay away.
Now, Im left with what appears to be permanent streaks across my television, giving the appearance that there are giant gray clouds in every scene. This doesnt only affect my game play, it also gives my movie and television-based web surfing a dull sheen that wasnt there before. I paid a lot for that TVand my laziness in researching a proper way to clean it has resulted in a significant sadness in my day. Is there a dumb emoji? Something like a smiling yellow face with a giant question mark where its brain would be? Please make me a t-shirt of that and send it to me.
So I went to the one source who knows cleaning better than anyone else. My bubbeleh. And she promptly told me to stop playing so many games and grow up a little. Not a lot of help. I then went to the experts at B&H Photos SuperStore, who were a little more helpful and a lot less judgmental, and heres what they told me:
Start With A Dry Soft Cloth
Screens can scratch easily, and even paper towels or tissues contain fibers that can do damage. Your best bet is to use a soft, anti-static microfiber cloththe kind used to clean eyeglasses and camera lensesand wipe in a circular motion, says John Walsh, who cleans more than 250 TVs a year in his role as a CR photographer. Gently wipe the screen with a dry cloth to remove dust and other debris, but dont press too hard, he says.
You may also want to wipe down the TVs cabinet, and make sure dust isnt clogging the vents that help dissipate heat. If the TV is on a stand and not tethered to the wall, Walsh suggests cleaning with one hand while supporting the TV with the other to prevent the set from tipping over. However, CR strongly recommends anchoring all stand-mounted TVs using anti-tipping straps designed for this purpose.
If there are hard-to-remove stains, you can dampen the cloth slightly with distilled water, and gently clean the screen. Dont spray water directly onto the screen, which could cause a shock or component failure if it seeps into the inner workings of the set.
For the most stubborn stains, you can try using a solution of very mild dish soap highly diluted with water, once again applied to the cloth and not to the TV itself. LCD screens, in particular, are very sensitive to pressure and can scratch easily, so dont press too hard.
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Can’t See The Movie Here’s How You Clean A Flat Screen TV
If your TV is dirty, you can clean it to improve the picture. Here’s how to clean a flat screen TV safely and effectively.
Over time, your TV gets dirty. It might be dust and hair, greasy finger marks, splashes from coughs and sneezes, or worse. At first you may not notice the dirt, but as it coagulates and builds, you could be left thinking that your TV picture has got worse.
Cleaning your flat screen TV is increasingly important in an era of heightened hygiene. Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean TVs and monitors.
How To Clean A Flat Screen TV Or Computer Monitor
Turn off the device. If the screen is dark, it will be easier to see the areas that are dirty or oily. Turning the device off also prevents you from accidentally pushing buttons you don’t actually want to push, which happens a lot when cleaning touchscreen devices like tablets, iPads, etc.
Use a dry, soft cloth and very gently wipe the screen with a;microfiber cloth or;dry eraser, both equally fantastic choices.
If the dry cloth did not completely remove the dirt or oil, do not press harder in an attempt to scrub it off. Pushing directly on the screen can often cause pixels to burn out, especially on laptop displays, desktop monitors, and LCD/LED TV screens.
This isn’t so much an issue on screens designed to be touched, like phones and tablets, but be careful nonetheless.
If necessary, dampen the cloth with distilled water or with an equal ratio of distilled water to white vinegar.;Many companies also sell small spray bottles of special cleaner for flat screens.;
The plastic edge that surrounds the screen can be cleaned with any multipurpose cleaner but take care to avoid contact with the screen itself.
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Dont Spray Directly On The Screen
This one was tough to learn, and I learned the hard way. Cleaning solutions, even water, will run down the screen and into the bezels, giving them access to the inside of the monitor or TV. If youre quick, you could catch it before it does further damage, but its a good practice to simply wet the cloth you are using and wipe the screen down instead of directly applying solvent or liquid. This is especially true with laptop screens.
How To Properly Clean A TV Screen
Not all TV screens are created equal. Some are screens made of thick glass, especially with older models like tube TVs. Others are made of more fragile materials, which can easily be damaged if you clean them the wrong way. Using Windex or other harsh cleaning agents can do irreparable damage to most flat-screen TVs. Heres how to clean your TV without damaging it.
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Clean Your Remote Control
As for the remote control, take off the batteries and substitute the cover on the battery section. After, gently take off the buttons and put them on the table then remove any scraps or trash stuck inside. Next, take a pre-moistened disinfecting wipe, twist it strongly so it does not drip and clean both sides of the remote.
Be extra careful to the buttons and small spaces around them. You can use a toothpick with the wipe to extract any stuck dirt. Last but not least, let the remote control to dry, and put back the batteries.
Why Is Tap Water Bad For Cleaning A Flat Screen TV
Tap water can work well for cleaning your flat screen TV, but it has a few disadvantages. It is known to leave streaks and will not provide some anti-static protection for your screen. Other mixtures weve recommended thus far or distilled water will give your screen some anti-static properties, which means that it will be harder for dust and fiber to gather on the screen after youve cleaned it.
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Microfiber Cloth + Electronics Cleaner
So what do you do when a dry cloth just isnt cutting it? Add a little moisture. Whatever you do, DO NOT reach for Windex to banish the dust and errant fingerprints, though. Yes, this popular cleaning product does a bang-up job of getting glass surfaces squeaky clean, but its formula, which contains both alcohol and ammonia, is too harsh for the special coating of a flat-screen TV.;
There are, however, cleaning products that are specially formulated for use on TV screens , and the folks at ACI say those are your best bet. When using a cleaning product for electronics, follow the instructions on the label closely and never spray the product directly onto the TV screen. Other than that, the same technique described above applies to moistened microfiber cloths as well: circular motions and minimal pressure.
Top-rated TV screen cleaners :
Cleaning Plasma Backlit Led Screens Made With Lcd Pixels And Oled Television Screens
- Turn off your screen and allow it to cool before you clean it. Having the screen off makes it easier to see the smudges in the daylight.
- Remove dust with a dry microfiber cloth. Wipe around all edges of the screen too, because dust buildup on ports and speakers can negatively affect performance over time.
- Mist a formulated cleaning spray onto a clean microfiber cloth; you can opt for store-bought or try an easy DIY solution, such as 1:1 parts of white vinegar and distilled water, or 1:4 parts distilled water to 70% isopropyl alcohol. These formulas may dry at different rates, so be sure that you dont oversaturate your cloth.
- Avoid cleaners with ammonia, acetone or higher concentrations of alcohol as they can be too harsh.
- Wipe the surface thoroughly so that no moisture is allowed to remain on the surface. Avoid any saturation into the edges of the screen.
- Allow the screen to air dry.
- If any residual streaks remain, a dry edge of a clean, dust-free microfiber cloth will also help to buff them away.
- Next time you touch the screen or notice a streak, buff it away with a clean microfiber cloth before it becomes a magnet for dust.
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Cleaning Tough Stains Off A Flat Screen TV
Sometimes a TV has a little more on it than dust and fingerprints, especially if you have children. Mild dish soap is a safe way for cleaning a flat screen TV to remove tough stains without causing streaks.
- Microfiber towel
Fill a bowl with warm distilled water, add a drop or two of mild dish soap, and mix the water with your fingers. Dunk the corner of a soft cloth into the solution without saturating the material.
Rub the dampened cloth with a gentle motion on the TV screen, paying particular attention to the extra dirty areas. Dry the screen well using a soft, microfiber towel.
How To Clean A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks
Televisions are the center of entertainment in most homes, so we tend to take good care of them. However, cleaning the screen is always a head-scratcher as its often a coin toss on whether youll have streaks across the flat screen or not. What can you do about this universal problem?
To clean a flat screen TV without streaks, you need to avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products and go with distilled water or a 50/50 solution of vinegar and tap water. The cleaning agent should ideally go on a microfiber cloth for the best result.
Using anything you can find to clean your TV screen is a sure way to generate random results. This article will cover everything you need to know about getting a streak-free result every time.
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The Best Way To Clean A TV Screen
The best way to clean a TV screen is to start with a dry cleaning method. Dont forget, keep all hands off the TV screen as the less you touch your TV screen, the better. Follow the steps below and you should be able to get rid of most dirt and grime without worrying about damage to your flat screen.
If cleaning your TV with a dry microfiber cloth still leaves smudges, dirt, and fingerprints, youre going to need more cleaning muscle. Keep reading to find out what to clean a TV screen with to get rid of tough dust and dirt.
Check Out Your Owners Manual
As a general disclaimer, its;always;best to check out the owners manual that came with your TV before you begin any type of cleaning. This manual should have a specific section on cleaning and wiping down the screen properly. Any instructions or warnings provided from your television manufacturer should take precedence over any of the instructions included here, as all models of TV can vary.
If you cant locate your owners manual, a quick Google search of your TVs brand and model number should help you find a copy.
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What Should I Avoid When Cleaning A Flat
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 doesnt 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 wont 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.
Can I Use Vinegar And Water To Clean My Flat Screen TV
Vinegar and water can make a really good solution for cleaning. To make it even better, you can add a little bit of dish soap. Soak a piece of cloth in the solution preferable a microfiber cloth.
Then wipe the screen from one end to the other in one direction.
Make a solution of equal parts water and vinegar . Dampen a cloth in the solution and gently wipe the screen. Again, rubbing and scrubbing will damage the screen.
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