How to clean a flat-screen TV

Plasma, LED and LCD TV screens are extremely delicate. They are continuously exposed to dirtiness, dust, fingerprint smudges and many more. When it comes to cleaning our first thought could be to take a wet cloth and clean them as we used to clean our old TV sets with glass screens. But this could lead to a terrible disaster.

To start on how to clean a flat-screen TV we have to consider that these modern TVs are very different from its predecessors that you used to clean with just a duster or a damp cloth. We cannot assume that it is OK to apply the same cleaning routines that we used to with these cutting edge technology entertainment devices. Most of them are made of liquid crystal and some other materials which require special care for its delicate and fragile composition and maybe ruined easily without the proper care. They have very sensitive anti-glare filters and some of them are tactile and any mishandle could damage a tiny pixel or the entire device.

It does not matter if your flat TV is new or an old model. They represent a high money investment so here there is some important information you should know about how to clean your flat TV, keep it shiny and preserve its delicate structure.

It is always good to read the manufacturers’ instructions because they may suggest the best method according to the product’s characteristics or a special product. Although this sometimes may be very expensive or difficult to get. We expect that after reading this article you will feel confident enough to clean your flat screen TV all by yourself and become an expert at it.

How to clean a flat-screen TV: getting started

The first thing you should do is to turn off the device. Let it cool for a few minutes, touch it to make sure its temperature went down before unplugging. With this, you will avoid unnecessary risks and will be able to see easily any fingerprint smudges, stain or dirtiness on the screen.

What can you use to clean a flat-screen TV?

The most advisable procedure for every device should be clearly explained in the manufacturer’s manual. If so, follow it because every brand may need different care and this can assure you the best results. If not, as a general rule you can use a dry microfiber cloth or another ultra-soft cloth (some brands may include their own) that does not leave any fluff.

As a basic first step, you must take the dry cloth or duster and pass it over the screen with gentle vertical or horizontal moves to remove any dust particle of your flat-screen TV. You should do this at least every week to avoid dust accumulation in every part of the device.

What to do when there are stains or fingerprints on the screen

The previous step should be enough in most cases to keep you flat screen clean. However, if you notice that after doing it there are marks or stronger stains, we suggest a quick cleaning solution that can help you remove them without damaging your modern TV. For this, you will need to prepare a quick cleaning solution with easy-to-get materials:

  • Two small microfiber cloths or another ultra-soft cloth (some brands include their own when you buy the product)
  • Clean water
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Measuring cup, shut or juice glass
  • Q-tips (optional for narrow spaces and cracks)


Using the measuring cup, a shot glass or a juice glass, you must measure equal parts of water and isopropyl alcohol. The exact amount of solutions will depend on the size of the cloth you have. Most times half a cup of each could do just fine to soak a small cloth. Make sure you do not add more alcohol than water or this can damage the screen and any other parts of the TV.

Cleaning your Flat TV screen

Now, it is the time to dip your cloth into the solution and then twist it to remove the excess liquid (the cloth should be damp but not wet). Then, wipe the screen with the cloth making gentle moves (preferably horizontal or vertical moves) all over its surface. If you still notice a stain or a fingerprint smudge concentrate on those areas until the stain is removed but without pressing hard on the surface. You can soak the cloth once more but remember to remove the excess of the cleaning solution.

To finish, you must then use the dry cloth and pass it over the screen, make sure you remove any excess of the solution from its surface.

What to do if even with the previous solution the stain remains there

If you notice any stain that was not removed by the previous solution you can prepare another different mix of equal amounts of water and vinegar and focus again on the hardest stains.

What NOT to do

  • Remember that you can never spray any product directly on the screen. Instead, apply the product first on the cloth and with this to the screen.
  • Never press the cloth or any other object strongly against the screen.
  • Always avoid using ammonia, acetone, detergent, window cleaner, chloride, scouring powder or any cleanser that contains these, paint thinner or any other aggressive substance to clean your flat screen TV because it may ruin it completely.
  • Also, you should not use any type of abrasive pads or cleaning towels because they can leave scratches or strips on the anti-glare coating. This could cause permanent damage to the surface of the screen.
  • Do not let babies touch the screen or your pets and their paws.

If after reading all these tips you still feel a bit insecure, you can always go to your favorite computer/office supplies store and buy a specialized cleaning product. However, remember to check at the back of the product for any of the previous ingredients before buying it.

And finally, wash the clothes you use for the next cleaning session so you do not risk using them with any unwashed particle that could damage your flat-screen TV.

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Edwin Roberts

Edwin is a certified design and home interior specialist. He also has extensive personal experience in home improvement and housekeeping.

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