Kellye Fox | 

How to Clean a TV Screen Safely

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Are you ready to give your TV screen some TLC? Whether you’re getting ready for your regular deep clean or want to make it sparkling to watch the next big game, I’ve got you covered with tips for a thorough clean. Let’s face it, flat screen TVs are a pretty big investment, so keeping it clean and dust-free is a smart move to keep it looking as good as new. So let’s get to it!

Our cleaning tips apply to today’s most common TV screens, including LCD, plasma, LED, and OLEDs. All of these styles have similar technologies and builds, so they can share the same cleaning methods. These models have delicate screens, but it’s important to clean them to avoid a buildup of dust, fingerprints, and smudges. If you’re unsure of your TV’s model, refer to your owner’s manual for care and cleaning instructions.

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What is the best way to clean a flat screen TV?

Someone holding a microfiber cloth, getting ready to clean their TV

To clean a flat screen TV without ruining it, always use a dry, antistatic, lint-free microfiber cloth. This is the same type of cloth you’d use to clean your eyeglasses. After you turn off the TV and let it cool, use the cloth to wipe the TV gently, applying little pressure.

Avoid abrasive cloths like sponges, paper towels, tissue, baby wipes, or wash cloths. Even pretreated dusting cloths are a no-no. The rough fibers in those items can scratch the display. Wipe in even strokes either horizontally or vertically to avoid streaks. Be sure to wipe the TV’s edge and ports, too.

After cleaning your flat screen, pay attention to the cable box and remote controls. The cable box can be wiped with a microfiber cloth (definitely no spray), while a disinfectant wipe can be used to kill germs on your remote control.

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Clean stubborn smears off a TV screen with a diluted solution of Dawn.

Someone using Dawn dish soap diluted in water to get a smear off of their TV with the bottle of dawn and a glass of water on the TV stand

Another good reason to turn off the TV screen is so you can spot all of those smudges and fingerprints. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with distilled water to remove any smudges. For stubborn stains, dilute dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) and distilled water, then apply a small amount to a microfiber cloth. Wipe gently to remove the stain.


Do not use chemical sprays to clean your TV.

The only household product you need to clean your flatscreen TV is a dry, dust-free microfiber cloth. Avoid harsh chemical sprays, and definitely don’t spend your money on those “special” monitor cleaners.

Related: 10 Best Cleaning Products for Your Home & Car, All Under $3


That means Windex is a no-go on your flat screen TV as well.

Someone holding a bottle of Windex in front of their TV

No, you shouldn’t spray Windex on your flat screen TV. In fact, you shouldn’t spray anything directly onto the screen. If you have an old glass tube TV, it’s OK to use Windex, but modern styles have very sensitive screens. The Windex ingredients — namely ammonia and alcohol — can damage the display and seep into the screen’s layers. And the same goes for any wet disinfecting wipes.

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