How to Clean Your Television Screen

Is you television’s screen so caked with dust, dirt, and smudges that it’s become black and white? What are you waiting for, it’s easy to clean and it should only take a couple minutes. Here’s how:

The process for cleaning your TV screen will depend on the type of TV screen you have. Just read the section that applies to yours and follow the instructions. All types of TVs require a cloth for cleaning. This cloth can be a handkerchief, an old t-shirt or a microfiber cloth specifically for wiping screens. Do not use a kitchen towel, paper towel or tissue, as it can scratch your screen and leave behind a trail of fuzz.

Be sure to turn your TV off and unplug it before cleaning the screen, or any other part of it, for that matter. This is safer of course since you won’t shock yourself, and it will make it easier to see any dirt, dust and fingerprints. Also, check the manual that came with your TV before you begin cleaning the screen. The manual may provide specific instructions – or warnings – for your model.

Cleaning LCD TVs

A good solution to use for cleaning LCD screens is one of two parts isopropyl alcohol and two parts water or two parts regular vinegar and two parts water. Always use distilled water instead of water from the sink since it doesn’t have any minerals or additives in it that can end up on your screen. The water should be at room temperature.

Note: Try using just the distilled water by itself to clean the screen first before spending the time mixing the solution.

Prepare about two cups of the water and the vinegar or alcohol in a mixing bowl (or more, depending on your screen’s size). Stir the solution with a spoon until it is uniform. Alternately, you can pour the solution into a spray bottle and just shake it up. Then, dip your cloth in the bowl and saturate it or spray the cloth with the mixture from the bottle.

Wring the cloth out thoroughly. Then wipe the screen gently with the cloth without touching the screen with your hands. Use too much pressure and you could damage your screen. Move the cloth across the screen from left to right and top to bottom to help ensure that you don’t miss any spots. Spend extra time rubbing any heavily soiled spots but don’t use extra pressure. Once you’ve gotten through the whole screen clean, let it air dry before you plug the TV back in.

If your screen is seriously dirty or it has something besides dust on it, like marker or crayon, you may want to purchase an LCD screen cleaning kit. These are available at most electronics stores.

Cleaning Plasma TVs

The safest way to clean a plasma screen without the risk of damaging it is to use nothing to clean it, as in no cleaning solution whatsoever. Just wipe the screen gently with the cloth, using the same side to side method you would for an LCD TV. Use as little pressure as possible. If this doesn’t work, get the cloth slightly damp with lukewarm distilled water and try wiping it again.

If the screen still isn’t clean, you can try a plasma screen cleaning kit. Some are better than others, so use discretion when purchasing one. Ask for a recommendation at your local electronics store or call your TV’s manufacturer for advice.

Cleaning Rear Projection TVs

The screen of a projection TV is a little harder to figure out, since there are two types: those with a screen shield and those without. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference. Shielded TVs will have a hard and smooth screen feel since they are covered in a layer of plastic, and those without a shield will have a softer, bumpier screen feel. You may be able to tell just by looking at the screen. If not, touch it lightly.

If your TV does have a screen shield, you can clean it by following the directions above for plasma TVs. If not, you will have to buy a cleaning kit made specifically for this type of TV. Again, consult the manual and head to the electronics store.

Cleaning CRTs (Tube TVs)

TVs with glass screens are by far the least complicated to clean, especially if they do not have any special coating on them. Most older TVs do not. If you’re not sure, check your manual.

If your TV has no special coating on it, you can dip you simply spray your cloth with a glass cleaner, such as Windex. Be sure to put the glass cleaner on the cloth as opposed to applying it to the screen directly so there is no opportunity for it to drip where it’s not wanted.

If your TV does have a protective coating, the Windex could damage it. Use only distilled water or a special cleaner designed for electronics.

Since glass TV screens are also prone to static, give the screen a quick swipe with a fabric softener sheet after you’ve cleaned it to help discourage new dust or hair from sticking to it. A used dryer sheet is better to use than a fresh one because most of the fragrance will have been washed off. Therefore it won’t leave any residue on the screen.

Keeping your TV clean

There’s not much you can do to prevent your TV from getting dust on it. It is pretty much a part of life. However, you can prevent your screen from getting a heavy buildup of dust by giving it a light cleaning about once a week.

Comments

  1. Hectic says:

    Compressed air, CO2.

  2. Sherry says:

    On CRTs, a vinegar and water solution on a damp cloth is good. So is rubbing alcohol on newspaper. Newspaper does not smudge!

  3. Loveskinobay1 says:

    My grandson found some nail polish and put some on my plasma TV screen. What is a safe way to get it off?

  4. Stephen says:

    On the woodwork around my electronics (TV, DVD, Receiver) I am finding a black residue that can’t be washed away? This is the only area of the room that this is happening (semi gloss white painted wood walls).

    The black residue is concentrated on the wood around the TV Set. I have tried Windex, as well as Spic and Span with orange oil). It will not come off! Has anyone else had this problem and found a resolution?

    Help, please!

  5. Tony says:

    Pledge brand furniture cleaner hasn’t been mentioned here yet. Spray it on a cloth before applying it to electronics.

  6. Rowanne says:

    Try spraying a little leave in conditioner on the screen and clean with circular motions with a soft cloth or glasses cleaning cloth.

  7. Danny says:

    Put all that stuff in the trash can; you already have the best thing for it in the medicine cabinet: mouth wash. Try it; see if I am wrong.

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