How To Clean A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

I own the 2020 CX OLED TV from LG. Since I bought it, I found out that cleaning a flat screen TV can be tricky – especially if you don’t want to leave any streaks behind. In this article, I will discuss the best ways to clean your flat screen TV without streaks, from my own experience of looking after my LG OLED!

How Do You Clean a Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

The television screen is dusty, so your initial instinct might be to grab a paper towel and some kind of cleaner. But wait. Will a liquid cleaner damage the screen? After all, it is an electric device, and the screen itself is far thinner and more delicate than the televisions of old. So what is the best way to clean a flat screen TV without streaks?

Invest in a screen cloth. This is a special cloth designed to be used to remove dust and light smudges from a glass screen. It’s very similar to the soft cloth packaged with sunglasses, only larger. When buying a cloth, look in the electronics section of your grocery store and purchase an anti-static microfiber cloth. 

With this cloth, gently wipe the dirt and smudges off using a circular motion. You don’t need to apply any pressure. LCD screens specifically can damage easily, so be gentle as you wipe. This should take care of all the basic dust and smudges on your flat screen TV.

What Household Products Can You Use To Clean The TV

What happens if you’re in need of cleaning your television right away and you don’t have an anti-static microfiber cloth on hand? Or what if there are thicker smudges on the screen (which is common if you have small children) and the microfiber cloth isn’t cutting it? There are fallback options as well as cleaning solutions you can use at home. 

If you simply need to replace the anti-static microfiber cloth and you do have a cloth made for sunglasses or a camera lens, this will work just fine. It might be smaller, so it’ll take a few extra moments to clean the screen, but in the end it will still ensure you have a clean screen. 

Should you not have any kind of lens cleaning clothes on hand, you can use a soft cloth, such as a t-shirt, or even a sock, to clean the screen. Avoid using a t-shirt that has anything screen-printed on it and avoid the seems. You want a gentle fabric that is rough. A dry paper towel doesn’t work all that well either, as it will mostly smear the dust around. 

On the other hand, if you have a stubborn smudge on the screen you will need help from a cleaning solution. There are screen solutions out there available for purchase from electronic stores. You can buy these products to have on hand if you’d like, but these cleaning solutions are mostly overpriced, and you can make it at home with cleaning products you likely already have on hand. 

Using distilled water may be enough. Dab a clean cloth into the water (squeeze out any excess water from the cloth) and again wipe the cloth over the smudge in a circular motion. Never apply the liquid directly to the screen. The damp cloth allows you to control the amount of moisture you’re applying onto the screen. 

Should this still fail to remove the smudge (if a greasy finger touches a TV screen you may need something a bit stronger than distilled water), use a combination of mild dish soap and distilled water. You don’t need much soap here. A ratio of 10 parts water and 1 part mild dish soap will be fine. Again, ring out any excess water from your damp cloth and clean in a circular motion. Remember to maintain a gentle touch while cleaning.  

One of the best ways to keep your television screen free of dust is to keep the surrounding area free of dust. This means regularly cleaning your entertainment center, TV cabinet, stand, or anything else around the television dust free. You’ll also want to regularly vacuum the floor and even mop to prevent any kind of buildup of dust. Changing the filter in your HVAC equipment can help reduce dust in the air as well. By limiting the amount of dust in a given room, you’ll cut down on how often you need to clean off the flat screen TV.

What is the Safest Thing to Clean a Flat Screen TV With?

Cleaning off your flat screen TV is simple and easy to do. Whenever buying a new television, it is a smart idea to invest in an anti-static microfiber cloth to have on hand. Anti-static is important because any kind of static electricity that might jump from your finger to the TV can completely destroy the delicate inner workings of your television. It’s best to wear shoes with rubber soles while cleaning the television as this will reduce the chance of building up static electricity (especially if you have carpeting). You should also touch something metal right before touching the TV screen, as this will ensure you don’t accidently send a static charge into the TV.

The mild dish soap works wonders when you have a difficult smudge. Mild soaps used for babies can also work well in this instance. These are the best options for cleaning your TV screen. However, there are a host of household cleaners you’ll want to avoid. 

You might be tempted to break out the window cleaner for use on the TV screen. Do not do this. Window cleaners often include ammonia or alcohol. These kinds of chemicals can damage the screen. Likewise, you don’t want to use a vinegar-based cleaning solution, as the acidity of the vinegar can damage the screen as well. While you are at it, avoid any kind of cleaning solution with acetone as well. Distilled water and mild soap is all you need to get the job done. 

When selecting a cleaning cloth, you want to skip clothes that are heavily textured or stiff. Don’t use dusting or moping pads that come with a pre-soaked liquid. You want to be able to control exactly the kind of soap and liquid used when cleaning a television screen. 

Your best bet is to always consult with the user manual of your television. Your manual will have very specific cleaning instructions. Some kinds of flat screen televisions are also more durable. For example, a plasma TV often has an additional coating applied to the screen which is designed to reduce light glare. This added coating makes the screen stronger and less susceptible to damage. However, many of the latest LED /OLED/QLED screens are extremely thin and can sustain damage from anything more than a light touch. Always be gentle when cleaning off your TV screen.

It’s That Simple

And that’s it. Cleaning your flat screen television doesn’t need to be difficult or costly. Just keep that screen cloth on hand and you’ll be able to wipe any screen clean in your house, all without worrying about possibly damaging your TV.

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and tech blogger, with a love for video games, gadgets, home entertainment and personal technology. I've been writing about the industry now for over 10 years - first as an editor of various magazines before branching out to work on my own blog. I like to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, I can be found playing tennis or padel. This blog is my space to explore new topics related to these hobbies; as well as share some thoughts about life in general (sometimes you need a break from electronics!). 😎

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