A clean LED or LCD TV screen makes watching TV much more enjoyable. It’s also one bit of home care we often overlook. And, finding the best way to keep its screen clean without harming the surface can be tricky if you’re not careful. We have some advice on how to clean a flat screen TV without streaks – as well as some things to avoid.
Regular maintenance is the key to TV cleaning
To keep a flat screen TV clean, always check your TV manufacturer’s advice and specifications first.
Then, go over it regularly with a microfiber cloth to keep it clean and dust-free. When something more powerful is needed, don’t reach for Windex or other chemicals. Use a gentle, homemade mixture of water and gentle dish soap.
Keeping your flat screen TV clean is also one of the best ways to lengthen its lifespan. Preventing dust build-up on the surface will keep it from getting into the cracks and damaging the TV’s internal hardware as well. Dirt and grime that makes its way into the TV set can be bad news for an expensive item.
Not to mention, what’s the reason you even own a TV? To look at it, right? It’s not fun to turn on the TV and see a streaky, splotchy mess! So, if you’re asking yourself how to clean a flat screen TV without streaks, keep reading.
What can I use to clean my TV screen?
Here are some supplies you’ll need to clean your LCD or LED flat screen TV.
- Microfiber cloths
- Clean water, a screen cleaning product, or homemade cleaner
- Electrostatic duster
Remember that your TV doesn’t want to get wet, so always spray your water or cleaning mixture onto a microfiber cloth and never onto the screen directly.
How to make homemade screen cleaner
We don’t want to use Windex or any other window cleaner because the chemicals won’t be good for the flat screen TV if you leave them sitting for any length of time. Plus, no matter how those products promise that they’ll leave a streak-free surface, they never seem to, do they?
To make homemade screen cleaner for a flatscreen TV, simply mix a couple of drops of very mild dish soap, such as Dawn, into a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Using distilled water will help you avoid the minerals coming from your tap.
Spray this cleaning solution onto a microfiber towel and use it to gently rub away any streaks and splotches on your TV. Follow up with another dry microfiber towel for the best streak-free results.
Now that we have our homemade mixture ready to go, let’s talk about a few more tips for how to clean a television screen without streaks.
Tips for cleaning a flat screen TV without streaks
Let’s look at some best practices for cleaning a flat screen TV to ensure a streak-free and totally clean finish.
Tip 1: Use multiple, clean microfiber cloths
To remove dust from a flat screen TV, do several passes with your clean microfiber before using any cleaner or water. Pick up as much as you can with your first towel. Then, set it aside, since it’s now dirty. Use a new towel to apply your cleaning solution to the screen. Finally, use a third to dry the screen and pick up any leftover dirt or dust.
If your TV screen is particularly dusty, which can happen from time to time if you’re slacking off on your cleaning routine, you’ll want to remove most of that surface dust before you apply any cleaning product. Using multiple cloths is the key. If you use the same one, you’ll just be putting the dust back on!
Tip 2: Turn off the TV
When you clean a flat screen TV, we know it might seem obvious, but you need to turn it off first. Some manufacturers even suggest unplugging it.
For one, you won’t be able to see the streaks and grime if the TV is on. The light from the screen will trick you into missing spots and streaks when you clean. So, when you’re done cleaning, even though you were entertained by whatever you were watching, you didn’t do a very good job.
Also, the static charge that comes from a plugged-in TV, although very minimal these days, can make it a little harder to get your screen dust free.
Lastly, a flat screen TV is an electronic device. If you’re touching it and perhaps introducing small amounts of moisture, just be safe and either turn it off or unplug it.
Tip 3: How to clean a flat screen TV without damaging it
A very important part of cleaning TV screens is keeping them safe. Damaging your TV’s screen while cleaning it not only probably voids your warranty but makes TV watching nearly impossible.
Keeping your screen protected is one of the main reasons we like a good microfiber cloth.
Some websites recommend that you try 50% or even 100% isopropyl alcohol when cleaning your flat screen TV. We’ve come across recommendations from reputable sites and sources that say not to go that route.
White vinegar is also often suggested as a homemade, and eco-friendly option. It’s a fantastic general-purpose cleaner. We use it all the time. However, as it is an acid, we wouldn’t use it to clean our TV screens.
So, what do you do if you have a particularly nasty screen that needs cleaning?
For a really deep clean or to spot-treat tough TV screen streaks and dirt, choose either clean distilled water or the homemade mix we mentioned above. Then, just be patient and carefully and gently go over the dirty spots until they come off.
We recommend starting with distilled water if you can. The nice thing about distilled water is that it doesn’t have the minerals and other deposits that tap water contains. Often, those impurities are what cause streaks on our screens in the first place. So, start there if you need something more than a quick wipe with a clean, dry cloth.
You can also find some decent store-bought TV screen cleaners. Just realize that most of them are almost entirely water. But, if it puts you more at ease using a product specifically designed to clean a modern TV screen, go for it.
Also, remember to rub your screen gently. Usually, it’s better to rub streaks away with easy, consistent movements than to really put your back into it.
Removing streaks from a TV screen
For many TVs, you’ll be able to remove the streaks using a microfiber cloth treated with a homemade solution as we mentioned. Very often, the cloth on its own would be enough, but we all know it’s not always that simple.
Before you put any kind of chemical cleaner on your TV, read the manufacturer’s instructions or Google your specific model of television. If your screen is made of glass, you don’t need to be as careful, but many flat screens these days are made with super-sensitive materials.
Your best bet, really, is to start simple and work your way up. Don’t make a solution if a simple microfiber cloth will do the job. It might take a few passes, but it’s always best to use as little cleaning power as necessary with sensitive – and expensive – equipment.
After the initial cleaning, you may need to go over your clean TV screen with that microfiber cloth a few times if you still have some stubborn streaks.
Here are some frequently asked questions on how to clean a TV screen without streaks.
Can you clean a TV screen with Windex?
No. You really shouldn’t use Windex on the screen of your TV. The chemicals in Windex that make windows look so lovely won’t be kind to your expensive tech. Also, it very well may void the warranty of your TV.
Is a microfiber cloth really important for a clean screen?
We think it is. Our experience, and everything we’ve read, shows us that a microfiber cloth is really the best way to go when wiping or cleaning your TV. This expert tip is at the top of our list right along with keeping chemicals off of your screen.
A modern television is very susceptible to streaks, static, and other issues that can make a big difference to how you view your TV when it’s on.
Even a quick wipe from time to time with a pristine, dry microfiber cloth can extend the life of your TV by removing accumulated dirt and helping to reduce static.
Can I clean a TV with dish soap?
Yes, try mixing a tiny amount of gentle dish soap into very clean water to make a solution for your TV screen. Be careful to use just a drop or two. Otherwise, you’ll have a mess of bubbles on your hands.
Can I clean a TV with compressed air?
It might seem like a good idea, but think about where that dust is going once you blow it away. It’s a quick option for a keyboard, but you’re just putting all that dust back into the air only for it to settle somewhere else – that you’ll still need to clean!
Also, some compressed air comes out at a very high rate of speed. It can be enough to actually damage your flat screen TV.
How to clean a flat screen TV without streaks – final thoughts
When your TV screen is unforgivably dusty or covered in fingerprints, streaks, or God knows what, you need to give it some love. After all, it takes great care of you after long days and on relaxing weekends. Why not give back by keeping it in the best condition possible?
And, don’t forget your TV’s closest friend – the remote. Wipe your remote regularly with a disinfectant wipe or a clean cloth and TV cleaning solution every so often, once a week if you can remember.
That’s really all there is to it! Keeping our TVs clean doesn’t have to be a chore. Simply doing a spot-dust once a week will keep you from having to break out the big guns or sacrificing your weekend for a “spring cleaning” binge. Clean your flat screen tv regularly for just a few seconds, and then you can get back to the good part – watching it!