Do's and Don’ts for Cleaning Flatscreens

March 19, 2021

Regardless of the model you own, it is important to protect your investment.  Cleaning your television is straight forward. Flat screen TV’s have come along way. Components contributing to the television began as early as 1831.  Televisions on the market today are using semiconductors nanocrystals, self-illuminating pixels and an array of light-emitting diodes (LED) as pixels for a video display. These massive wall units deliver access to the world through content from shows, news and apps competing for our attention.  In some respects, the price for a flat screen TV has become more affordable, while the market is still there for individuals willing to pay much more for an award-winning consumer’s choice best picture. 

There are some clear do’s and don’ts in caring for your flat screen. Hopefully, these tips shed some light when it’s time to clean your TV’s front and backside. Dust build-up can affect the quality of the images on your screen. By routinely cleaning your TV's you can prolong the life of them. 

6 Don'ts for Cleaning TV Screens

Cleaning a flat screen / plasma/ LCD tv
1. Don't use alcohol, ammonia, benzine or other thinners
  • Avoid using alcohol or other consumer cleaning product with harsh chemicals. Glass cleaners contain both alcohol and ammonia. Many televisions have anti-reflective coatings. Alcohol can cause clouding and permanently damage the screen
2.Don't use paper towel, tissue or cleaning wipes
  • Wood based fibers are too abrasive and can leave lint and small scratches on the surface.

3. Don't spray liquids directly onto the monitor

  • Too much moisture could cause an electrostatic charge and cause it to burn out. If water enters the control unit it may need to be replaced.  In many TV’s, the connections to the panel are at the bottom of the TV and if water seeps inside the unit it may short out some of the contacts to the panel. Consult and expert but in those cases the panel may need to be replaced, which may not be cost effective.

4. Don't press too hard on the screen

  • If you press too hard, you could cause the liquid crystals inside your flat screen to misalign or burn out.

5. Don't use a dirty cloth

  • Dust can become trapped in the fibers and create scratches on your screen.  A higher GSM count microfiber cloth is plush and better for trapping dust. However, the dust remains inside the fibers and may cause tiny scratches on the screen.  These are great cloths but not ideal for cleaning a flat screen.

6. Use Tap Water

  • Most cities in the united states suffer from hard water which contain minerals such as calcium and magnesium which tend to leave a visible residue on your screen.


6 Do's for Cleaning TV Screens 

Cleaning a flatscreen/plasma/ LCD tv


1. Do make a mechanical clean your first option

  • A mechanical clean uses a tool and water alone to clean without using chemicals.
  • Use a barely damp Split Fiber Plush Microfiber Cloth for dusting and to clean the back of the unit.
  • A flat weave microfiber cloth is best for cleaning the front screen.

2. Do use distilled water

  • Distilled water is free of minerals like calcium and magnesium which is less likely to leave behind water spots or streaks.

3. Do invest in quality microfiber cloths

  • A flat weave cloth does not trap dust into the fibers and is what is used to clean dust and fingerprints off eyeglasses and fine glassware without scratching the lenses.

    4. Do consider installing a custom TV screen protector

    • They are best for preventing scratches or small indents on the screen. However, they do not protect from cracks in the screen.

    5. Do invest in a fine mist spray bottle

    • Less is more when spraying your cloth.

    6. Do let your screen cool down 

    • The heat from the unit can cause a cleaning solution to be too concentrated.  No different than cleaning your car windows on a hot day, it evaporates quickly making it hard to remove the streaks.
    • Also, cleaning with a black background makes it easier to see fingerprints dust and other dirt.

    4  Approaches To Cleaning Your Flat Screen TV

    Step 1. Cleaning to remove dust

    • Clean the front screen before the back. 
    • Less dust on the cloth is better for cleaning the front screen. 
    • Fold the cloth in to 4 panels. This allows you to use 8 different panels to effectively dust the surfaces.
    • Gently wipe the surface using a clean, dry or barely damp split fiber microfiber cloth. These cloths have an electromagnetic charge which attract dust to the cloth. The split fibers trap the dust there. Be careful to not rub or press too hard on the screen. 
    • Gently handle it more like a dust feather instead of applying pressure to the screen.

    Step 2. Clean to simply remove fingerprints

    • Huff and Puff to fog up the screen over the isolated areas with fingerprints.
    • Using a flat weave microfiber cloth to easily buff away fingerprints. This is the perfect example of a mechanical clean.       

    Step 3. Clean the rear panel and the frame

    • Cleaning the rear panel allows less concern for scratches. Therefore, use a dry plush microfiber cloth to pick up dust first.
    • Moisten the cloth so it is barely damp to wipe away harder to remove dirt.  The split fiber microfiber cloths are much more effective in reaching deep into crevices to trap dust bunnies that may have begun to settle along the air vent slots.

    Step 4. Clean the entire front screen

    • It is important to use the best tool for cleaning the flat screen.  A flat weave microfiber cloth is the best option for cleaning a flat screen just as you would to polish wine glasses and optical lenses.
    • If your cloth is larger, fold it in half and then half again.  This Allows you to clean with 8 clean sides of the cloth.  You should never have to use a dirty part of the cloth more than once if you purposely clean 1/4 of the screen at a time.

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