How to Properly Clean a Flat TV Screen

Brush the dust off your TV screen the right way with these tips.

Your flat-screen television collects dust, germs and all those fingerprints. Don’t worry—cleaning your screen isn’t difficult. Here’s how to clean TV screens.

How to Clean a Flat Screen TV

No matter what kind of television you have, start by turning it off. You’ll be able to see the dust and smudges much better on a dark screen.

Next, grab a dry, soft cloth. Don’t use paper towels, as they can contain fibers that can do damage to the screen, according to Consumer Reports. Gently wipe the screen to remove any dust, just make sure not to press too hard.

If there are any hard-to-remove marks, Consumer Reports notes you can dampen the cloth with a little distilled water to clean the screen. “Don’t spray water directly onto the screen, which could cause a shock or component failure if it drips or seeps into the inner workings of the set,” according to Consumer Reports. In addition, for stubborn stains, try using a mix of mild dish soap that has been highly diluted with water.

Watch this video tutorial for how to clean a TV screen yourself:

For any questions, consult your owner’s manual. Each company — from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba — all include cleaning instructions and each company’s cleaning methods may vary, according to CNET.

If you have an LCD or plasma screen, you should also consult your owner’s manual, as you may be able to use a commercial cleaning solution specifically made for these screens, notes CNET.

Can I Use Windex on a Flat Screen TV?

While it may be tempting to use Windex to clean your flat-screen TV, it’s best to skip cleaners. That’s because Windex contains ammonia and alcohol, which according to CNET, isn’t friendly to your screen. “S.C. Johnson doesn’t explicitly say not to use Windex on HD TVs, but it offers Windex Electronics wipes and cleaners, so infer what you will. The better screen cleaners will clearly state that they do not contain alcohol or ammonia.”

Do I Need a Special Screen Cleaner for my Flat Screen TV?

Save your money — screen cleaners are no more effective than water. One search on Amazon and you’ll find all sorts of screen cleaners claiming to make your TV screen sparkle. But if a little water can do the same job, there’s no need to spend the money and add yet another cleaner to clutter up your cabinet. Most TV manufacturers advise to simply use water and a soft cloth.

If you follow these tips on how to clean flat screen TVs, you’ll be left with a screen that is clean without streaks or damage. And be sure to never do these 11 things to your flat-screen TV.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.
Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.