How to Properly Clean a TV Screen

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

Your television screen 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 TV Screen

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, which contain fibers that can damage the screen, according to Consumer Reports. Gently wipe the screen to remove any dust. Just be sure not to press too hard.

If there are any hard-to-remove marks, Consumer Reports suggests dampen the cloth with a little distilled water. “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. For stubborn stains, try a mix of mild dish soap highly diluted with water.

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

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

Can I Use Windex on a TV Screen?

While it may be tempting to use Windex, don’t. 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?

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 add yet another cleaner to your cluttered cabinet. Most TV manufacturers advise to simply use water and a soft cloth.

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

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.