When you’re watching your favourite TV show and the light catches the screen and you see a ton of smudges, dust and general grime it can be very off-putting! Then you go to clean the screen and find it isn’t much better. Don’t waste your time cleaning only to find you still have streaks. My question today is, how to clean a flat-screen TV without streaks?
Over time your screen will attract dust, finger marks and all kinds of nasty things. Do you shout at your screen? Maybe a football game got you going? Then it will probably have saliva on it and even snot. Yuck!
To clean your flat-screen TV of smudges and leave it streak-free, all you need are some clean microfibre cloths, water, and some distilled white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. With a small amount of gentle rubbing, your TV screen will be clean and free of streaks.
The method I show you today is guaranteed to leave you with a streak-free screen. Plus, it works on all kinds of TV screens through from the old CRT glass screens up to an 8K. You can even use this method for a computer monitor.
All you need are three microfibre cloths (yes three) and some water. If your screen has a lot of finger marks and greasy smudges then you might need some vinegar or rubbing alcohol for extra power.
If you don’t have any microfibre cloths, I recommend you invest in some because they are a great way to reduce chemical use in your home, plus they work out cheaper than purchasing cleaners. They have multiple uses. You can use them for dishwashing, cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, dusting, polishing. You can even use them to clean your body and as a reusable wet wipe.
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Before we begin let’s go over a couple of important points when it comes to cleaning flat-screen TVs.
- Always use a soft cloth. Never use paper towels or anything rough that could scratch your screen. Microfibre cloths are best because they are soft, hold the dirt and can absorb and contain grease.
- Never use chemical sprays. Chemical sprays such as a window cleaner like Windex should not be used on flat-screen TVs because the chemicals will damage the surface.
- Always use a clean cloth. Your microfibre cloth should be freshly laundered and free of particles that might scratch the surface or re-deposit dust.
- Never spray the screen directly. Flat-screen TVs should not get wet. If you need moisture to help you clean, always spray it on the cloth, not the screen.
- Always turn off the TV. Before you clean, turn off the TV so you can more easily see where the smudges appear. The easiest way to see them is from the side.
Once your screen is wonderfully clean I recommend you keep it that way with a regular wipe over. Make it part of your 10-minute cleanup routine and it will never get dirty again.
What you need to clean your flat-screen TV
- 3 x microfibre cloths. You will need up to three of these depending on how smudged the screen is.
- 1 x spray bottle of distilled water (or tap water if you don’t have it).
- 1 x spray bottle of neat white distilled vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
Distilled water is best if you have it because tap water can leave a residue on the screen when it evaporates.
I suggest you have three clean microfibre cloths. You will need one to dust, another to clean, and another to dry. It’s not a good idea to use one cloth for everything because you will find the dust that you cleaned off at the start ends up back on the screen later on.
If you don’t have any microfibre cloths the best place to buy them is at Amazon in a bundle. Don’t bother with fancy makes, I find those no better than standard microfibre and they are much cheaper especially if you buy several at once. Launder them after every use and then replace them when they wear out. I find mine last 4-5 years.
If your screen isn’t very dirty then you can get away with one wipe with a dry microfibre cloth.
Make sure your cloths are freshly laundered. Don’t be tempted to use an old cloth otherwise you risk scratching the screen with particles from previous use.
How to clean streaks off a TV screen
A simple wipe over with a microfibre cloth should do the trick but if you have smudges then you will need more.
Step 1 – Turn off the TV
Make sure you turn off the TV before you start cleaning.
Step 2 – Dust with a dry microfibre cloth
Begin by using a clean dry microfibre cloth and lightly wipe the screen in circular motions. Don’t press too hard.
I like to fold my cloth and then use each side in turn so I don’t transfer particles back onto the screen that I have just cleaned off.
This step will remove dust and light smudges. If you find that the screen still has smudges on it move to step 3, otherwise, congratulations, you are done!
Step 3 – Spray a cloth with water and wipe
Take a new microfibre cloth and spray it with water to dampen it. Don’t spray the screen directly. Distilled water is best because no residue is left behind when it dries.
Wipe lightly over the smudges in a circular motion until they disappear.
The best way to see smudges is from the side of the screen rather than from the front.
If your smudges have gone skip to step 5.
Step 4 – If still have smudges spray some vinegar or rubbing alcohol onto the cloth
If you still have smudges on your TV screen you can use some vinegar or rubbing alcohol to help.
Don’t spray the screen directly.
Polish out the smudges with the cloth until they disappear.
Step 5 – Rewipe with a clean dry cloth
Take a newly washed microfibre cloth and wipe over the whole screen again.
How to make homemade screen cleaner
If you prefer to have something ready to use on all types of glass including TV screens and computer monitors why not make your own?
It’s easy to make your own homemade screen cleaner by adding the following ingredients to a spray bottle.
- 1/2 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or rubbing alcohol
To use, spray onto a clean microfibre cloth and wipe. Then finish with a dry microfibre cloth
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean a TV without a microfiber cloth
If you don’t have a microfibre cloth to hand then you can use a plain duster cloth to clean your screen or an old piece of soft cloth such as a teeshirt.
Regular cloth doesn’t hold the dust as well as microfibre. You might find that the cloth transfers dust back onto the screen as you clean it. Make sure you fold the cloth and use one side at a time to avoid that happening.
Can I use Windex on a flat-screen TV?
It is not a good idea to use Windex to clean a TV screen because the chemicals can damage the surface of the screen. Only gentle liquids should be used such as water and vinegar and they should never be sprayed directly onto the screen.
How to clean a 4K TV screen
Wipe over with a dry microfibre cloth to start with. Then dampen another microfibre cloth with water, vinegar or rubbing alcohol and lightly rub all over your 4K TV. Finish off by wiping with another dry microfibre cloth.