How to Clean a Flat Screen TV

Cleaning a flat screen TV is not difficult, but don’t make a mistake that can ruin your screen.

Modern, flat screen televisions are much lighter and compact than the old, box-style TVs that weighed a ton. As you can imagine, this means they are also much more delicate. To keep your flat screen looking new and working it’s best for years to come, there are some important tips for care and cleaning that you need to become familiar with. 

Preventing Damage

Before cleaning your TV, it’s crucial to know how you could accidentally damage it. After the pretty penny that you spent, that would be a sure way to ruin your day, and likely your spouse’s as well!    

Do Not Use Household Cleaning Solutions or Paper Towels

This is probably the most important tip you need to know about cleaning your flat screen TV. Be sure to never clean with any chemical sprays or solutions, and do not wipe with anything other than a microfiber cloth!

Most household and glass cleaners contain alcohol, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals that, over time, will wear away at the anti-reflective coating of the screen and could cause cracks. Obviously, once or twice isn’t likely to do any permanent damage, but you may begin to notice irreparable damage over time. 

Paper towels, napkins, tissues, rags, and magic sponges will scratch the screen. Again, you may not see any scratching after only a handful of uses, but fine scratches will build up and become visible over time. This could reduce the clarity of the TV and leave that expensive centerpiece of your living room looking old and worn.  

A woman is wiping the surface of a tv screen.

Room Conditions

Do not set up your flat screen anywhere where temperatures may get extremely hot or cold, like in an unheated garage, or above a fireplace, for example. Sweltering or freezing temperatures can permanently affect the TV’s ability to fluctuate pixels for proper coloring. 

Also, beware of rooms with high humidity, as is common in many basements. High moisture levels can cause permanent damage to your TV by corroding the circuit board. Consider using a dehumidifier if keeping a flat screen in the basement or any other high moisture area. 

Flat Screen TV Care & Cleaning

Regular Dusting

It doesn’t take long for flat screens to acquire a shocking amount of dust. Luckily, all you need to clear the dust from your TV is a microfiber cloth barely damp with water. If you have it available, distilled water is the best choice as it won’t leave spots after drying. 

Using the damp microfiber cloth, start with the screen and wipe top to bottom. Follow with the frame and back, as well as any visible cords. That’s it! 

Another safe option for screens and electronics is a can of compressed air made for dusting. A more costly option for sure, but perfectly acceptable if that is what you prefer to use. 

A set of colorful microfiber cloths.

Spot Cleaning

If you find that your TV isn’t clean enough after routine dusting, add a drop of dish detergent to a spray bottle with water and dampen your microfiber cloth with that. Without applying too much pressure, use this to wipe any especially dirty areas using a circular motion. This should be enough to remove caked-on residue, fingerprints, or anything sticky.

Always be sure your cloth is just damp and not soaked, as dripping water can damage electronics. 

Remote Control Care

Though it’s often overlooked, it’s very important to keep your remote in clean and working order as well! What’s a TV without the remote? You can replace them, sure, but it’s easier to take good care of them from the start to avoid being without them until the replacement arrives. 

Start by having a common area where you always store the remote when it’s not being used. This may be on the entertainment center, the coffee table, or in a basket. This will keep it safe from spills, pets, or becoming lost in the cushions. You may also want to consider ordering a remote sleeve online to keep it better protected and clean. 

You should clean the remote weekly to reduce germs and greasy residue. Just wipe it down using a lint-free cloth damp with dish detergent or a mild cleaner. Be sure the cloth isn’t very wet to avoid getting moisture behind the buttons. If the buttons are particularly dirty, you can give them a better scrub using a cotton swab or a toothpick. 

As you can see, it’s super easy and inexpensive to maintain and clean your flat screen. It’s definitely one of those instances where less is more! Just follow these simple steps, and you will keep that expensive television looking and performing like new for many years to come!

Sarah Wolfenstein
Sarah Wolfenstein is a mother of three and is skilled at DIY projects, design, and cleaning and organization. She never accepts a mediocre job - she is always challenging herself to make things appear better than even professionals with many years of training. Sarah has always strived for perfection in all her projects. She is also very active on Pinterest , where she posts tutorials, ideas, and home decorating tips that are simple enough to even be done at home by anyone with a moderate amount of experience doing basic DIYs.
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