HDTV Screens – Clean Your TV Screen
[Note, This article orignally appeared on September 25, 2014 and was edited on March 8, 2017]
Let’s be honest here. Just between you and me, you didn’t really download and read the owners manual for your HDTV screen, did you? Really? Did you get to the part about how to clean your TV screen? Do you remember what it said? I didn’t think so. Me either. So I did a little research, and what I found might surprise you.
Not so fast
It’s just another piece of glass, right? Just hit it with some glass cleaner and you are good to go. Hang on a second. Using glass cleaner on your LCD, LED, OLED or Plasma TV can permanently damage the screen. All of these screens need to be treated very, very carefully when cleaning them. Most LCD, LED and OLED screens are not glass. Rather, they are made of plastic polymers that don’t react well to the ammonia found in most glass cleaners. Even the glass screens of Plasma TV’s have delicate anti-glare coatings on them. Regular glass cleaner can damage these coatings and ruin your flat screen.
OK, if you shouldn’t use glass cleaner, then how do you clean a TV? As remarkable as this seems, all of the major manufacturers seem to agree on the methods for cleaning their flat screen TV’s.
Using glass cleaner on your LCD, LED, OLED or Plasma TV can permanently damage the screen.
How To Clean Your TV Screen
First, all manufacturers recommend turning the set off, most say to unplug the set as well (I’m guessing lawyers were involved in that second instruction). Use a clean, dry, lint free microfiber cloth to gently wipe the screen down – Do not press hard. A lot of the manufacturers include a cloth with their sets for this purpose. If you doubt this is cleaning your screen, sneak a peek at the cloth you just used and you will see all the dust and lint you just wiped off. Hopefully that’s all there is to it, and you now have a clean screen.
If the dry wipe doesn’t clean the screen sufficiently, there are a number of screen cleaning sprays available online or from your local electronics supplier. Spray the cleaner on to the microfiber cloth - do not spray the cleaner directly on to the screen -and use the cloth to gently wipe the screen down. Less is more with cleaners. Any drips that get into the edge of the screen housing can damage the electronics.
Be sure to check the label of any screen cleaner before you buy. If the label doesn’t specifically say that the spray is free of alcohol, benzene, Paint thinner and ammonia skip it. The screen cleaner should also be free of any abrasives. It is incredibly easy to scratch a flat screen. Getting scratches out of a flat screen can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing aggressively. Gentle is the word to remember when cleaning your screen. The upside of the cleaning kits is that they usually include a decent microfiber cloth for you to use.
Save a few bucks
Most manufacturers also say that you can use a solution of dish soap and water to clean your screen. They recommend a 1 to 100 ratio of soap to water. Again, use a clean, dry, lint free microfiber cloth, dip it in the soap and water solution and wring it out well. You just want the cloth damp, not soaking wet. Gently use the damp cloth to wipe off the smudges, and then dry with another clean microfiber cloth. The dish soap and water solution is also a lot more economical than the cleaners sold by the electronics store. Free is hard to beat!
Cleaning your flat screen TV isn’t difficult and is very inexpensive, you just need to take a little care and use the right cleaners. Even though you didn’t read your manual, aren’t you glad that I did?
About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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