How to Clean A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

How to Clean A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

Modern TVs are becoming clearer and crisper every day. That means that in order to get the most out of your TV, you’ll want to keep it as clean as possible. But flat screen TVs are notoriously difficult to keep clean.

If you’re looking to find a way to clean your flat screen TV without streaks, then keep reading. We’ll cover all the dos and don’ts of streak-free TV screen cleaning.

Some Things to Avoid When Cleaning A Flat Screen TV

You’re looking to clean your TV and leave it streak-free. But before we get into cleaning a TV, we should go over some things you should avoid when cleaning your TV.

Do Not Spray Liquid Directly at the Screen

As tempted as you may be to spray LCD cleaning spray or distilled water directly on the screen, you should avoid doing this. Spraying liquid at a TV can cause the liquid to run down and get trapped in the bezel of the TV.

Don't Spray Liquid on Your TV

This can allow moisture to reach critical components inside the TV, or become trapped in between layers of the screen, resulting in embedded marks in the screen or electrical component damage.

Don’t Press Too Hard

If you have to resort to using liquids to clean your TV, you might have a bit of a mess. However, no matter what substance is on your TV, you’ll want to take care not to press too hard when you’re cleaning it. Pressing too hard on a TV screen can cause anything from temporary distortion to broken LCD cells.

Instead, continue to apply even pressure and continue to buff out stubborn spots until you’ve conquered the mess. And remember, you may need extra microfiber cloths to help wipe away residue while there is still moisture on the screen’s surface.

Glass and Household Cleaners

You might be tempted to reach for the Windex, or whatever other cleaner you have on hand. But household cleaners often contain alcohol, ammonia, and other harmful chemicals that can damage your screen.

Don't Use Glass Cleaners

The damage may not be apparent immediately, and if you’ve accidentally cleaned the TV with these types of cleaners, you should be alright. However, repeated use can cause damage to the screen’s anti-reflective layer and other coatings on the screen.


Depending on whom you ask, vinegar could be lumped in with household cleaners. But we make special mention of this because the Internet seems infatuated with vinegar. From cleaning nearly every surface in your home, to purportedly being able to bust drain clogs, this mild acid is treated as a panacea for all things cleaning.

Don't Use Vinegar

However, because vinegar is an acid, it could cause long-term damage to your TV screen, particularly the anti-reflective layer of your screen. Unless your TV manufacturer recommends using vinegar to clean your screen, then it’s best to just avoid it and use distilled water or screen cleaner.

Tap Water

With household chemicals and the Internet’s favorite natural cleaner scratched off the list, you’re left with water. But as innocuous as it may seem, you should avoid using regular tap water to clean your screen as well.

Thanks to the minerals in tap water,  using it can lead to streaking and micro scratches on your screen that can cause long-term damage. Instead, use distilled water, since it’s devoid of anything but pure, unadulterated water.

Paper-based Cleaning Products

Products like paper towels and tissues should also be avoided, since they contain tiny wood fibers that can create micro scratches. And while they may not be immediately visible, these scratches can cause surface damage over time, leaving dull spots and permanent streaks.

Cleaning A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

If you want to clean your flat screen TV without leaving any streaks behind, then you’ll want to keep things simple. We’ll cover different ways to clean it based on different levels of mess, from simple dust to stuck-on grime.

Start With Compressed Air and Microfiber

If your TV is just a little dusty, then good news! A can of compressed air and a microfiber duster or cloth should be more than sufficient for getting your TV clean again.

Start with the compressed air first, as you’ll want to avoid physical contact with the TV as much as possible to prevent accidental scratches or fingerprints. If compressed air isn’t enough alone, then use a microfiber duster (or cloth, if you don’t have a duster on hand) to wipe any remaining dust off the TV.

Try Distilled Water and a Microfiber Cloth

Ideally, the only thing you should have to clean off of your TV is dust. But sometimes, you need something more than air and a dry cloth. In that case, try using distilled water and a microfiber cloth.

Microfiber Cloth

Start by spraying the microfiber cloth lightly enough to only slightly dampen it. If you can wring liquid out of the cloth, then you’re using too much water.

With your lightly-dampened microfiber cloth, gently wipe or buff the dirty spots you’re trying to clean. Then you’ll want to follow up with dry cloth in order to dry any excess moisture on the screen.

Buy a Screen Cleaning Kit If All Else Fails

Whether you have kids at home, or you just had a messy and unfortunate accident, sometimes TV screens can end up with things on them that really don’t belong. And if you’ve tried distilled water, and you still can’t get the mess off your screen, then you may need to resort to using an LCD screen cleaning kit.

Sure, you could try other at-home remedies you find on the Internet to combat sticky, greasy grime on a TV screen. But you also run the risk of damaging your TV.

Instead, buying a quality screen cleaning kit is the way to go. Companies that make these kits have a vested interest in not ruining your TV, and you have the benefit of online reviews to help you avoid potentially harmful products.

Cody Brown

Cody is a gamer, writer, and computer programmer who's always looking to optimize and automate everyday tasks. When he's not immersed in prose and code, he's busy tinkering with computers, automating his home, and spending time with his wife and kids.

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