How to clean your TV screen in four easy steps

So your TV got a second helping of whatever you had for dinner, or the cat left long scraggly hairs behind after canoodling with your favorite sitcom character. Life happens, and our TV screens are often in the middle of the action. Thankfully, no matter the mess, there’s a quick and easy way to restore your TV’s display to its vivid glory—no special equipment required.

person with light blue glove wiping down tv screen with yellow rag

Table of contents

TV screens: A quick primerWhat you’ll need to clean your TV screenHow to clean your TV screen in 4 easy stepsTips for cleaning your entire entertainment system

TV screens: A quick primer

LCD and plasma TVs have thin, flexible materials that can be easily damaged, especially by abrasive chemicals. Windex is a no-no, unless you’ve got an antique TV with a glass display.

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t spray liquid directly on your TV. Doing so can damage its display or even cause an electric fire.

Before you begin cleaning, it might be a good idea to look over your TV’s specific user manual so that you don’t accidentally void your warranty. 

If you’ve misplaced your manual, don’t fret—you can almost always find it online. First, locate your TV’s model number, which should be listed on a sticker on the back of your TV. Next, run a Google search for that model number along with the term “user manual.” You should be able to download the manual as a PDF.

What you’ll need to clean your TV screen

  • Microfiber or dry soft cloth 

  • Half a teaspoon of dish soap

  • One-fourth cup of water

  • Bowl

  • Spray bottle

How to clean your TV screen in 4 easy steps

Step 1: Turn off your TV

Before attempting any cleaning, it’s best to turn the TV’s power off—this will help you spot where the dust and dirt have accumulated while also giving your TV a chance to cool down. (Warm or hot screens are harder to clean.) 

Step 2: Wipe with a dry cloth

Using a soft, lint-free cloth, gently wipe in a circular motion over your screen to remove dust, dirt or lint. The “gently” part is especially important—if you scrub too hard, you could cause the liquid crystals inside your flat screen TV to misalign or burn out. 

Whatever you do, don’t use paper towels. They can scratch your screen and leave behind residue.

Step 3: Try a wet cloth for tougher stains

Sometimes stains require a bit more TLC. If you’re trying to erase greasy smudges and the dry cloth won’t do the trick, try a damp, lint-free cloth next. Be sure to spray water directly on the cleaning cloth, not the TV screen, and then wipe in a gentle circular motion. 

Step 4: Give dish soap a try

If your TV was splattered with food (it happens!) try applying your own screen cleaning solution. Just add a drop of soap to one-fourth cup of water, mix, and apply it to a soft cloth. Gently wipe the stain away, then re-wipe the surface with a dry microfiber cloth. 

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“The “gently” part is especially important—if you scrub too hard, you could cause the liquid crystals inside your flat screen TV to misalign or burn out. ”

Tips for cleaning your entire entertainment system

Clean your remote

To clean your remote, first pop out the batteries and replace the cover on the battery enclosure. Gently tap the remote against a hard surface, button side down, to break free any crumbs or dirt that may have lodged themselves inside the device.

Next, grab your moistened wipe and give it a good wringing so that it’s not sopping wet. Use it to clean both sides of the remote, paying special attention to any crevices you suspect are harboring dirt.

Clean your speakers (if you have them)

Your speakers likely have removable fabric covers, but you’ll want to check your owner’s manual just to be sure. If they’re removable, pop them off and use a vacuum extension to hoover up any dust, dirt, or lint that may be stuck inside of them. If your speaker covers are fixed into place, you can try vacuuming the outside of their covers or using a lint roller.

If your speakers are made of a nonporous material (like plastic or varnished wood) use a damp cloth to clean them, wiping with the direction of the grain, whether the cabinet is made of real wood or wood veneer. After, wipe down with a dry cloth.

Regularly cleaning your home entertainment system is a great way to get the best performance from all of your components. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

Bungalow offers private rooms in shared homes that are more affordable than solo housing options in the same neighborhoods. Bungalow homes come with smart TVs, and wifi, utilities, and monthly cleaning are set up before you move in, so that coliving is seamless. Find a Bungalow near you.

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