You'll want to be gentle when it comes to cleaning your TV.

By Lauren Wellbank
December 04, 2020
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Credit: John Merkl

The days of televisions with large, glass screens and massive wooden surrounds are (thankfully) long gone. These days, televisions are much sleeker—manufactured with flat screens and surrounds that are thin and light enough to be mounted on your living room wall—which means that the surface area you need to clean is much smaller than it used to be. The trade off? Your cleaning techniques need to be much more delicate and refined. We spoke to cleaning experts to learn how to clean your TV screen, to elevate your viewing experience.

Clean Weekly

Today's TV screens are lauded for their incredible high-definition picture, explains Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority. "As dust builds up, it can distort the quality of the picture," she says. "To keep the TV screen and picture as crisp as it was the day it was purchased, a weekly cleaning is best." This is because over the course of a normal week dust, fingerprints, and film are bound to build up. The longer those things remain on your television's screen, the harder they are to remove.  

How to Clean Your TV Screen

To get the best (and safest) clean possible, you'll need to rely on certain tools when it comes to cleaning your television. Cindee Black, co-founder and CEO of Black and Berry Living says those tools are microfiber cloths ($14.64,—she recommends having three on hand at all times—as well as a non-toxic cleaner and a step stool or ladder, if necessary. "Start with unplugging your TV," she says. "Then grab a clean microfiber cloth and [wipe] the entire surface of the TV including back vents and speakers." Those little crevasses collect dust and dander, which affect the quality of the air your family breathes. Next, she says that you should get a second clean microfiber cloth and a non-toxic cleaner, and then dampen the cloth. You'll want to use a cleaner that will give your television a streak-free shine when you're done but be gentle enough not to harm the electronics. "Finish with the final cloth and [wipe] the entire surface one final time." Stapf recommends moving the cloth gently and slowly in an up and down or left to right movement. "Circular motions could leave whirl marks on the screen," she says.

Get Rid of Stubborn Marks Carefully

If you have a tough to clean spot, like fingerprints that have been left on the screen for too long, you'll need to show your television a little extra TLC, but Stapf warns against applying any pressure to your television's delicate screen. "Spot-cleaning with a microfiber cloth should do the trick," she says, but if the pesky spot won't go away, a small amount of warm water can help. "Be sure to not spray the water directly onto the screen, but lightly dampen the microfiber cloth." 

Be Wary of Chemicals

Standard cleaning products may contain harsh ingredients such alcohol or ammonia that might damage your screen's LCD panels, says Stapf. "For the latest OLED and LCD TV screens, it is best to steer clear of Windex or other glass cleaner," she says. "With the sensitivity of the latest screen technology, a dry method of cleaning would be best."

Remember the Remote

Your television remote is considered a high-touch area of your home, which means that it's shared by all members of your family, so it should be part of your regular cleaning routine, explains James Conner, VP of Operations for Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. "It's best to wipe down with disinfecting wipes and especially timely during cold and flu season," he says.


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