Without screwing up the protective layer
Back when you used to have CRT monitors and TVs, you could clean them with almost anything. The screen was made out of glass and nothing else. That’s no longer the case with today’s LCD and OLED displays.
The modern display is a sensitive device that requires special care. You can easily damage a touchscreen if you clean it using a rough sponge or an aggressive cleaning agent. You’ll eventually scratch the screen and damage its special coatings, and you’ll end up with an inferior device that no longer takes your touch commands. This applies to any laptop, tablet, TV, phone, or another device with LCD, MicroLED, or OLED display.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean a tv or monitor screen the right way and we’ll also show you some of the best cleaners available.
Read the Instructions
Most people open the box, take the smart TV or monitor out, plug it in, and that’s that. They ignore the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t skip reading those instructions. Some manufacturers offer specific cleaning product recommendations to be used with their products.
For example, Dell might recommend using 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean one of their PC monitor models, while Samsung might recommend using nothing other than a dry microfiber cloth. Despite general recommendations, you should always prioritize the manufacturer’s specific instructions. This will also help you with warranty claims.
Avoid Certain Cleaning Agents
Some screens, especially touch screens, have special coatings for protection and to reduce the amount of reflection and glare. Harsh chemicals will remove those coatings and even damage the material of the display. Don’t use any household cleaning agents.
Stay away from glass cleaning products and anything that contains ammonia, chlorine, and even alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is sometimes okay to use if specified by the manufacturer. Just make sure you pay attention to the percentage, which is usually 70% or 90%.
If you’ve been cleaning your TV or monitor with one of the aforementioned solutions, stop. Using them a few times might not cause any visible damage, but over time they’ll leave streaks once the protective coating is gone.
Use Canned Air and Microfiber Cloths
When you aren’t sure what’s safe to use, use canned air and microfiber cloths. Canned air is great for cleaning computer hardware, keyboards, as well as monitors, and TVs. It can’t cause any damage to the surface of the screen whether you’re cleaning a tablet, an OLED monitor, or an old school glass TV.
Dust gathers on the surface of your screen, especially around the edges, so start by blowing it off with compressed air. Use a high-quality microfiber cloth to move the stubborn dust particles when the compressed air isn’t enough. All you need is a light touch. Don’t press too hard on the display or you can damage it.
It’s very important to use microfiber cloth only. It’s soft enough not to scratch the screen or damage any of the protective coatings. Don’t use paper towels or tissues because they contain little loose fibers that can cause small scratches.
Use Distilled Water to Remove Dry Dirt
Sometimes canned air and dry microfiber cloth aren’t enough to remove stubborn particles. Don’t press extra hard when something dry is stuck to the display. Use distilled water instead. Tap water would also work, but we don’t recommend it because it contains all sorts of minerals that will leave streaks behind.
Take note that most manufacturers will tell you to avoid using any liquids, but sometimes you just don’t have a choice. Distilled water is safe to use as long as you just dampen the microfiber cloth enough to remove that pesky spot of dirt. Don’t spray it or splash it directly on your screen. Spray it on the cloth until it’s slightly damp.
Alternatively, you can make and use a half distilled water/half vinegar solution.
Our Step-By-Step Screen Cleaning Process
Here’s a simple guide on how to clean your TV or monitor by using the advice above:
- Turn off your devices. A dark display is much easier to clean because you can spot all the fingerprints, dust particles, and grime.
- Use canned air to dislodge most of the dust. Compressed air is your best friend when you have to clean sensitive electronics.
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the corners of the display and remove the dirt and oils from the screen. Use a light touch. Don’t press hard when you find a stain. This can cause serious damage.
- Dampen the microfiber cloth with distilled water. Distilled water is pure and won’t leave any marks. Use it to clean dry residues off your screen.
- Clean the back of the TV or monitor. You’ll find a lot of dust there. Fortunately, it’s all plastic, so you can use a multipurpose cleaning solution as long as you don’t touch the screen.
- Clean your devices on a regular basis to prevent grime from accumulating.
Professional Screen Cleaners – An Alternative
Instead of using distilled water with a microfiber cloth, you can opt for one of the many professional cleaners available on the market. It’s important to buy a cleaning kit or cleaning solution that is odorless and without any alcohol or toxins that could damage a TV or monitor display. So take a look at some of the best and safest cleaning solutions we’ve found.
WHOOSH! is an alcohol-free display cleaner. It’s suitable for all types of screens, whether they’re LCD, OLED, LED, or CRT. You can also use it to clean your mobile devices. In fact, this is the same display cleaner that Apple uses in its stores. It’s also completely odorless, so it won’t leave any residues.
EVEO is a screen cleaner safe to use on all types of TVs, monitors, and touchscreen devices. It’s great for removing greasy fingerprints and other stubborn smudges. Just remember not to press hard and use the microfiber cloth that’s included in the package. You can also use EVEO to clean other electronic gadgets.
If you don’t want to use sprays or liquids, try the lens and screen cleaning wipes from Care Touch. They’re individually packed, so when you need to clean a display, you always have one handy.
Care Touch wipes contain some isopropyl alcohol, but not in an amount that should be dangerous. The wipes are made for cleaning all types of screens without damaging the anti-reflection coating. As a bonus, you can also use these wipes on sunglasses and camera lenses.
Remember to Clean Regularly
The more often you clean your TV and computer monitor, the less you’ll have to deal with a build-up of grime and dust. This way a microfiber cloth should also be enough because you won’t have any tough dirt spots. So clean your screens regularly and keep them sparkling.