How to Clean a TV Screen

person cleaning a tv screen

​The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Many of our waking hours are spent in front of screens—television screens, computer screens, smartphone screens—so we want them to be as clean as possible. Lucky for us, when it comes to cleaning any type of electronics screen, less is more. Aggressive cleaning will damage the screens and often void any manufacturer's warranty.

With just a couple of tools and products, you can keep your television screen and its assorted components and accessories, dust, grime, and bacteria-free.

How Often to Clean a Television Screen

For a clearer picture, television screens should be dusted weekly. If liquid spills or food splatters happen, they should be cleaned away immediately. When you're cleaning, don't forget the tangle of cords often hidden away collecting dust, speakers, gaming or control components, as well as remotes.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Lint roller

Materials

  • Disposable duster
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Disinfectant wipe approved for use on electronics (optional)
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

materials for cleaning a tv screen
The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Clean Flat Plasma, LED, LCD, and OLED Television Screens

Warning

NEVER spray any type of cleaner, including plain water, directly onto any type of flat television screen. Excessive moisture or cleaning chemicals can permanently damage the screen.

  1. Turn Off the Screen

    A dark screen makes it easier to see the dust on the surface. Be sure that the screen is stable before you begin to clean.

    turning off the tv
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Dust the Screen

    Use a disposable static-cling duster or a clean microfiber cloth to dust the front of the television screen. Do not apply excessive pressure because screens can crack.

    dusting the tv screen
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  3. Tackle Tough Stains

    A microfiber cloth will remove fingerprints without leaving lint or scratches from the fibers by applying gentle pressure to the area. If food has splattered onto the screen, slightly dampen the microfiber cloth with plain water and wipe away the residue. Immediately dry the freshly cleaned area with a clean microfiber cloth.

    using a microfiber cloth to get rid of tough stains
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  4. Dust Every Surface

    Once the screen is dust-free, don't forget the top, sides, and back of the television. It is particularly important to make sure that vents are dust-free so that heat can escape easily.

    dusting tv surfaces
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  5. Don't Forget the Electrical Cords

    Even if you have "cut the cable" and gotten rid of cable television, there are still cords and cables that gather dust on almost all television. A long-handled disposable duster is a good choice to reach these areas.

    dusting electrical cords
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  6. Clean Speakers and Components

    If you have external speakers, dust them well. A sticky lint-roller is a perfect tool to lift dust away from the fabric covers on the front of many speakers. Dust gaming boxes and other added components as well.

    using a lint roller
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  7. Sanitize the Remote

    Television remotes and game controllers are some of the most bacteria-laden items in our homes and should be cleaned daily. If someone in the household has a cold or virus, remotes should be cleaned after every use.

    • Remove the batteries and close the battery compartment.
    • Tap the remote or controller gently on a table to remove any crumbs.
    • Wipe down the remote with a microfiber cloth dampened slightly with isopropyl alcohol or use a disinfectant wipe that is safe for use on electronics.
    • Use a toothpick to push the cloth between each raised button.
    • Allow the remote to air-dry and then reinsert the batteries.
    sanitizing the remote
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

How to Clean Glass Tube Television Screens

If you have an older glass tube television, the cleaning steps are very similar. While the glass tube screen can withstand a bit more moisture, never spray anything directly onto the screen.

  1. Turn Off the Screen and Remove Dust

    Turn off the television screen and use a microfiber cloth or disposable duster to remove surface dust.

  2. Clean the Glass

    Dampen the microfiber cloth slightly or spray a tiny bit of isopropyl alcohol onto the cloth to wipe away any smudges or fingerprints on the screen. Never spray anything directly on the screen because it can cause damage to the components and the surrounding cabinetry.

  3. Dust Every Remaining Surface

    Dust the television cabinetry top, sides, back, electrical cords, and any attached components.

Tips to Keep Your Television Screen Clean Longer

  • Set aside one microfiber cloth to use only on electronics screens. This will prevent the accidental application of residue cleaners left in the cloth from other tasks.
  • Clean the television screen weekly so that grime does not build-up making it more difficult to remove.
  • If you have a vacuum with a hose and dusting brush attachment, it can be used to clean cords, vents, and solid components.
  • If you cannot find the manual that came with your television, look online for cleaning instructions. Not following the cleaning guidelines of the manufacturer can void the warranty.