The Best Way to Clean a Flat-screen TV

By Ava Fails

Cleaning your flat screen won't be as routine as your old TV or the mirror in your bathroom. Flat screens are made of less-durable materials than the glass of your traditional set. Fret not; however, as expensive cleaners are not required.

Cleaning Preparation

First things first, turn off your flat screen TV and unplug it for safety. Check the owner's manual to see what chemicals are specifically listed as examples of what not to use. In addition, take note of all the warnings regarding what not to use to clean your screen. Doing something that the owner's manual warns against is the quickest way to void the warranty on your TV.

What Not to Use

It is a good rule of thumb to avoid any and all commercial cleaners. Avoid cleaners that contain the chemicals alcohol, acetone or ammonia, as they will ruin your flat-screen TV over time. Do not use tap water, as the minerals contained within it will leave behind white spots. Never spray or pour water or cleaning solution on your screen, as it may run inside the screen and cause permanent damage. The pressure-sensitive surfaces of flat screens are easy to scratch such that even paper towels are a bad idea when cleaning. Avoid the likes of anything even slightly abrasive like tissue or newspaper as well. Depending on your budget, there is no need to purchase commercial kits to clean your flat-screen TV, as these are often expensive; however, these kits can be beneficial. They contain ingredients that reduce glare and thoroughly clean the screen. If you're cleaning only a small screen, it's really not necessary to go all-out on cleaning supplies. More than likely, you have something in your linen closet that will work.

Safe Cleaners for Flat-screen TVs

Keeping that flat screen clean is fortunately not so difficult. Invest in a soft cloth, such as microfiber or chamois, although a mismatched sock, old T-shirt or flannel shirt will do. The object is for the cloth to be clean, soft and lint-free. Use a soft, dry cloth first to remove as much dust as possible. Do not attempt to remove any stubborn spots with the dry cloth. Dampen your cloth with distilled water. For tough to remove spots, use a solution of one part distilled water and one part vinegar. Spray or apply the cleaner directly to the cloth instead of the screen. Refrain from rubbing the screen too hard, as repeated pressure will damage your TV. Do not use circular motions to "scrub" the screen as this may cause scratches. Gently wipe down the screen from left to right and allow it to completely dry for a few moments.