How To Clean A Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

To clean your modern flat screen TV without the risk of streaks, you only need microfiber cloths, distilled white vinegar, water solution, and some elbow grease!

This article will take you through how, with gentle wiping and rubbing, your TV screen will be clear as day with no streaks.

how to clean a flat tv screen without streaks

What Materials You Need For A Streak-Free TV

Check your TV manufacturer’s guide for cleaning instructions before cleaning your TV or LCD screen.

If you can’t find the manual, don’t worry – there is a risk-free method that works for all types of screens, even a tube TV!

To keep your screen free of streaks, smudges, stains and dust, however, you must be cautious with the products you use. These are the perfect products for cleaning LCD screens:

Microfiber Cloths

A microfiber cloth is a soft and absorbent cloth used to clean surfaces. Materials such as paper towels have wood-based fibers that can damage the screen’s anti-glare coating and leave annoying bits of fibers.

You would need two clean microfiber cloths—one for damp cleaning and a dry one for shining. This will ensure you clean your flat screen TV without streaks. 

A Cleaning Solution

Your solution must be free of acetone, ammonia, acidic or alkaline cleaners, and other strong chemicals.

You can buy one designed for screens or make a DIY solution. Add one part distilled water and one part distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle.

Although tap water is also good to use, many people choose not to because tap water may contain minerals in it that can scratch the screen – this is called hard water.

Distilled water is free from minerals and is usually the best option for cleaning the TV screen.

Feather Duster

A feather duster will catch any dust and debris stuck on the screen and can be used on flat screen TVs or glass tube TV. Doing this often will reduce the number of times you have to do a deep clean.

Special Products

If you find any special wipes or sprays made for a specific brand of flat screen TV, you should use that instead of a DIY solution. This is essential in keeping your screen clean and streak-free.

How Do I Clean My TV Screen Without Streaks?

You can use the instructions below for various TV screens, such as LED, OLED, LCD, or plasma.

cleaning a tv with a microfiber cloth

The step-by-step method is as follows:

  1. Grab your cleaning solution of vinegar and water. You can also use distilled water only if your TV screen is not that smudged. If you have a TV screen cleaner, then make use of that instead.
  2. Before beginning, switch the TV off and unplug it for your safety. You are working with liquids and electronics, after all!
  3. Gently remove any dust with a feather duster or a dry microfiber cloth. If the dust is stubborn, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe it in one direction to get it out.
  4. Spray your solution on another clean cloth. In a gentle, circular motion, wipe the flat screen TV. Don’t be too rough, and focus on the areas with a lot of smudges and stains. Add more solution to the cloth as needed and continue until all smudges are gone.
  5. Take the clean cloth to dry off the screen and shine off any streaks.

How To Clean Glass Tube Televisions

Since this is an older model made of glass, its TV screen is harder to clean. You must be gentle when cleaning a glass tube TV as it can easily scratch.

With these TVs, you can use your favorite window cleaning spray.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Turn the TV off and unplug from the power course. Wait for it to cool. 
  2. Remove dust on the TV screen with a dry microfiber cloth.
  3. Use a little water and some glass or window cleaner to dampen the cloth and wipe the screen in small circles. Be gentle!
  4. Use the clean side of the dry cloth to wipe any streaks.

What Other Parts Of The TV Should I Clean?

Apart from cleaning the TV screen, you must also dust the body. A microfiber cleaning cloth with a little cleaning solution is perfect for wiping around the TV gently. Use a clean cloth to remove moisture when you’re finished.

cleaning a tv remote

The Speakers

Wipe the speakers with a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust. If the fabric covers on the speakers are removable, take them off and use the vacuum’s soft dusting brush to clean the lint, pet hair, and dust build-up.

If the covers cannot come off, vacuum the front or use a lint roller. Clean speakers give you better sound quality, so don’t skip this!

Remote Control

Don’t forget the remote control! Take out the batteries before cleaning the remote.

Before wiping, hold the remote so the buttons face down and gently tap it to remove the crumbs and dust. Then wipe it down with a damp cloth.

If the buttons are sticky, use dampened cotton wool buds to remove the grime and stuck dirt. You can also use an old, dry toothbrush to target dirt around the buttons.

Give the remote a final wipe and replace the batteries.

Things To Remember When You Clean Your Flat Screen TV

When cleaning a TV, it’s always best to stick to some rules. This will ensure you get it right every time and don’t have a smudgy TV to deal with.

Remember to:

  • Always use a soft cloth. You should avoid paper towels and other rough things because they can permanently scratch the TV screen. The best fabrics to use are microfiber clothes, as they are soft, can absorb grease, and hold dirt and dust.
  • Don’t spray anything on the screen directly. Flat screen TVs must not get wet. If you want to use a cleaning solution, spray it on the cloth and wipe the screen.
  • Avoid chemical sprays. Sprays that contain strong chemicals, such as a window cleaner, should not be used on a TV screen, as the chemicals will damage its anti-glare coatings.
  • Turn off the TV screen before cleaning. Wait 30 seconds before cleaning, as cleaning a cool TV is better than cleaning a hot/warm TV. A warm screen may cause streaks. It is easier to see the streaks when the TV is off. Looking from the side of the TV is the best way to see where the streaks are.
  • Turn the cloth after a few wipes. It would be best if you keep using a new side of the cleaning cloth as it picks up dust. Once the fabric picks up dust, it can scratch your screen while wiping. Turning the cloth prevents this and the re-settling of dirt.
  • Always use a clean cloth. New and freshly cleaned microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning your flat screen TV as it is free of dust and dirt. In this way, you are sure that there’s nothing that will scratch the screen or put more dust.
  • Wipe the TV screen in only one direction first. This is key in cleaning your flat screen TV without streaks. First, wipe vertically or horizontally, and the second time, wipe in the opposite direction. This ensures that there is no spot left on the screen.
  • Let your screen dry. When you are done cleaning your TV screen, let it dry completely. Wet spots can cause a bad glare which is noticeable.

Once your screen is clean, you should include wiping over the TV in your cleanup routine. Doing this will keep your flat screen TV clean before you have to wipe off the smudges again.

How To Sort Out Scratches On A TV Screen

While cleaning your TV, you may notice some stubborn scratches. Cleaning your TV with the above steps is usually enough to remove scratches, but there are other DIY methods.

TV Screen Scratch Repair Kit

While you cannot repair deep scratches on a plasma TV unless you replace the screen, you can reduce the visibility of the scratch so you can go back to your viewing pleasure.

Purchase a TV scratch remover kit for your brand of TV. If you want to get your TV screen close to spotless, you will need a specialist!

Petroleum Jelly or Toothpaste

Before proceeding, turn the TV off and check if you feel any wetness around the scratch, which might indicate a more significant problem and require a technician.

If it’s not so deep, use a Q-tip to apply a good coat of petroleum jelly to the scratch. Rub it in slowly and gently with a lint-free wipe. Reapply and wipe off about two times if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Keeping a flat screen clean and streak-free can be quite easy and will be done in a few minutes if you have the right tools!

Shauna Stone