Much like anything in your home, TV screens get dirty with fingerprints and dust and require a periodic cleaning. Keeping your TV screen clean is essential for ensuring a clear picture. However, cleaning the front of your TV is not something that should be left for the cleaning lady. The use of certain cleaning products and solvents can damage the front of your TV screen. Special care must be taken in order to make sure that your TV screen is cleaned properly.
Every kind of TV has different steps for proper cleaning. If you are unsure what kind of TV you own, consult your TV user's manual to ensure that you are using the right cleaning method.
- Direct-View - Older direct view TV's can be cleaned with glass cleaner and a paper towel. Newer tubes that may contain any special coatings, like an anti-glare coating, should be cleaned with a damp cotton cloth. If you are unsure if you have any special coatings, it is best to be safe and use the damp cloth.
- CRT Rear-Projection - Before you can begin cleaning, you need to determine if you do, or do not have a screen shield. A screen shield is a hard plastic cover over the front of the TV screen. If you can't tell, give the front of the TV a light tap. Another way to tell is to check for ridges in the screen area. If you can feel ridges on the screen, then you do not have a screen shield. Rear projection TVs without a screen shield require a special kind of cleaner and rag. These are available for purchase at your local TV service center. Those that do have a screen shield should be cleaned with a dry or damp soft cloth. If it's extremely dirty, a mild soap may be used. Do not use paper products, such as paper towels, to clean the screen shield. Paper products
can easily scratch the surface of the shield. Screen shields can have a tendency to streak while cleaning. If this happens, use a dry cloth and buff the screen in a small circular motions.
- Microdisplay Rear-Projection - All microdisplay TVs have some sort of screen shield on the front. These TVs should be cleaned with a damp cloth. Microdisplays with a shiny screen shield can be cleaned with a mild soap if extremely dirty. Those with a flat screen shield should not be cleaned with any cleaning agents. Do not use paper products to clean the front of the TV because they could scratch the screen surface.
- Plasma - Plasma owners should clean the front of the TV with a soft, damp cloth. The use of a mild soap for heavy cleaning is acceptable. The use of heavy cleaning agents could strip the special coatings on the screen, and paper products can scratch the front of the TV.
- LCD Flat Panel - Be careful with flat panel LCD TVs! Use a slightly damp soft cloth to clean the LCD screen, then immediately dry with a soft cloth. Do not press hard on the screen during cleaning. Doing so could cause severe damage to the display. Do not use any cleaning solvents, such as glass cleaner or soaps, to clean the LCD screen. Paper products could scratch the front of the screen. If you have a pet or child that rubbed something on the screen that you feel could stain or damage it, contact your local TV service center for assistance.
When dusting the TV cabinets, dust with a damp cloth or a mild cleaner. Paper products can scratch the surface of high-gloss cabinets, so avoid paper products. Heavy cleaners can strip the finish off of TV cabinets over time. When cleaning speaker grilles, dust with a dry cloth. Wet cleaners could stain or damage the grille cloth.