CRT screens older TVs and monitors have are made of glass and can be cleaned in the same manner as any other house glass surface (e.g. windows). However, newer models are much more sensitive and require greater care. You can easily distinguish older and new generation of TVs and monitors by their shape – older ones have a boxlike shape, while the newer ones are flat.
Flat screens are nowadays found in a wide variety of devices – TVs, monitors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-book readers… Same cleaning rules apply to all of them. That’s why you should take to heart what you learn here. It will prolong your device’s service life and preserve the quality it had when you bought it for as long as possible.
Most flat screens are LCD displays. Also important to note is, although plasma TVs and many touch screens are actually glass, they typically have a thin sensitive layer of anti-glare coating, so don’t treat them like any other ordinary glass surface.
Before you begin with cleaning, turn off and unplug your device. Switch off any auxiliary devices in close proximity as well. Leave all of them unplugged until you are done cleaning. Make sure the screen is completely dry. This isn’t just a safety precaution to avoid risk of property damage and personal injury, it also helps you clean your device more thoroughly. When the screen is dark, it’s easier to spot where oily and smudged areas are and when they are gone.
Once this is done, there is a standard procedure you can use to clean any sensitive flat screen surface. It takes less than five minutes and requires very little effort. Here it is:
1. Find a suitable piece of cloth you can use to wipe the screen. Make sure it’s clean, dry and soft. An excellent choice would be the microfiber kind used for eyeglass lenses. Avoid using tissue or toilet paper and paper towels. Definitely don’t use something like a shirt. Material must be ultra-soft, or you will scratch the screen.
2. Gently wipe of the screen, using low pressure and circular motions. If there is a spot your wiping didn’t remove, do not attempt to clean it by pressing the screen harder! Direct application of pressure may cause some pixels to burn out. Desktop monitors, laptop displays and LCD/LED TV displays are most prone to this type of damage. It usually isn’t an issue with devices with touchscreens, like tablets and phones, but you should take care nonetheless.
3. If step 2 didn’t completely clean your screen, use distilled water or a solution of distilled water and white vinegar to dampen the cloth. You can also use some special flat screen cleaning agent. They are usually sold in spray bottles. Most people who used them will recommend them to others. However, there are certain types of these cleaning agents you should avoid. Don’t use the ones which contain any of the following: ethyl alcohol, ammonia, acetone or ethyl acetate, toluene. Don’t use any household cleaning products either. This is important because these can potentially react with the thin layer of coating applied to the screen and cause permanent discoloration. To find out if a cleaning agent contains any of these, simply look at the chemical composition printed on the bottle. Also important to note, never spray any kind of liquid directly on screen. This applies to non-flat screens too. Liquid could cause damage by running inside the device.
4. Clean the plastic edge with any multipurpose cleaner. Just be careful not to touch the screen itself with it. You can use a Q-tip to collect remaining dust wedged between the screen and the plastic frame.
Here are some cleaning products we recommend:
This product is great for removing dust, fingerprints and overspray from all types of monitor/TV screens. It’s equally good for glass surfaces and polycarbonate surfaces, which many modern screens are made of. It’s ammonia-free, phosphate free alcohol-free and you don’t have to worry if it will leave streaks or residue on screen after you are done cleaning.
It’s great for LED, LCD, HD/3D TVs, Monitors, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphone and many other devices. It’s and ammonia and alcohol free, it dries quickly and doesn’t leave behind streaks or residue. The microfiber cloth included in the kit is ultra-soft and perfect for removing fingerprints, dust and smudges without damaging sensitive surfaces.
It comes with a powerful cleaning solution which removes dust, dirt, and oily fingerprints. Its advanced formula cleans without dripping, streaking or staining. The kit also includes a high-tech reusable MicroFiber cloth specifically designed for cleaning sensitive screens.