Most flat screen televisions require special care to keep them clean. Although older TVs can be cleaned with a chemical cleaning solution and rag or towel, LCD and LED flat screens are more fragile. Luckily, there are simple ways to keep these televisions looking their best without the use of harsh chemical cleaners and abrasive rags or towels.
Use Cleaning Cloths
A microfibre cleaning cloth will probably do the trick for simple dusting. Televisions should be turned off before cleaning, as cleaning them while they’re on can affect performance. The darkened screen will also make dust particles more visible. A simple and gentle swipe across the screen is all it takes to remove dust. Only very light pressure should be applied. If light pressure doesn’t remove the spots, use the proper cleaning solution to loosen them.
For most flat screen televisions, it is important to use the appropriate type of cleaning cloth. Paper towels, regular bath towels, and brushes should not be used. Microfibre is the ideal material, as it is soft and non-abrasive and won’t damage fragile screens.
Two types of cleaning solution can be used to remove hard-to-clean spots on a flat screen TV.
Special Flat Screen Cleaners
Many electronics or computer supply stores carry solutions that are designed specially for cleaning a flat screen television or computer monitor. These cleaners remove most typical spots and splatters without damaging the screen.
The cleaner should be sprayed directly onto a microfibre cloth and then applied to the screen. Some cleaners may be applied directly to the screen if stuck-on stains are a problem, but read package instructions before applying the cleaner directly to the screen. If the instructions don’t specify whether the solution can be sprayed directly onto the screen, users should call the manufacturer for clarification before assuming it’s safe. Failure to follow manufacturer instructions could lead to permanent damage.
Vinegar and Water Solution
A lower-priced and easy-to-make cleaning solution can be made from vinegar and water. The solution is made by mixing one-part white vinegar to one-part water. White vinegar is found in most grocery stores and can often be found where cooking vinegar is sold and with the cleaning supplies.
Dip a microfibre cloth into the vinegar and water cleaning solution to clean a flat screen TV. Special care should be taken to ensure the cloth is not drenched or soaking wet, and the vinegar solution should not be sprayed or dumped directly onto the screen. The same gentle pressure and wiping pattern used with dry cleaning should also be used when cleaning with a solution. If spots are stuck on or hard to remove, additional vinegar can be added to the rag to loosen them. Once all spots are removed, a dry rag should be used to remove any excess moisture to prevent spotting.
Harsh cleaners and chemicals should never be used to clean a flat screen TV or monitor. This is especially true of cleaners containing ammonia, ethyl alcohol, and other common cleaning agents. Use of these chemicals could result in irreversible damage to the screen.
Nothing can be done to repair a screen that has already has deep scratches or significant damage. In some cases, however, steps may be taken to repair minor scratches, or at least lessen their appearance.
Dabbing a little petroleum jelly over the scratch may make it less visible. Dip a cotton ball in the jelly and lightly dab at the screen to coat the scratch with the jelly. Let the petroleum jelly sit on the scratch for several minutes, then gently wipe it off using a microfibre cloth or another cotton ball.
Scratch repair kits are also available for purchase. These can be found where flat screen televisions are sold. When available, these kits are often the safest means for removing scratches, since they are designed specifically for flat screen TVs. If they aren’t available in a local store, they may be found through an online retailer like eBay.
As a last resort, use lacquer to reduce the appearance of scratches. Lacquer should be sprayed directly over the scratch, and then allowed to dry. Special care should be taken to spray the lacquer only where needed.
Owners should also ensure that their warranty doesn’t cover the replacement of a scratched screen before attempting to do a home repair. Trying do-it-yourself fixes may void a warranty that is in place.