When was the last time you cleaned your TV screen? How did you do it? For something that you probably spend so much time looking at, you really should clean it every now and then – every HDTV needs it at some point. The screen is electrostatic so it will attract dust and dirt, plus the occasional beer or other spray won’t help you see a clear picture. Cleaning it seems like a simple thing to do, but you really need to be careful as you could ruin the screen.
Most TV screen’s have special coatings on their surface that can be harmed if you use a solvent or the wrong cleanser. In addition, using the wrong type of cloth can cause scratches that are difficult or impossible to get rid of. Quickly your cleaning expedition can turn ugly to the point that you were better off with a dirty screen.
What NOT to do
Let’s start with what not to do:
- Do not use Windex or other glass cleaners. It has ammonia and alcohol, both of which can severely harm the coating on your screen.
- If you choose to buy a screen cleaner (although this is not necessary), then make sure it clearly says it doesn’t contain ammonia or alcohol.
- Don’t use vinegar. Some people have said it works but the problem is that the PH of vinegar is wrong for the screen and can strip the anti-glare coating off.
- Don’t use paper towels, Kleenex, napkins, kitchen towels, household rags, shirtsleeves, etc. They are all too rough and can scratch the screen.
- Don’t use circular buffing motions when cleaning. Always either go left to right or up and down. This avoids creating buffed out spots or whirl marks.
- Don’t put much pressure on the screen at all. You can damage the pixels and ruin the screen. A very light pressure will do fine.
- Don’t spray liquid on the screen as it can run down to the bottom and enter the TV set causing damage.
How to Best Clean Your Screen
The first thing I would suggest is to have a look at the manual that came with your HDTV. You know, that thing that you probably can’t remember what you did with, and never really read much of if you read anything. Most owner’s manuals have cleaning instructions that are worth paying attention to.
Fear not if you have lost the manual, as you can also follow these simple cleaning guidelines:
- Use a dry “microfiber” cloth and wipe the screen lightly in order to get rid of any dust or dirt particles. Go across the screen or up and down, but not circular buffing motions.
- For stubborn spots, don’t press harder as you can ruin the screen. Instead, lightly dampen the microfiber cloth with warm water. The best is to use distilled water, as it has absolutely no impurities in it and is the right PH.
- If the spots are still stubborn, add a tiny bit of dish soap in the warm water, and try again. A tiny bit is less than 1 part soap per hundred parts of water.
- Remember, dampen the rag – don’t spray water on to the TV as it can run down into the electronics.
- If you happen to dampen the rag a bit too much and there is a bit of water on the screen follow it up with a dry microfiber cloth.
Keeping your TV screen clean is simple to do and is not a costly exercise if you follow these simple instructions. So clean up your act and start seeing things much more clearly now!