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How to clean your TV screen without damaging it – and which cleaners to avoid

Most people have numerous cleaning sprays at home and the majority of them shouldn't go near your TV

How to clean your TV screen without damaging it – and which cleaners to avoid

A flawless piece of glass designed to transport you to different worlds, time periods and Coronation Street is only a scratch, smear or scuff away from being ruined. So what cleaners and cloths are safe to use to avoid this happening?

You shouldn’t really touch your TV screen and yet, somehow, they seem to get smeared and streaky. A toddler could explain it, but otherwise any unwanted marks are a mystery.

There are dozens of different cleaners for all manner of surfaces in your home, from worktops to windows, and many of them are too harsh to be used on a delicate TV screen.

We checked the advice of popular TV manufacturers and did our own research to see how best to safely clean your biggest screen.

Looking to upgrade to a new 4K TV? Use our expert TV reviews to find a model that’s the right size, spec and price for you.

Manufacturer advice for cleaning your TV screen

  • LG – unplug the TV and wipe gently with a soft dry cloth. Don’t use water or glass cleaner.
  • Panasonic –  gently wipe the display with a soft cloth. For stubborn dirt, dampen a soft cloth with clean water, or diluted neutral detergent (1 part detergent to 100 parts water) wring out the cloth and wipe away the dirt. Wipe away any moisture when you’re done.
  • Samsung – unplug the TV and wipe the screen with a soft, clean, lint free, dry cloth. You can spray screen cleaner onto the cloth first, but never on the screen. Let the screen fully dry before plugging the TV back in.
  • Sony – unplug the TV and clean the screen with a soft, dry cloth. You can dampen the cloth slightly with a solution of mild soap and warm water if needs be. Use small circular motions and then use a soft cloth to dry the screen.

There’s some differing opinion on whether water should be used, so be careful if you’ve got an LG TV where no water or glass cleaner is recommended. This could affect your warranty, so be sure to adhere to official advice when you clean your telly.

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5 steps on how to clean your TV screen

Microfibre cloth you might use to clean a TV screen

Before you start, unplug your TV.

  1. Use a dry soft cloth, similar to something you might clean a pair of glasses with. Don’t use a rough cloth or kitchen roll. The abrasive surface could scratch your screen.
  2. Clean gently in small circles, being careful not to put much pressure on the screen.
  3. Some TVs are less stable than others and you may need to support the back of the screen with your free hand – particularly OLEDs, where the screen is incredibly thin at the top.
  4. If there are any stubborn marks, then use a water solution or specialist TV screen cleaner in line with your manufacturer’s policy. Put the solution on the cloth, not directly on the screen.
  5. Let the screen dry fully before plugging your TV back in, in case the cleaning substance reacts badly with a hot screen.

A clean screen is one thing, but there are numerous settings you can tweak to make sure you’re getting the best picture. Input your model into our tool on getting the best TV picture to see how to get your telly looking its best.

hand holding a cloth cleaning a TV screen

Cleaners you shouldn’t use to clean your TV screen

TV screens have special layers designed to minimise glare and reflections – so the last thing you want to do is compromise your coating.

Near enough all of the cleaners you use in your kitchen and bathroom could damage your TV screen. For the sake of simplicity, we’d recommend you avoid all of them.

As much as possible you want to use a dry cloth and only resort to a cleaning solution if there’s a mark that won’t come off with careful dry wiping.

Find out what you need to know about how to buy the best TV.

Other parts of your TV you might need to clean

If you’ve ever scraped lint out of a smartphone charging port, then you’ll know that dust and debris will find its way into any nook and cranny it can.

You’re not putting a TV in your pocket, so lint shouldn’t be a problem, but TV ports, such as HDMI and USB inputs, can get dusty. If you haven’t used one of your HDMI inputs before and go to plug in a new device, you could push that built-up dust into your TV’s innards. This may not cause any issues at all, but it’s best avoided just in case.

Wipe the ports with a cloth. If they’re particularly dusty, you can use a vacuum cleaner on its lowest setting to clear out any debris. Try not to push into the port since this could damage the connection.

You don’t need to spend thousands to get a great TV – we reveal the best cheap TVs.

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