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Updated: 20 May 2022

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

The majority of household cleaning sprays shouldn't go anywhere near your TV - find out how to clean your TV screen properly without leaving streaks
Natalie Turner
Person cleaning a TV screen with a pink microfiber cloth

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

There are dozens of cleaners for all manner of surfaces in your home from worktops to windows, but many are too harsh to use 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 TV.

Looking to upgrade to a new TV? Our expert lab tests reveal the best and the worst models. You can use our TV reviews to find a great 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 (one 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, 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 stick to the official advice.

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Five steps on how to clean your TV screen without leaving streaks

Microfibre cloth - suitable for cleaning your TV

Before you start, unplug your TV.

  1. Use a dry soft cloth, ideally microfibre or 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, 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.

Cleaners you shouldn't use to clean your TV screen

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

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

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 the best TVs.

Should you clean LCD and OLED screens differently?

In short, no. The steps we outlined earlier in the guide will work a treat on your TV along with the specific rules stipulated by the manufacturer.

OLEDs and LCD displays can be cleaned the same way. You won't need any special cloths or cleaning fluids.

Other parts of your TV you might need to clean

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.

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. Take care and hold the nozzle away from the TV as to not cause damage. Try not to push into the port since this could also damage the connection.

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