How to Clean an LG TV Screen (or any other smart TV)

cleaning materials in front of smart tvcleaning materials in front of smart tv

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Getting fingerprints and dirt on your TV screen is inevitable. But, it can still make it extremely annoying to watch shows. 

Knowing how to clean your TV screen will ensure you always have the clearest picture. LG TV is pictured below as that’s what I have in my living room.

Unplug the TV

Even though the chance of an electric shock is low when you’re cleaning your TV screen, you should still unplug the TV first

It’s much easier to see smudges and fingerprints when the TV is off, and unplugging it ensures that you won’t be at risk even if you touch any cords or wires. 

Wipe the TV with a Clean, Damp Cloth 

Microfiber on tv

If your TV screen is just dusty, you don’t need to go all out. A quick dusting with a microfiber cloth is usually all it takes.

But, you shouldn’t wait too long to start cleaning the screen once you notice marks or dirt. Rubbing away dirt and fingerprints is easier when they first appear. 

Grab a fresh, clean cloth and wet it with warm, distilled water. Don’t use a cloth you used to dust other furniture, because this can transfer more dust and dirt onto the TV screen. 

Always use a soft cloth that can’t scratch the screen. Microfiber cloths or eyeglass cleaning cloths are perfect

Make sure it’s in good condition, because you don’t want it to shed any fibers onto the screen. Never use paper towels to clean your TV

Ring out most of the water so the cloth is only slightly damp, then gently wipe the screen in circular motions. Don’t use too much pressure, as this can damage the screen.

Pay special attention to especially dirty areas, but again, avoid using a lot of pressure. 

Dry the Excess Water Off

Once you’re done cleaning all the dirt and fingerprints off the screen, grab a clean, dry microfiber cloth and wipe the screen to remove any extra moisture

Use circular motions to avoid streaks once you turn the TV back on.

Plug the TV Back In 

Once you’re done cleaning, you can plug the TV back in and use it. If you notice any spots you missed, unplug the TV and repeat the process.

What Not to Do While Cleaning a Smart TV Screen

Now that we’ve covered what you do what to do while cleaning your Smart TV’s screen, let’s discuss a couple of things to avoid.

Cleaning products to avoid
  • Don’t use household cleaning products. This includes glass cleaners and multi-purpose sprays. The chemicals these sprays contain can damage your screen’s anti-reflective coating over time.
  • Avoid cleaning with paper towels or toilet paper. The wood fibers in these products can leave tiny scratches on your screen, leading to dull or dark spots on your TV in the future.
  • Use distilled water when possible. Although the potential for damage is low, any impurities or minerals in tap water can be harmful to your TV’s screen.

What Should I Clean My TV Screen with? 

Damp microfiber in front of TV

The best thing to clean a TV screen with is a soft dry cloth. Never use harsh chemicals, like Windex, to clean any flat-screen TV, as this can damage the screen.

While some people are nervous about cleaning their TV screens with any kind of liquid, LG actually recommends using a damp cloth instead of a dry one.

This is true for all LG TVs, including LCD and OLED models. Just be sure to wipe the screen dry after you’re done so you don’t leave behind streaks and residue. 

I’ve found that this helps get more stubborn fingerprints and debris off my screen. However, you should never spray water directly on your TV screen.

If water alone doesn’t do the trick, try creating your own cleaning solution with equal parts white vinegar and distilled water, or adding a dab of dish soap to a spray bottle of distilled water.

These gentle combinations will help remove anything water alone cannot without damaging your screen. 

How to Clean Liquid Spills Off a TV

If someone spills a drink on your TV screen, it’s important to act fast. 

Unplug the TV and wipe off the liquid with a dry microfiber cloth, making sure none drips into the frame where it can damage the TV’s internal components.

Once you’ve taken care of the initial spill, follow the steps above to clean the residue before it settles.

How to Clean Other Parts of Your TV

If you’re already cleaning your TV screen, you might as well go all out and clean the whole thing. 

Different parts of a TV require different cleaning processes, and it’s important to properly follow each to avoid damage.

Clean the Back of a Smart TV

Cleaning back of tv with microfiber and compressed air

If there’s a lot of dust accumulated on the back of your TV, the first thing you should do is grab a dry microfiber cloth and dust it off. Usually, this is enough to remove surface-level dust.

You can also use air dusters or invest in a rechargeable compressed air duster to blow the light dust away.

If it’s been a while since you cleaned the back of your TV and a lot of thick dust has accumulated, wet the cloth with warm water and ring it out. Then, gently wipe it off and use another soft cloth to dry it.

Even though the back of your TV isn’t usually as delicate as the screen, you still shouldn’t use household cleaning products or spray water directly onto it.

Clean Your TV’s Speakers

Dust can build up inside your TV speakers over time, eventually impacting your TV’s sound quality. 

I recommend using a can of compressed air to blow out loose dust first. This one is my favorite because it has a lot of extra attachments to fit different purposes.

But, don’t hold the can directly on the speaker, as this can damage the delicate components inside. 

Ideally, you should hold the can approximately six inches from the speaker and press the trigger in a few quick bursts.

Once the bulk is removed, grab a warm, slightly damp microfiber cloth and gently wipe from side to side. Make sure to dry any moisture with a clean microfiber cloth when you’re done.

If you’re cleaning a tweeter, only use compressed air – you don’t want to get those wet at all.

Clean Your TV Ports

Dust and debris inside your TV’s HDMI, USB, or any other ports can cause the devices plugged into them to malfunction. 

If you need to clean your LG TV’s ports, unplug your TV, grab a can of compressed air, and gently blow dirt out of the ports. Never put the can directly on the port. 

Usually, this is enough to do the trick. But, if you can still see debris or the port still isn’t working properly, you can use a dry cotton swab to remove stuck-on debris. 

If you need to use liquids, never use anything other than a dab of isopropyl alcohol, with an alcohol content of at least 90%, on a cotton swab. 

Don’t plug the TV back in or plug anything into the port until it’s completely evaporated.  

Tips for Cleaning Mounted TVs

If your TV is mounted high up on the wall, it might be hard to clean the screen using the traditional method. 

If you’re just trying to dust the TV off, you can use a duster to reach up and clean it. 

Only use a brand-new duster or duster pad — if there’s anything already on the duster, it might scratch up your screen.

You can also use a microfiber cloth to dust or clean an adjustable mounting bracket. Wipe it off with a warm, slightly damp cloth, then dry it off with another cloth.

How Do I Keep My TV Screen Clean?

If you constantly find yourself having to wipe dirt and debris from your TV screen, follow some of these tips to keep it cleaner in the future:

  • Mount your TV higher on the wall. This will make it harder for the kids to leave fingerprints and spill their juice on the screen.
  • Move the TV away from doors and windows. It’s easier for dust and dirt to accumulate in these areas. 
  • Don’t let your pets play or roll around in front of the TV. This prevents loose hair, drool, and other debris from sticking to the screen.
  • Keep the thin plastic film covering on the TV. When the plastic starts to get dirty, you can just remove it. 
  • Drape a covering over the TV when you are not using it. This is a good idea if your TV is in a sunroom or if you keep the windows open. 
  • Use an air purifier. Air purifiers reduce the dust and dander in the air, reducing the potential for it to stick to your screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use a Swiffer Duster to Clean a smart TV?

While it won’t help you remove fingerprints or sticky debris from the screen, a Swiffer duster can help you clean surface dust off your TV screen. This is especially helpful for TVs mounted on the wall.

However, you should only use a fresh Swiffer pad on any kind of TV screen. Dirt or sand stuck to the pad from another cleaning project can scratch and damage the screen.

Is Cleaning an LG TV with a Matte Display Different?

You can clean an LG TV with a matte display the same way you would clean any other LG TV screen. 

Never use any household cleaning products or spray water directly on a matte display. 

Can You Disinfect an LG TV?

While you shouldn’t use any kind of chemical, including disinfecting solution, on a TV screen, you can use an antibacterial spray to clean other parts of your LG TV

Don’t spray the solution directly onto the TV. I’d even recommend against antibacterial wipes. 

Instead, grab a microfiber cloth, spray a bit of disinfectant on it, and gently wipe all sides of the frame. 

What Do I Do if I Damage My LG TV While Cleaning?

Even though LG recommends cleaning your TV screen with a damp cloth, the one-year warranty does not cover damage from spills or water

If you damage your LG TV while cleaning it, you will not be able to file a warranty claim.

If you get water inside your LG TV, grab a dry cloth and wipe all the edges to remove anything that hasn’t gotten inside yet. Then, tilt the TV to each side and soak up any water that comes out.

After that, the best thing to do is unplug the TV and lay it screen-side down on a soft surface. Leave it in this position for at least 24 hours to see if the water dries up and the problem solves itself.

If not, you’ll probably need to replace the TV.

How to Tell if an LG TV Has Water Damage

There are a few telltale signs that your LG TV has sustained some water damage. These include:

  • A blurry picture
  • Lines on the screen
  • Rust or corrosion
  • Black, ink-like spots on the screen

If you notice any of these signs, unplug the TV immediately to avoid electrical damage to both your TV and the outlet.

Why Are There Always Streaks After Cleaning My TV?

If you finish cleaning your LG TV screen and see streaks, it means one of two things:

  • You didn’t dry it completely
  • There’s still dirt on the screen

If the screen still feels wet, gently wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth in circular motions until the streaks disappear. If it feels dry, repeat the cleaning process to remove the excess dirt.

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