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How to clean your HDTV

LCD screen cleaningSome HDTV manufacturers suggest using custom-made LCD/plasma cleaners to clean your display, but these are often just as expensive as they are unnecessary. In fact, if you check the label on most of these “professional” cleaning solutions, you’ll find that the main ingredient is usually just water. So instead of forking over your hard-earned cash for something that isn’t necessary, we suggest making your own simple solution with a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. This is probably the cheapest solution you can come by, and it works great — it’s very mild and isn’t harmful to your TV. Here are our 5 easy steps to help you clean your LCD or plasma TV screen.

What You’ll Need

  • Two pieces of soft, lint-free cloth. We recommend using some form of microfiber.
  • Distilled water
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Measuring cup (don’t have one? use a shotglass to measure equal quantities)
  • Q-tips (optional)

5 Easy Steps to Clean your LCD or Plasma TV Screen

1. Turn off your TV and give it a chance to cool down. Wait until it’s no longer warm to the touch before you proceed.

2. Dust the screen to remove any dirt particles. Wipe the screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dust. If you can’t see any visible smudges after you’re done dusting, stop here. 

3. Make a mild mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. Use your measuring cup to ensure you’re that it’s equal parts water and alcohol. Don’t have a measuring cup? Use a shot glass to measure quantities before mixing. In any case, just make sure that you’re not overdoing it with the isopropyl alcohol. The solution shouldn’t be more than half alcohol or it could cause damage to the screen.

4. Dip and wipe. Dip your cloth into the solution and then ring it out to remove excess moisture. You want the cloth to be damp, not wet. Wipe the damp cloth over the screen very gently.

5. Dry with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. Use the second cloth to dry your LCD or plasma screen. Don’t leave any moisture on it — especially before turning the TV back on.


  • If your TV’s bezel makes it difficult to clean the corners and near the edges of the display, use a Q-tip dampened with your solution to get to the hard-to-reach areas. 
  • Make certain you’re using the right chemical. Don’t use ethyl alcohol, acetone, toluene, ethyl acid, ammonia, or methyl chloride — only isopropyl alcohol
  • Always use a clean cloth — tiny hard particles can get trapped in cloth fibers and leave scratches
  • Get the cloth damp. Not wet, just damp. You don’t want drops running down the screen after you wipe.
  • DO NOT use Windex or other glass cleaners! These generally contain ammonia and WILL hurt your LCD screen.
  • Do not use paper towels. They leave behind tiny bits of paper that can mess up your display.