You just purchased the crowning jewel of your living room, a gleaming, sparkling big screen TV that will fulfill all of your wildest High Definition fantasies, but out of the corner of your eye, you see your child make a bee line for the TV, you see it happening in slow motion, you try to stop it but it is no good, your TV just got its first sticky, greasy hand print. Running around like chicken with no head, you grab the Windex and some paper towels. STOP RIGHT THERE! Put the Windex down, put the paper towels down and let’s talk about this rationally.
You would think that grabbing the nearest glass cleaner and paper towels would to the trick, well you would be right but at what cost? You have to be very careful when cleaning newer flat panel televisions these days as they are made out of materials that can be easily damaged by normal household cleaners and paper towels. Most of the screens have anti-reflective coatings on them to stop the light from bouncing off of them, use the wrong products and you could damage that coating. Use paper towel and you could actually scratch the screen. There are two main types of TV’s out there today and they would be Plasma and LCD and each has it’s own little cleaning challenges. I will list how to clean your LCD and Plasma sets.
WHAT SHOULD YOU USE ON YOUR PLAMSA OR LCD?
When you get to the store to buy your cleaning materials you will be faced with a large selection of products that claim to be perfect for cleaning your flat screen. Most will come with a bottle of cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. The microfiber cloth is perfect for wiping your screen; however the cleaning solution is not good for your TV. If you look at the ingredients I guarantee you will see that it has Alcohol and or ammonia listed as the ingredients, those my friends are the flat panel’s worst enemy. Alcohol and Ammonia, if used to clean your screen will over time eat right through the screen, yes that’s right it will burn through the material the screen is made from. This is really a problem with LCD because they do not use glass for the screen; it is a synthetic material that does not react well to alcohol. Now Plasma in theory could be cleaned with a solution that contains alcohol as the screen is made from glass, however, Plasma screens are unique in the fact they have anti-reflective coating on the glass to stop light interfering with the picture, the alcohol will eat right through that protective layer of reflective coating.
The product you can use to clean your screen is distilled water. It is perfect for this task. Number one it is cheap, much cheaper than the $8 or $9 the cleaning solution will cost you, it is free from impurities and is safe to use on LCD and Plasma. You can get a glass cleaning microfiber cloth as well, these are very soft and will not scratch your screen like paper towels would.
THE CLEANING PROCESS
So how do you actually clean the screen?
• Never start cleaning the screen with the TV on or just after it has been turned off. The screen will be hot as these sets produce quite a bit of heat. Make sure the screen is cold, if you try to clean when it is hot, you will end up with horrible streaks.
• Never spray or apply the liquid directly to the screen. The screens are not sealed like they used to be on older CRT style televisions. If you spray water on the screen and miss some, it will go right down into the case and you run the risk of destroying your TV.
• Apply the liquid to the microfiber cloth then use that on the screen.
• Start at one end of the television and wipe from top to bottom. Do not use up and down motions, just one wipe, top to bottom. When done with the first wipe, move over an inch then wipe top to bottoms again. Do this until the whole screen has been cleaned
• When cleaning the Bezel (the case around the screen) use another soft microfiber cloth as it is easy to scratch the case as well
• If you have a Plasma, use the hose on your vacuum to suck out the dust that has accumulated on the air vents to ensure that your TV can breathe properly. If you have an LCD you do not need to worry about this step.
That is it. This is the best way to clean your beautiful television screen. Never use Alcohol or Ammonia and only use a microfiber cloth. I recommend doing this once per week, even if there are no new sticky paw prints on it! I hope this helps!