Say Goodbye to Smudges and Fingerprints with Screen Cleaners

Nothing ruins a movie or TV show like spotting a fingerprint or oily smudge on your HDTV screen. The same goes for laptops, computer monitors, and touchscreen tablets. Dirty, dusty, and grimy displays are distracting, to say the least.

But getting rid of those smudges, fingerprints, and other blemishes is easier said than done. In fact, if you use the wrong cleaner or material you can make the smears worse or even seriously damage your device.  

Why It's Important to Use Proper Screen Cleaners

The tube TVs of yesteryear had thick glass screens. Cleaning them wasn't much of a concern at all. You could use a handful of paper towel and pretty much any household cleaner you wanted. But the majority of today's TVs, monitors, and touchscreen devices feature LCD or LED displays, which are incredibly sensitive.

Harsh chemicals can damage the specially engineered plastic that most LCD and LED displays are made from. Plasma displays (which are covered in a pane of glass) are less sensitive, but they often have anti-glare coatings that can be stripped away by certain chemicals and cleaners.

Choosing the Best Screen Cleaners for TVs and Monitors

For the best results, make sure you select a screen cleaner that's specially designed for use on LED and LCD displays. Screen cleaners leave no cloudy streaks behind on your display, won't damage or discolour the display, and won't strip away the anti-glare coating. Make sure you specifically avoid cleaners that contain the following ingredients: ammonia, ethyl alcohol, toluene, acetone, and ethyl acetate.

For added convenience, look for a screen cleaning kit that also includes a micro-fibre cloth. A micro-fibre cloth is the only way to ensure you won't accidentally scratch your display while you're cleaning it.

Tips for How to Safely Clean Your TV or Monitor Screen

With a proper screen cleaner and micro-fibre cloth in hand you're well on your way to making your HDTV or other display look like new again. To ensure the safest results, follow these tips to effectively clean your HDTV, laptop, monitor, or touchscreen display:

Turn Off Your Device

Before you do anything else, turn off your device and (if possible) unplug it. You'll see smudges and dust better when the display is turned off. This ensures you can zero in on blemishes for a thorough and spotless cleaning. Also, liquids and electronics don't mix, so unplug the display if it's easy to do so.

Use a Micro-Fibre Cloth

If you want to entirely avoid the risk of scratching the display, always use a micro-fibre cloth. Never use paper towels, tissue paper, or hand towels. Even old t-shirts (a popular choice) can scratch highly sensitive screens. When it comes to wiping a flat panel display, use a micro-fibre cloth or nothing at all.

Use a Light Touch

It can be tempting to push a little harder when you're trying to clean off pesky fingerprints or other oily smudges. But pressing too hard on an LCD or LED display can cause permanent pixel burnout. Always use a light touch when cleaning a flat panel display.

Apply Cleaner to a Cloth First, Not Your Display

Avoid spraying screen cleaner directly onto your HDTV, monitor, laptop, or touchscreen display. Excess liquid can quickly run down and into your device, which can cause all sorts of damage (and safety risks). Always spray the screen cleaner onto a micro-fibre cloth first, and then wipe the display with the cloth.