Sustainability made simple

How to Clean a Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

How to clean a flat screen tv without streaks
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / pexels - Vidal Balielo Jr.

You can clean your TV with items you already have at home. Here’s how to clean a flat screen TV without streaks using simple, natural methods.

Flat screen TVs are fantastic when it comes to picture quality, but they’re kind of annoying to clean. You have to be extra careful to not damage the screen and you can only use certain types of products. Using natural products as opposed to chemical cleaners is always the best choice. Read on for how to clean a flat screen tv without streaks.

Despite what you read online, you should avoid using things like chemical window cleaners and alcohol as cleaning agents. These can actually damage delicate coatings on your flat-screen TV, and void the warranty in the process — so it’s best to stick to what your user manual suggests.

How to Clean a Flat Screen TV Without Streaks

How to clean a flat screen TV without streaks? Don't use too much pressure.
How to clean a flat screen TV without streaks? Don’t use too much pressure. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Vision24)

In order to get that streak-free shine, there’s a specific process you need to follow. Here’s how to do it:

What You Need:

  • White vinegar
  • Distilled water (distilled water is free of impurities and will not create streaks)
  • A soft, clean cloth (natural fiber cloth only)
  • Bowl or spray bottle


  1. Turn off your TV: the black surface will enable you to see dust, smudges and dirt more clearly.
  2. Use a dry, soft natural fiber cloth like cotton or linen to gently wipe the screen first. If this doesn’t remove the dust or fingerprints right away, don’t press down any harder or you might damage the screen and cause pixel burn out.
  3. Make your cleaning solution: create a mix of half white vinegar, half distilled water. This cleaning solution is safe on most flat screen TVs.
  4. Dip your cloth into the solution: Never spray any cleaning solution directly onto your screen and dip your cloth in instead, making sure to wring out the excess water. If you’d rather use a spray bottle, spray the cloth and not the screen.
  5. Gently wipe down your TV screen: start from the top and work your way down. Don’t forget to wipe the frame and the base of the TV where dust tends to accumulate.
  6. Buff dry with a dry cloth: using a clean, unused cotton cloth, buff your TV dry to eliminate potential streaks. You may need to repeat the process if smudges or dust remains.

What to Avoid:

  • Don’t use coarse paper towels, toilet paper, or something dirty like an old shirt to wipe the screen, as these could scratch the flat screen surface.
  • Avoid any cleaners that contain ammonia, ethyl alcohol, acetone or chloride. These chemicals, which are often found in commercial window cleaners, can cause the flat screen to discolor.
  • Never spray liquid directly on the screen as it can run into delicate electronics inside and damage them.

Sustainable Cleaning Tip: Skip the Microfiber

Natural cleaning will keep your flat screen streak-free when applied correctly.
Natural cleaning will keep your flat screen streak-free when applied correctly. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / yousafbhutta)

Use a plain duster cloth to clean your flat screen or reuse your old clothing for that purpose — but always be sure your cloth is clean. Yes, a regular cloth might not hold as much dust as a microfiber one, but you will be doing the environment a favor by opting for a natural alternative instead. As the name would suggest, microfibers are tiny, so it is virtually impossible to clean them up once they are shed from the cloth. Unlike natural products like cotton and wool, synthetic fibers are not biodegradable, so once they enter the ecosystem they are there forever.

Did you know that microfiber cloths release microplastics into the ocean? These microfibers are far too small to ever be filtered out by waste treatment plants, which means they end up in our waterways. This can be very damaging to marine animals and the environment, with microfibers comprising up to 85 percent of plastic shoreline pollution around the world.

In any case, whether cleaning your flat screen TV or some other item in the home that needs a delicate touch, it’s best to avoid microfiber cloths at all costs — Mother Nature will thank you for it.

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