How To Clean Your TV Using Pantry Ingredients

updated Sep 5, 2022
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Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn

Some cleaning tasks demand to be done as soon as you notice them, for no reason other than that you can’t un-see what’s not clean. For instance, when I notice that there are “leftovers” from my cats sneezing while looking out the window, I can’t just leave it. And when I see smudges on the inky black screen of my TV, it’s hard to leave those there, too. 

You may hesitate to clean your TV because you’re not sure you know what to use. Don’t flat screen TVs need to be cleaned with certain cleaners, and even a special rag?

Well, sort of. While old school televisions were made with glass screens that could be cleaned with anything that made glass streak-free, using harsh chemicals on LCD screens can cause permanent damage because they’re made from a special kind of flexible plastic.

Plasma TV screens, though they’re made of glass, are also delicate. Using a scratchy rag or even a paper towel can also scratch these screens.

Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn

But you don’t need a specialty cleaner. You can clean your flat screen TV, whatever kind you have, with things you probably already have at home. 

Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn
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Turn off your TV: Working on a dark surface will enable you to see dust, fingerprints, and dirt more clearly than if the TV is on.

How to Clean A TV Screen

What You’ll Need


  1. Turn off your TV: Working on a dark surface will enable you to see dust, fingerprints, and dirt more clearly than if the TV is on. 
  2. Dust your TV with a dry microfiber cloth: Use one microfiber cloth to gently dust the surface of your TV screen. Don’t forget to dust the frame and the base. 
  3. Make your cleaning solution: Mix a solution of half white vinegar, half distilled water. This cleaning solution is effective yet gentle. Using distilled water prevents hard water residue from making your screen look dirty. 
  4. Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution: Never spray any cleaning solution directly onto your screen. Dip your cleaning rag instead. If you’d rather use a spray bottle, that’s fine, but again, spray the cloth, not the screen. 
  5. Wring the cloth well: You don’t want your rag dripping wet. Damp is perfect. 
  6. Gently wipe down your TV screen and the frame: Wipe down your TV screen with your damp microfiber cloth. Start from the top and work your way down, using an S pattern. Don’t forget to wipe the frame and the base of the TV. 
  7. Buff dry with a dry microfiber cloth: With a clean, unused microfiber cloth, buff your TV dry to eliminate potential water spots. 


  • We used three microfiber cloths here to show the three main stages, but you really just need two. Use the first one to dust the screen, then rinse it and wring it out and use that same one to dip into the solution. Then, just used a second one to buff and dry the screen at the end.