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Best products to clean screens
© Iakov Filimonov |

Get rid of the paper towels – 3 better ways to clean screens and TVs

When the sun hits your TV or monitor just right, you can see hundreds of tiny scratches left over from the last time you cleaned it.

That’s because you used paper towels. They’re great for picking up spills, but the abrasive surface scratches and damages the panel on monitors, TVs, and even phones. Paper towels also leave little scraps of lint behind. Tap or click here for steps to deep clean your phone.

Cleaning your screen should be done with care, especially if you want to preserve your TV for as long as possible. These three methods protect your screens and keep them cleaner than paper towels ever will.

1. Use microfiber rags to clean the surface of your screens

Microfiber cleaning cloths are antimicrobial and use up to 95% less water and chemicals than paper towels or cotton cleaning cloths.

RELATED: 19 time-saving cleaning products I use that work

One big problem with traditional cleaning cloths and paper towels is that they need to be saturated before they’re helpful. That leaves streaks and residue and creates waste.

Microfiber rags pick up more dirt and dust than other methods and don’t degrade with disinfectants or all-purpose cleaners (cotton rags get very raggedy after a while).

We prefer AIDEA’s 50-pack of microfiber rags. You’ll quickly find uses for these all over the house and get three colors to designate them for specific purposes.

How to get the most out of your microfiber rags

  • Use them dry to pick up dust, then soak them to clean them.
  • You can use microfiber rags with white distilled vinegar to disinfect and sanitize surfaces (if you don’t mind the smell).
  • Keep in mind that some microfiber cloths have fluffy and flat sides. The fluffy side is best for picking up dust, while the flat, scrubby side is best for removing stuck-on dirt.
  • They’re simple to rinse but also need to be cleaned in the washing machine from time to time.
  • Microfiber rags are also usable on car bodies, wooden surfaces and more.

2. Lens cleaner to keep streaks away

Lens cleaners are used for glasses and sunglasses but can also be used on your TV, phone, tablet or computer monitor. If you wear glasses regularly, you already know how frustrating streaks can be. They blur your vision and irritate you to no end.

Lens cleaners can remove streaks on your TV just as well as they remove smears from glasses. If you prefer a disposable option that you can quickly apply and toss into the bin, these lens wipes do the trick.

Care Touch has a high-capacity pack of 210 lens cleaning cloths, which are a little over six cents per wipe. This is enough to get you through years of cleaning your TV or monitor without issue.

Precautions when using a lens cleaner

  • Keep wipes at arm’s length to prevent inhaling fumes from the packaging.
  • Tear the corner gently. Sometimes the solution can pool and spurt out when you open the packaging.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets. If a child wipes their hand on the TV while the solution hasn’t dried, clean their hands thoroughly.
  • Don’t store them in direct sunlight. The solution can dry out, and then the entire box is useless. Instead, put them in a cool, dark area.

3. MiracleWipes for big TVs

MiracleWipes is a hybrid product that gives you the best of both worlds. This is specifically designed for big TVs or anyone with a lot of screen real estate on their PC.

You get a pack of 30 wipes, and the process is simple: wipe down the screen with one of the disposable wipes, then use the included microfiber cleaning cloth to finish the job.

It’s similar to using both of our other options at the same time. This leaves zero streaks or smudges on your screen. The microfiber cloth dries any remaining resolution while you wipe it down, so there are instant results to let you know if you hit all the corners or missed a few spots.

How to make sure there are no streaks with these cleaning wipes

  • Cover every single corner of your screen and leave no space unwiped.
  • Have your microfiber rag handy to quickly wipe away residue and particles.
  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using these wipes or the rag (this prevents oil from your hands from getting on the screen).
  • Apply gentle pressure. The solution is powerful but won’t do all the work for you.
  • Shut off ventilation (fans/air conditioners) that directly blow on the TV screen. Otherwise, it could introduce particles that stick to the cleaning solution.

Screen cleaning FAQs

What is the safest thing to clean a flat-screen TV with?

Dust your TV with a microfiber rag to prevent scratches. Use a cleaning solution designed explicitly for screens or heavily diluted dish soap and a soft abrasion-free cloth. Make sure you focus on removing dust, dirt, and debris from the screen before aiming for a streak-free finish.

How do you clean a TV screen without ruining it?

Very carefully. You can still easily damage your TV, even with suitable rags and cleaners. Keep your screen perfectly in place, and stand on either side. Extend your arm so it’s in front of the screen, and wipe in circles.

Standing directly in front of the TV can result in imperfect pressure during cleaning, so approaching from the side works best. Plus, you can see streaks easier from this viewing angle.

Can I use glasses cleaner on my TV?

It depends on your TV type. LCD screens use two thin pieces of glass pressed together, but LED screens are usually made of non-reflective plastic. Glasses cleaner won’t work well on the latter.

You could use eyeglasses cleaner on your TV, but based on the quantity of most of these cleaners, it’s not worth it. You get a higher volume of better cleaning solutions (for your TVs) when you buy a specific cleaning product.

You may also like: 15 TikTok cleaning products you can trust

We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
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