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Can You Clean a TV with Windex? Tips & FAQ

woman wearing gloves wiping the tv

You should not use Windex to clean a TV screen unless it is an antique TV with a glass screen. You should never spray liquid directly onto your TV screen, as this can damage it. Windex is a liquid, even if it is designed for cleaning purposes. Liquids can damage your screen at the very least, but they may even cause electrical fires.

Instead, you’ll want to use a different method to clean your TV screen—no liquids required. Here’s a quick rundown of the best method:

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How to Safely Clean a TV Screen

Before cleaning, always check the TV user manual to ensure that cleaning with this method won’t void your warranty. Often, these manuals will contain instructions on how to clean the screen, but they are usually all pretty similar.

If you don’t have your TV’s manual, you can usually find them online.

Turn Off the TV

black and white painted tv console
Image By: Lissete Laverde, Unsplash

You should only clean the TV when the screen is cold so we recommend doing it before you start watching it. Hot screens are more difficult to clean. Plus, a black screen makes it easier to spot the dust that needs to be cleaned.

Wipe with a Dry Cloth

woman cleaning the tv screen
Image By: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

We recommend using a microfiber, lint-free cloth to wipe your screen. Move in a circular motion and be gentle. If you scrub too hard, you can leave micro-scratches on your screen. These are impossible to repair and can impair your viewing.

Furthermore, scrubbing too hard can cause the crystals inside the screen to misalign or even burn out. Usually, this won’t be covered under the warranty, as it was caused by you.

Never use paper towels for this step. Not only do they leave behind residue, but they can scratch the screen too.

Use a Wet Cloth if Needed

If there are tougher stains, you may need to use a wet cloth. This includes grease and similar smudges that don’t respond to a dry cloth. Be sure to spray water on the cloth—not directly on the TV. As we’ve stated, go in a gentle, circular motion.

Use Dish Soap

dish soap
Image By: Jim Barber, Shutterstock

If your TV screen is really dirty, you can use dish soap. However, this should only be used on seriously hard-to-clean stains and after you’ve tried the steps above.

To do so, add a drop of dish soap to the fourth cup of water. Then gently wipe the stain away and clean with the dry microfiber cloth again. This method should remove all stains, even those made of grease.

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Can You Clean a Smart TV with Windex?

You should not use Windex on any modern TV, including smart TVs. Their screens are not made of glass. Spraying Windex on these screens can damage them and you should never spray anything directly on the TV, even a cleaner.

If you need to clean your TV, we recommend the above method. This method also works for smart TVs and is gentle enough to use regularly as long as you’re gentle.

You can also get a commercial screen cleaner. Often, these are similar to the dish soap and water mixture described above. However, they are pre-made and may be easier for some people to use. These screen cleaners should clearly state that they don’t include alcohol or ammonia.

How Do You Clean Fingerprints Off a TV Screen?

You can use a microfiber cloth to clean the most straightforward stains on a TV, including fingerprints. We recommend having at least one cloth available to clean your TV screen and other screens. They are not expensive and can be reused repeatedly, so there is little reason to avoid them.

Gently clean the screen in a circular motion after the TV screen has cooled. Cleaning a warm TV screen is more difficult and can lead to damage so cleaning the TV in the morning is the best bet. Of course, leave the TV off while cleaning to prevent the screen from re-heating.

You can also make your own screen-safe cleaner like described above or purchase a commercial option. Do not use Windex or anything described for glass, as these are not safe for TVs. You should also never spray anything directly onto the TV. Instead, spray it onto the cloth and wipe.

wiping off fingerprints on the TV
Image By: Varavin88, Shutterstock

Can I Use Glass Cleaner on my TV?

No. Glass cleaner cannot be used on TV, computer monitors, or other modern electronic screens. While these screens were once made out of glass, they are currently made out of plastic. Therefore, using a glass cleaner on these screens is not recommended.

If you do, the glass cleaner may damage the screen. Often, using a glass cleaner will also void your warranty.

Instead, you have several safe options for cleaning your TV screen. A simple, dry microfiber cloth can be used for most purposes. Simply rub it in gentle circles to remove fingerprints and dust. You can safely use this cloth on the screen daily if you were inclined.

For more aggressive stains, you can wet the cloth in water. Alternatively, a screen cleaner is also suitable, as long as you follow the directions. You should avoid spraying anything directly on the screen, as the liquid droplets can damage the sensitive crystals underneath the plastic.

You can also make your own screen cleaner using dish soap, which we explained above. However, those who clean screens often find it easier to use a commercial cleaner in most cases, as it is pre-made.

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Windex and other glass cleaners are not recommended for TV screens (or other electronic screens). Today, these screens are made of plastic, not glass. The ammonia and alcohol found in Windex and similar cleaners will damage this plastic, causing warping and permanent damage to your TV screen.

There are several ways to clean your TV screen that do not include Windex. A microfiber cloth is a simple and straightforward method that you can use to clean fingerprints and dust off your TV screen. Often, having a microfiber cloth at hand for a quick cleaning is an easy way to keep your TV screen in tip-top shape.

Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial screen cleaner that doesn’t contain ammonia or alcohol. These screen cleaners are for TVs and computers, so they are your best bet over generic cleaners.

You can also make your own cleaner out of dish soap and water. While this works similarly to a commercial cleaner, you do have to make it every time you plan on cleaning your TV.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Jedzura, Shutterstock


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