Due to my carelessness the LCD screen of the television has developed a sticky layer on some areas.

Can I clean it with a cloth and water? Or Any other (less expensive) solution for cleaning it?

I don't know much about the chemicals available in the market, and thus cannot trust them much.

  • Whatever you do, use the same towel to clean with and keep in a plastic bag to keep something from scratching your TV. Only use this towel for one thing.
    – Evil Elf
    Jul 5, 2011 at 13:47

4 Answers 4


Most things you can use (paper towels, cloth) will leave lint behind. What you want is microfibre cloth. The best one is the cloth intended for eyeglasses, but they are small, so it takes time cleaning with them. You can buy a microfibre cloth intended for cleaning windows. It is somewhat expensive (Eur 2.5) and you can't reuse it for windows because you don't want it contaminated with window cleaner. But it works much quicker.

As for cleaning liquid, I don't trust anything but water. Screens have anti-glare coating, and you never know how even the mildest detergent will affect it. I haven't had a visible residue even when using very hard water, but of course, distilled water or filtered water is a good precaution if you have it.

For the cleaning itself, you have to dry the screen, or you'll get smear marks. So a single damp cloth doesn't work well. You have two choices - either use two cloths, or a cloth and a spraying bottle. With two cloths, clean with the wet (not dripping wet) cloth, and immediately dry with the other one, before the water has evaporated. With the spray bottle (use a clean one intended for flowers, not an empty window-cleaner one because of residues), you can sparingly spray the screen, then dry it with the cloth. By sparingly, I mean that there shouldn't be a part of the screen which is misted more than once. Too much water, and you will not only have a too wet cloth, but you also risk it dripping into the frame and damaging the electronics inside.

  • +1: For "You have to dry the screen, or you'll get smear marks."
    – Jim G.
    Jul 2, 2011 at 18:02
  • You mentioned about getting around with smear marks, that was helpful indeed. Thankful to you. Jul 7, 2011 at 4:49
  • Another good place to get a larger microfiber cloth is an automotive supply store. They sell larger cloths designed for drying cars and car windows. Mar 1, 2012 at 16:25

A slightly damp cloth is good. You don't want any water to drip into the screen, so "slightly damp" is important. Many chemicals will damage coatings on the screen, so don't use anything that isn't explicitly designed for electronics.

  • I use damp paper towels to clean my flat panel monitors. I wouldn't hesitate to use the same on my TV. Cloth may be a better choice though.
    – billoreid
    Jul 2, 2011 at 13:01
  • So, you mean that cloth dipped in water and then squeezed should work? If yes, then is there some special kind of cloth to be used? Jul 2, 2011 at 14:01
  • 1
    Yes, squeezed out is fine. The less lint in the cloth the better so that you aren't leaving lots of little strands on the screen.
    – BMitch
    Jul 2, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    Remember to turn off (and unplug) the TV first!
    – mgb
    Jul 3, 2011 at 17:18

A good sized bottle of commercial cleaner with a microfibre cloth retails for about $20, wholesales for about $2, but it's also available in moist towelette form that are very inexpensive ($5 per box).

If you don't want to buy screen cleaner and you're considering cleaning with straight water, consider that tap water will usually leave white spots from the dissolved minerals. If you have bottled water, that'd be better. You may want to consider using a mix of 50% water/50% isopropyl alcohol (white vinegar will do in a pinch). You can also use most cleaners designed for plastic glasses lenses.

A soft cotton cloth will suffice if you don't have a microfibre cloth or eyeglass cleaning cloth.

Avoid anything with ethyl alcohol, ammonia or anything acetate as they can easily damage the thin plastic covering leading to fogging.

You should always spray your mixture onto your cloth rather than onto the screen.

I also suggest testing any method or mixture on a small spot in the corner, letting it dry and observing the results before doing the whole screen.

Also, you are better to wipe an area multiple times to remove a stubborn mark, than to press hard which may damage the panel.

Hope this helps

  • Thanks, the answer was helpful, I'll have to check what is microfibre cloth. Jul 7, 2011 at 4:47
  • and also the caution about pressing hard was helpful too. Jul 7, 2011 at 4:50

You can get good lens cleaner for pretty cheap online.


Like other posters said, you'll want a microfiber cloths because anything else will leave lint, scratch the screen, or both.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.