Most people believe that using window cleaners, such as Windex, to clean their LED/plasma TV screens is acceptable. Since the majority of old TV screens they grew up with allowed this, it is not a surprise that people think newer TVs do so as well. However, new TV screens aren’t made of glass, and therefore don’t mix well with Windex.
But why is Windex so harmful to your flat TV and what should you do if you’ve already used it to clean your screen? And, more importantly, what are the alternatives to Windex, i.e., what should you actually clean your TV with?
Read on to learn the answers to all these questions, as well as some other cool tips and useful recommendations.
What Is Windex and Why Is It Harmful for Your TV?
Windex is a glass and hard surface cleaner. As such, it contains several heavy chemicals:
These chemicals are great for cleaning windows or hard surfaces like metal. However, they can easily damage plastic or similar materials, which is why they are so harmful to your TV screen.
LCD/LED TV screens have only a thin protective filter layer over the LCD/LED panels. Therefore, it isn’t okay to clean these TVs with Windex or other similar cleaners because they will damage the filter layer. In fact, the less liquid you use on them, the better and safer you’ll be.
How to Fix the TV if You’ve Already Used Windex
If you’ve already used Windex on your TV, don’t panic. There are several things you can try based on the amount of damage done to your screen, and I’ll explain each one in detail.
What to Do if Your Screen Has Stains on It
Most people notice blotches or discolored stains on their flat screens as soon as they let Windex sit for a minute or so. The stains are the result of the harsh chemicals in the glass cleaner eating away at the thin coating covering your screen.
The stains are usually more visible when the screen is off, although their visibility also depends on the amount of damage. If the coating is fully damaged, you’ll see the stains even when the TV is on, especially when the screen flashes white or blue.
You will start noticing the stains and blotches after a minute or two, as Windex starts working. As soon as you notice them, get a dry microfiber cloth, like this one, and remove the coat of Windex from your screen. Meticulously clean all the places where the spots are. If Windex wasn’t on your screen for too long, the spots should come off after a few minutes. Make sure you get everything off.
However, if you used too much Windex or let it sit for too long, removing these blotches and stains could be next to impossible. If a dry cloth isn’t giving results, try dampening it slightly and trying again.
What to Do if Your Screen Isn’t Working at All
If Windex somehow made its way past the protective coating on your screen and went inside, your TV screen will probably only be black even when it’s turned on. If the chemicals managed to also get to the sound panels, your sound won’t work either.
What you can do in these cases is a bit more complicated, but might help. Here are the steps:
- Lay your TV down on a flat surface, face-down
- Spray the back with an electronic part cleaner, like this one
- Let sit for a few minutes
- Clean with a dry microfiber cloth
- Plug in and turn on again
The electronic part cleaner is supposed to help Windex evaporate from anywhere it might have leaked into. However, bear in mind that this will only work if the damage isn’t too severe. If the glass cleaner has gotten into the LED panel, there isn’t much any cleaner or trick will be able to do.
How Should You Clean Your Screen in the Future?
Now that you’ve (hopefully) fixed your screen from Windex damage, let’s turn to how you should actually clean your screen to ensure you don’t damage it.
The first step is easy. Turn your TV off and get a dry microfiber cloth. These types of cloths are soft and won’t damage your screen, and they are great at removing dust and any other residue that forms on your screen. Move the cloth over your screen gently using either circular or up-down motions. Make sure you’re not pressing too hard.
It’s important to keep the cloth dry because liquid of any kind can damage the protective coating and slip inside the screen. However, if the stain is too oily and just won’t come off, it is okay to dampen the cloth slightly and then try again. Make sure it is only damp and that no water drips as you press down on your screen.
Another useful tool you could try are these screen cleaner wipes. They will clean your screen very quickly and you won’t have to worry about any potential damage since they are made specifically for this purpose. If you really want to use a spray screen cleaner, make sure it contains no ammonia and alcohol. This one is what people recommend the most. But if you only want to remove dust form TV screen, you may want to use a dusting spray specially made for electronics.
Seeing Is Believing
Lastly, I know that seeing people do this is much easier than reading about it so I will give you a YouTube video recommendations as well. That way you can see exactly how to clean your screen without doing it harm. The most useful one is this one.
As you saw, cleaning your TV with Windex is a definite no. The strong chemicals it contains will definitely damage your screen, and fixing it after that is a great hassle. However, it is good to know that even if you do it, there are ways to fix it. Make sure you don’t panic and follow all the instructions I provided.
And when you clean your screen in the future, make sure you do it safely. That way you’ll ensure that your device is clean and functions properly, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.