Cleaning an LG LCD TV Screen

by Jared Paventi

What Are LCD Screens Made of?

Before you made the leap to a LCD (liquid crystal display) television, chances are you owned a traditional CRT (cathode ray tube), or picture tube, television. CRT televisions rely on thick glass screens to display an image. If you have ever tried to lift a large CRT, you know how heavy it is. More than half of the weight of a CRT is due to the glass screen. LCD televisions use a soft plastic film that permits the crystals to be illuminated and display the moving images. While LCD displays deliver top-of-the-line video, the plastic composition attracts dust and other particles in the air.

How to Clean an LCD Screen

Owners of LCD televisions must change their television-cleaning habits. CRT displays could be cleaned with a damp paper towel or Windex, but the membrane that holds the LCD crystals can be damaged by harsh chemicals or cloths. Many electronics stores carry LCD display-cleaning kits, which are usually a combination of a spray bottle and soft cloth or pre-moistened wipes. A do-it-yourself cleaning kit can be made cheaply. Create a solution by mixing one-part distilled water to one-part isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Then, using a 100 percent cotton t-shirt or cloth, gently clean the screen to remove smudges, dust and anything else on the screen. The screen will air dry.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your LCD Screen

Always avoid strong chemicals. Ammonia- and chlorine-based products can actually break down the plastic film that contains the crystals. Also avoid straight tap water. Tap water has a number of impurities and chemicals that can damage the screen. Paper towels, while soft to the touch of a finger, are abrasive when used on an LCD screen. The ridges used to absorb liquid can leave scratches behind on the screen. Microfiber, soft cotton or material used to clean camera lenses are recommended.

About the Author

Jared Paventi is the communications director for a disease-related nonprofit in the Northeast. He holds a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He also writes a food appreciation blog: Al Dente.