The Best Way to Clean Your TV Without Damaging It

The Best Way to Clean Your TV Without Damaging It

The best way to clean your TV today is not what it was a few years ago. The internet connectivity and delicate LCD screens of today’s TVs are a far cry from the sturdy boxes that once took up so much space in our living rooms. One thing those old bricks had going for them was they were easy to clean without fear of damaging the whole machine. Plastic shells and glass screens could be wiped down pretty simply, while modern devices are more finicky and delicate and may leave you wondering how to clean it without damaging it.

You might still have one of those sturdy old TVs lurking around your place and, if so, you should know it’s called a CRTV or tube TV, and its screen can be cleaned with Windex (or another glass cleaner). If you have a newer television, it’s more than likely an LCD (LED) or OLED machine, and those are the ones we’re going to learn to clean here.

The first step to cleaning your TV

Before you get started, turn off and unplug the TV. This will help it cool down, which makes the process safer for the screen—and it’s easier to see smudges, streaks, and dirt. (And if you do need a little water for stubborn spots, you won’t risk mixing liquid and electricity.)

Check your owner’s manual to see if there are any cleaning instructions specific to the TV you own, too. If you didn’t hold onto that, check the manufacturer’s website, where you’ll typically find instructions.

Regular TV cleaning and maintenance

Marla Mock, president of Neighborly company Molly Maid, says that cleaning your TV should be a standard part of your weekly dusting routine and that for the most part, “a quick swipe with a microfiber cloth will ensure no dust builds up in vents, speakers, or other crevices.” Any plastic parts, like the legs of the TV, can be “cleaned like any other plastic surface.” This is really all you have to do for television-cleaning maintenance unless something comes in direct contact with your TV.

The dusting cloth should be dry, she adds, unless you’re using a cleaning solution that is specifically labelled for use on television screens.

Cleaning stains or other marks on a TV

Per Mock, you need to be gentle with your TV screen if you have to clean it beyond wiping it with a cloth for whatever reason. When dusting, your cloth should be dry, but for tougher spots, only use solutions that are specially labelled as being TV-screen-safe. (Also per Best Buy, you can lightly dampen your microfiber cloth with distilled water in a pinch, as long as it’s not too wet.)

The “number one rule,” according to Mock, is that you need to spray your cleaning solution on your rag, never on the TV itself. This rule applies to any electronics you have. You then rub in circular motions, but don’t press too hard—LED screens are notoriously sensitive to pressure. Patience, not aggression, will ultimately be what gets the grime and smudges off.

Don’t forget to hit your remote with a disinfecting wipe, Mock adds, since it’s such a high-touch surface. Then, your job is done.

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