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Who among us doesn't own at least one TV? They are essential to many households and used daily for things such as watching movies, catching up with the news, or playing video games. Not unlike other electronic devices, a television will eventually begin to collect dirt, dust, and fingerprints. A dirty TV is not beneficial to anyone, so knowing how to clean your television correctly could be a very important tool in your arsenal.

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Cleaning the remote

The remote control can quickly become much dirtier than the TV screen itself because it is being picked up and used multiple times throughout the day, usually by various people. This allows the remote control to gather germs and bacteria, making it a potential hazard. First, remove the batteries from the remote, then wipe it down with a damp cloth and get between the buttons using a cotton swab.

man hand cleaning TV remote controller with disinfectant wet wipe
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Why clean your TV screen?

You should consider regularly cleaning your TV screen because it could be very beneficial to you and your family in many ways. Dirt, dust, and bacteria could be building upon the surface of your TV screen, potentially negatively affecting the air quality inside of your home. Dirt and fingerprints on your TV screen could also be negatively affecting the image quality. Cleaning your TV screen regularly could make your home more breathable as well as improve the watching experience for you and your friends and family.

Cleaning, Television Set, Women, Flat Screen, LED Light Addoro / Getty Images
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Unplug the TV before cleaning

You should turn off your TV and unplug it before you begin to clean it in order to decrease the chances of an electrical shock occurring. When cleaning a TV screen, you might only need to use a dry cloth, but if there's a substantial amount of dirt, you will need to use some liquids. Applying a liquid to a TV while it's still connected to a power source could be hazardous if not deadly. Keeping the TV screen off while you clean it will also cool it down and allow you to identify the dirt particles easier.

Man watching television
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Start with a dry microfiber cloth

A television screen is very sensitive, so you cannot simply use any type of cloth or paper towel to clean it. Using something like that could end up scratching or damaging the screen, so using a dry anti-static microfiber cloth like the ones used to clean glasses is the best option. This type of cloth won't shed fibers as you clean, making the whole process much simpler and less messy.

women cleaning the television cabinet, close up.

Use gentle pressure

When using the microfiber cloth, press against the screen very lightly and do not apply too much pressure. Do not press harder if the dirt or dust isn't coming off, because so could puncture the screen and cause permanent damage by destroying the pixels underneath the protective coatings. The best thing to do if a smudge isn't coming out is to use a non-harmful liquid cleaning formula.

Young man cleaning the screen of his smart TV PeopleImages / Getty Images

If the screen is still dirty, use water and vinegar

While a dry cloth will be able to get rid of most of the surface level dust and fingerprints, there might be some stains that are harder to remove. Using a liquid formula such as water and vinegar is a great choice because they are gentle liquids that won't negatively affect the integrity of the screen. Certain cleaning solutions could permanently damage the screen's protective coatings.

mature woman cleaning TV with rag at home

Don't spray directly onto the screen

When applying cleaning solutions, you should avoid spraying directly onto the screen because that liquid can easily run down the screen and leak into the bezels and damage the internal wiring of the television. This could permanently damage the TV, so the best way to apply cleaning solutions is to wet the cloth you're using directly.

Young and happy mother cleaning housewhile holding her little son.

Avoid harmful chemicals

Certain cleaners such as strong glass cleaners should be avoided when cleaning a television set. Alcohol, acetone, and ammonia are very harmful to television screens, and those chemicals are found in many cleaning solutions. Simply use a water, and vinegar-based cleaning solution will be more than enough, but there are also general HDTV screen cleaning solutions available for purchase from numerous companies.

Close up of a woman holding a basket containing cleaning materials. Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

The difference in cleaning Plasma and LCD TVs

The difference in cleaning different types of flat-screen TVs is minuscule. LCD, LED, and OLED are all very delicate and need to be cleaned gently. Plasma screen TVs are different because they are made of glass, but they also have anti-glare coatings that need gentle care as well. Each type of screen can be damaged by rough cleaning or by the use of harmful chemicals like alcohol and ammonia.

Boy and girl watch television with images of gree tree, sitting in a hite room. Donald Iain Smith / Getty Images

Other tips for TV care

Cleaning your TV weekly will help prevent tough stains from forming, so keep a microfiber cloth near your television set for easy access. An effective way to remove dust from the TV's vents is to use a vacuum cleaner's dusting brush on its lowest setting. Also, check the instruction manual that came with the TV to ensure that nothing you are doing will affect the warranty.

Young child watching television Peter Cade / Getty Images

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