BY RACHEL ROTHMAN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE AND CAROLYN FORTE, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE
To catch every second of your favorite show, you’ll need a television screen that’s dust, dirt and fingerprint-free. But using the wrong cleaning method can negate any warranty that may still be in effect. That’s why the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning and Media and Tech Labs have joined forces to recommend the safest, most effective methods and products to clean your television screen and reveal a picture that’s brilliant to watch, and scrub down all the accessories that go along with it.
No matter what type of television you have, you’ll need a dry microfiber cloth that’s designed to clean and remove smudges from eyeglasses, cell phones and camera lenses. We like the oversized one from Toddy Gear. It’s nine inches square so it’s easier to use on a large screen than a smaller cloth.
How to clean flat plasma, LED, LCD, and OLED TVs
More delicate LCD, plasma or rear-projection screens can’t handle traditional wet cleaning. Instead, dust them with a soft, dry microfiber cloth. Spot-clean stubborn smudges with a pre-moistened wipe designed for electronics. With your microfiber cloth, go over buttons and the back of the TV to nab dust in the vents.
Plasma screens, while made of glass, have anti-glare coatings that can be damaged by traditional cleaning products. It’s best to follow the same dry methods you’d use for cleaning LED LCD and OLED TVs.
How to clean tube televisions
Cleaning glass tube television screens is about as easy as cleaning the mirrors in your home. Wipe them with a microfiber cleaning cloth dampened with a little water or with your favorite window cleaning spray. Nudge off any stuck-on bits with your fingernail and buff the screen dry. Never (we repeat, never!) spray the screen directly. Doing so could damage the set, as well as any surrounding cabinetry.
How to clean your remote control
First, pop out the batteries and replace the cover on the battery compartment. Lightly tap the remote, button side down, on a table to dislodge any loose crumbs or debris stuck in the crevices. Grab a pre-moistened disinfecting wipe (just think of all the germy fingers your remote has seen!), wring it well so it’s not dripping and use it to clean both sides of the remote.
Pay special attention to the buttons and narrow spaces around them, using a toothpick or your fingernail with the wipe to remove any stuck-on goo. Allow the remote control to air dry, then replace the batteries.
How to clean TV speakers
If the fabric covers on your speakers are removable (check the manual), pop them off and vacuum both sides with the upholstery tool to remove the dust, lint and pet hair that often stick there. If the covers can’t be removed, tackle the job from the front with the vacuum or use use a Scotch-Brite Lint Roller ($17 for a 5-pack, amazon.com).
Even a wadded-up old pair of pantyhose can do for de-fuzzing duty. For rigid, screen-like speaker covers, either remove or clean them in place using a well-wrung, damp lint-free microfiber cloth and let dry.
Tips for keeping your TV clean
• Clean your TV weekly to keep dust, film and fingerprints from building up and becoming harder to remove. Make it even easier by keeping a microfiber cloth nearby to nab dust and grime when you see it.
• Never spray anything directly on a television screen, even glass tube televisions. Excess spray can get onto the cabinet and into the inner workings and damage the set.
• Use your vacuum’s soft dusting brush and low suction to remove dust from any vents, ports and cable connections.
• Remember to always follow manufacturer’s instructions if under warranty as anything you do that runs contra to it can void your warranty.