Clean your TV properly to extend its life

July 29, 2015

TVs aren't supposed to be work! But alas, they do need some taking care of so that they'll keep bringing you entertainment for years to come. A big part of this is routine cleaning; it's a small job and could make your TV last much longer overall.

Clean your TV properly to extend its life

Beware of static electricity

  • Always turn off your plasma, LCD or LED TV and make sure the screen has "cooled down" (that is, it doesn't crackle with static electricity) before you clean it — especially if you plan to use a dry cloth.
  • If you don't, the back-and-forth motion you make with the cloth while cleaning the screen can build up static electricity inside the unit.
  • This static electricity can cause serious damage to your TV.
  • Also, when you finish cleaning, be sure to discharge any static on your hands by touching a doorknob, a screw or other grounded, metallic object before you touch the set's controls to avoid damage.

Dust off a TV screen

  • No, it's not your imagination. Your television screen is actually a dust magnet thanks to its electrical charges.
  • If you have a TV with a plasma screen, you can make dusting the screen easier and actually cut down on your regular dustings by recycling some used softener sheets from your clothes dryer.
  • These sheets are designed to reduce static cling.
  • They not only remove the dust, but they keep it from resettling for several days or longer.
  • You can also clean a plasma-screen model with a clean, lint-free cloth dampened with glass cleaner, denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol.
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, which include not only LCD TVs but projection TVs with digital light processing (DLP) screens, should only be wiped clean with a soft, dry cotton cloth.
  • Check your owner's manual to see what the manufacturer suggests. If your TV came with a cleaning kit, use its cleaner and cloths.

Clean your TV’s case

  • A television's screen may attract the lion's share of household dust, but its enclosure is never far behind.
  • An accumulation of dust is not only unsightly and unhealthy; it can hinder your TV's performance by insulating the electrical connections inside the box.
  • Whether you keep your TV on a freestanding cart or housed in an entertainment unit or other enclosure, don't forget to sweep out those dust bunnies hiding on the back of the set at least once a month.
  • To clean the case of your plasma, LCD or LED TV, dampen a soft cloth slightly (pick a fabric that won't unravel to avoid having ragged ends catch in the ventilation slits) with glass cleaner or a general household cleaner — both have relatively quick evaporation. Follow up with a rubdown using a clean, dry cloth.

Never clean a TV case with alcohol

  • Although water and ammonia-based cleaners are fine for cleaning a TV case, alcohol-based solutions should never be used.
  • They can react with the plastic and may leave stains and discolouration — especially on dark-coloured cases — that will be impossible to remove.

Never spray your TV

  • Never spray liquid cleaner directly onto a television screen or onto the case of a TV — any moisture that makes its way into the interior of an electronic device can cause the circuit board to short out, which may result in permanent damage.
  • Instead, spray cleaner onto a clean, dry cloth to moisten it slightly, and use the cloth to wipe down the surface of the unit.
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