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Tech maintenance: Are you making this big mistake when cleaning your TV?

When it comes to cleaning your television, your first thought is probably to ensure there isn’t a layer of dust on the screen. But your TV is more than just a screen, and a big mistake most TV owners make is focusing on the surface while ignoring the rest of the machine.

If you want to keep your TV for a long time, you have to maintain it. Cleaning your television is essential. Tap or click here to see what else could use a good clean.

It’s easy to overlook some areas, but we’ll show you where and how to clean the things everyone forgets. We’ll focus on each of the parts you probably miss and how to clean them.

1. Vents

There are some very essential components to your TV that, when filled with dust, can affect how it works. These include the vents that keep your TV cool and prevent overheating. You can find vents at the back of most modern LCD TVs. On older TV models, vents may be on the sides and the back.

To get dust out of the vents, turn off and unplug your TV so you can manipulate it quickly and keep from pulling the power cord in directions that might tear or damage it. Next, put an attachment on your vacuum cleaner and let your vacuum do the work.

These attachments can benefit all your tech-dusting needs:

2. Ports

Ports are where you connect things like HDMI cables, TV streaming sticks, gaming systems, speakers and more. If these ports get full of dust, your TV may have difficulty connecting to external devices.

Locate them on your TV. Ports are usually on the back, sides or sometimes beneath or above your TV screen, so make sure you have your TV in a place you can reach everything without accidentally knocking it over.

Instead of reaching for your vacuum, grab a can of compressed air. Compressed air can be found in most major office supply stores, online and warehouse stores. You can even find it on Amazon.

Notice that the nozzle is small, ideal for cleaning other areas, such as computer keyboards.

Don’t make this mistake!

When using compressed air, remember never to shake the container and never stick the nozzle inside your TV ports. The nozzle can damage sensitive pins inside your TV, so hold the nozzle outside the port about an inch away. You’ll want to spray the port at an angle so the air doesn’t push dust or debris further in.

The compressed air will push the dust out of your television, and you can dust the exterior of your device with a cloth or a duster to remove any residue. You can use the same technique for cleaning your vents as well, but depending on the size of your TV, vacuuming might be faster and easier.

One important note: never use liquids inside the vents or ports of your TV. If a plastic nozzle poses a threat, imagine what liquid, the enemy of all electronics, could do. Please keep the Pledge away from your TV’s openings, and stick to dusters, vacuums and other dry means of cleaning debris.

3. The remote

Another easy thing to forget when cleaning your TV is the remote control. Everyone in your family touches your remote. Let that sink in for a minute.

This means there are germs all over your remote from everyone who just ate and didn’t wash their hands, every sick person (including yourself) who handles it and who knows how many times it’s been dropped, slobbered on by pets or lost in a dirty couch.

Your remote control is one place a little bit of liquid is safe to use. Don’t submerge it, of course, but mixing some neutral detergent diluted with water is the perfect way to clear off oils and dirt from your remote. Use a cloth to wipe the remote, paying close attention to the sensors so they can easily communicate with your TV. Tap or click here for a great neutral detergent.

Your remote isn’t the only germ-covered device in your home. Tap or click here to learn how to properly clean your smartphone.

4. TV stand

Your TV stand or entertainment center could also use a little love. It is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your home (besides the bed and couch), so remember to clean it up too.

Simply dust it and use a little detergent afterward. Just make sure electronics with open ports (like your TV) aren’t present when using liquids.

For other electronics on your stand, like Blu-Ray and DVD players, or streaming devices and gaming consoles, compressed air and dusters with handles are your best friends. These accessories allow you to clear out dust that’s built up inside your devices, as well as wipe the dust outside them.

5. The screen

To clean your TV screen, use a dry, soft cloth, like a microfiber cloth, to wipe it free of dust and debris. Tap or click here for a microfiber cloth. These also make great dusters in general and are machine washable.

If you have an LCD TV, make sure you press gently when wiping, as the liquid crystal screen may get pushed down if you’re too rough. This can create dark spots. Turning your TV off and on again will fix this issue, but keeping your TV off while you dust can also help keep it from happening in the first place.

If you notice something more intense on your screen, like oils from someone touching it, put a non-soap cleanser on a cloth with a little bit of water, and rub the area until it’s clean. Whatever you do, avoid harmful chemicals like ammonia, acetone and alcohol.

If you’re dealing with stubborn stains, you can lightly dampen the cloth with distilled water. Don’t spray the water directly onto the screen, though. It needs to go on the cloth, or else it could cause a component failure.

Don’t forget the exterior!

Once the screen is clean, use a small duster with a handle to clean the exterior of your TV. These bad boys get the job done:

This is great for larger TVs. No more looking for a step stool or stretching at awkward angles. Just extend the handle and dust every part of your device.

Cleaning your television and the surrounding area is important for maintaining it. Keep the ports and vents and your TV accessories clear of dust and dirt to keep everything functioning at optimum capacity. When you fully clean your tech, you prolong its life. Remember, a happy TV is a clean TV.

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