Skip to Content
Tech tips

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 make sure 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 part of its maintenance, and everything needs some love every now and then. 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.

The parts you probably miss and how to clean them


There are some very essential components to your TV that, when filled with dust, can affect how your device works. These include the vents that keep your TV cool and prevent overheating.

To clean the vents on your TV, first you have to locate them. On most modern LCD TVs, which tend to be flat screens, the vents are at the back. On older TV models, vents may be on the sides and on the back.

To get dust out of the vents, turn off and unplug your TV so you can manipulate it easily, and to 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.

Tap or click here to see what attachments can benefit all your tech-dusting needs. These unique shapes can help your vacuum clean those hard-to-reach places. You can use a duster on the vents for basic cleaning, but to ensure you get the dust inside the TV, you’ll want to use the vacuum at least once a month.

Tap or click here for a list of other great cleaning gadgets you can buy from Amazon.


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. Tap or click here to find compressed air. Notice the nozzle is small, which is ideal to use when cleaning other areas, such as computer keyboards.

When using the compressed air, remember never to shake the container and never stick the nozzle inside your TV ports. The nozzle can damage the sensitive pins inside your TV, so just hold the nozzle outside of 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 a faster and easier.

One important note: never use liquids inside of the vents or ports of your TV. If a plastic nozzle poses a threat, just 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.

The remote

Another easy thing to forget when cleaning your TV is the remote control. Your remote is touched by everyone in your family. 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.

There’s still more!

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 you use liquids.

Other electronics

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

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 your 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. Do not spray cleanser at your TV, as liquid might seep into openings and damage it.

Don’t forget the exterior!

Once the screen is clean, use a small duster with a handle to clean the exterior of your TV. Tap or click here to see what sort of duster we mean. 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, as well as 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.

Like our cleaning tips? Looking for clever tricks and hidden hacks to stay safe and get the most out of your favorite gadgets? Tap or click here to subscribe to Kim’s free Tech Tips & How-Tos newsletter. may receive a commission for purchases made from product affiliate links that are contained in this article.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me