If you're using glass cleaner and paper towels, read this—stat.
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Close-up Of Woman Using Cloth To Clean The Television At Home
Credit: GETTY IMAGES

It happens: There are parts of our homes we simply don't get to during our weekly cleaning routines. And as much as we love catching up on our favorite shows, our TVs are occasionally the items that get overlooked. It's important, however, to make cleaning their screens a priority, since they're prone to dust, smudges, and fingerprints.

Thankfully, it's easy to make your TV screen sparkle again with the right supplies and methods, say cleaning and tech experts. Ahead, these professionals explain how to clean every type of TV screen—along with your remote control.

Why It's Important to Clean Your TV Screen

You should dust and clean your TV screen once a week and should always include this chore when tidying up your home, says Kathy Cohoon, the director of franchise operations of Two Maids & A Mop. "Keeping your television screen clean and well-maintained can help provide a clearer picture (no more dust or fingerprints!) and prolong the lifespan of your TV," she says.

The supplies and method you use to do so will vary based on the type of TV you have.

How to Clean Flat Plasma, LCD, LED, and OLED TV Screens

Put away the Windex and paper towels: Both are too harsh and rough for your TV screen, whatever its make or model, says Peter Lopez, the founder of Brooklyn Tech Guy. In fact, you don't need a glass cleaner or much product at all—simply use a damp soft microfiber cloth. "Just using that can help a lot, since dust buildup can keep electronics from being able to cool off properly," he says.

If your flat screen is still dirty or greasy after sweeping it with a microfiber cloth, create a solution of distilled water and white vinegar, says Joel Worthington, the president of Mr. Electric, a Neighborly company. He recommends mixing equal parts of each ingredient and spraying it onto a cloth before wiping down the screen.

What You'll Need

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Distilled water
  • White vinegar

Our experts say to follow these steps when cleaning flat plasma, LCD, LED, and OLED TV screens:

  1. Turn off and unplug your TV.
  2. Dust the screen with a microfiber cloth and repeat until it's clear of debris.
  3. Wipe the screen down with soft cloth dampened with water (or water and vinegar solution) to remove tough smudges and fingerprints.
  4. Dust off the top and base of the TV.

How to Clean Box TV Screens

Do you have an old-school TV in your home? Formally known as cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs, box televisions require similar care to flat screens. Although their cleaning process is similar to the one listed above, you can also include rubbing alcohol in your DIY mixture.

As always, use a soft cloth, says Vera Peterson, the president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. This will prevent scratches and help you rid the screen of any excess cleaning solution.

What You'll Need

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Lukewarm water
  • Rubbing alcohol

Follow these best practices to refresh this TV screen type:

  1. Power off and unplug your box TV.
  2. Clean the screen with a soft microfiber cloth.
  3. Since these screens are more durable, you can mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and lukewarm water to create a cleaning solution.
  4. Dampen the cloth with the solution and wipe the screen, base, and top.
  5. Let the TV air-dry and repeat in a circular motion to remove any caked-on debris or fingerprints.

How to Clean a Remote Control

When you dust and clean your TV screen, you can and should tackle your remote control, too. Cohoon says you can actually sanitize it daily with an aerosol disinfectant spray, but you'll want to avoid using any harsh chemicals, like bleach, or getting it too wet when you give it a deeper clean.

What You'll Need

  • Anti-bacterial wipe, like Lysol or all-purpose disinfectant
  • Cotton swab

Follow these steps when sanitizing and cleaning your remote control:

  1. Take the batteries out of the remote.
  2. Wipe the entire surface of the remote with your anti-bacterial wipe or all-purpose disinfectant.
  3. If there is buildup inside or around the buttons, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the dirt, Cohoon says.
  4. Replace the batteries. 

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