Your LED TV forms the focal point of your entertainment area, with a bright, colorful screen several times larger than the biggest set you remember from childhood. Like any object in the room, it attracts its share of dust and fingerprints. However, when it is time to clean it, don't treat it like a piece of furniture. Despite the TV's size and sturdy construction, its front panel requires special handling to preserve its video performance.
Let It Cool
Before you tackle cleaning your big, beautiful LED TV, shut it off and give it a chance to cool down. These slim sets don't use as much electricity or vent as much byproduct heat as previous-generation sets that relied on cathode-ray tubes, but they still build up warmth as they operate. Letting your TV cool makes any surface grubbiness easier to dislodge and may dissipate some of the static electricity that causes dust to cling to it.
Save the scratchy scrubbers and the paper products for the bathroom mirror or the kitchen sink. Unlike that last-generation CRT set, your LED TV lacks the glass-fronted tube you could scrub with crumpled newspaper, paper towels and the occasional kitchen sponge to cut through a greasy fingerprint. These materials can scratch the relatively delicate plastic panel that covers the TV screen. If you've lost the cleaning cloth that came with your set or the manufacturer didn't include one, reach for an inexpensive microfiber cleaning cloth instead. Microfiber's polyester content attracts oil while its polyamide content holds water. Its minuscule fibers--only 1 percent the diameter of a human hair--produce a surface that traps dirt instead of moving it around. Wash these cloths without fabric softener to avoid coating them with waxy buildup.
You'll see ammonia, alcohol, window cleaner, vinegar, furniture polish and other solutions recommended as LED TV cleaners. Skip the ammonia and anything that contains it, as it can discolor and streak your screen permanently. In fact, set aside the entire list of cleanup alternatives in favor of a small amount of water on the corner of a microfiber cloth. When you use a microfiber cloth, its specialized surface eliminates the need for chemical concoctions. Afterward, wipe the screen with the dry part of the cloth to prevent water spots or streaks. For safety's sake and to avoid accidentally introducing water into the interior of the set, never spray anything directly on the screen.
You can find seemingly endless cleaning-kit alternatives billed as ideal ways to rescue your LED TV from a view-clogging patina of dust and household grunge. Many of them include a microfiber cloth that you can buy less expensively at your grocery store. Unless the manufacturer of your set specifically recommends one of these products, you can accomplish your cleaning chore more efficiently and less expensively with simpler alternatives. To cut down on some of your cleaning chores, set up the TV where it faces the least exposure to fingers and fur.
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