If you’re doing some spring cleaning you may focus on dusting, de-cluttering, and washing the windows. Don’t forget the elephant in the room. Not a real elephant of course, but the device that takes up the most space that has everyone staring at it for hours. The television.

You may clean around it, dust the top of it and ignore the part of the TV you stare at. The screen. Long ago, TV screens were glass, so you could use any glass cleaner. Not anymore.

  LCD TVs have a reflective coating and if you’re not careful, you could damage the screen. So turn off the TV, and don’t make these common mistakes.

Paper Towels Can Scratch
  • Mistake #1, overkill cleaning. Using liquid when It may only need a good dusting with a soft cloth.
  • Mistake #2. Using paper towels. These may scratch sensitive screens and leave little bits of paper behind.
  • Mistake #3  using the wrong liquid. A cloth dampened with water may be all you need unless there are stubborn fingerprints. If you use water, use distilled or bottled water.

Difficult smudges

If you can’t get rid of a smudge, owners manuals for most TVs suggest a mixture of water and a tiny bit of mild dishwashing soap and let it dry before turning the TV on.

You could also pick up a cleaning spray meant especially for TV screens and computer monitors. This cleaning spray, ___ contains no harsh chemicals. if you pick up something else, make sure it doesn’t contain ammonia or alcohol.

Do not spray directly on the screen

  • Mistake #4, spraying liquid directly on the screen. Instead, spray the soft cloth and then wipe down the TV.
  • Mistake #5. Using too much pressure. TV and computer monitors are delicate and putting too much elbow grease can easily damage the screen.
  • Mistake #6 Forgetting the air vents on the back of the television. Dust bunnies love these narrow spaces. Quick shots of canned air will do the job.
  • Mistake #7 Forgetting the remote. Since everyone touches the remote and it winds up on the floor, the table, and stuck between couch cushions, TV remotes are some of the filthiest gadgets in the house. Take the battery out and use an anti-bacterial cleaner.

And before cleaning the television, make sure it’s secure on the wall or table. Each year nearly 20,000 people are injured or even killed when a TV falls off a table or the wall.