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(ARA) – The next time you walk into the room where your new flat-screen TV is on display, take a good look around. Is it starting to look dirty? Between all the dust and lint that flies around the average room and the dirty fingers used to turn the TV on its mount, it doesn’t take long before the set needs a good cleaning.

But don’t be tempted to use the same methods you would to clean your tube TV. Flat-screen television sets require more specialized care. Here are a few “Dos” and “Don’ts” to keep in mind:

* Don’t reach for strong chemical cleaners like alcohol, ammonia-based cleaners or window cleaners. They can damage the screen’s special coating.
* Don’t spray a liquid cleaner on the screen, as it can leak into the TV casing and damage the circuitry.  

* Never use paper towels or newspapers to wipe off the screen either. These are wood products and will scratch the screen.

What you should do instead is look for a solution that is specially labeled “safe for laptop screens” or “LCD and plasma screens” and wipe it on with a soft cloth, preferably one made of chamois, microfiber or 100 percent cotton. These items are sold individually, or in kits available at most home entertainment stores or online. Kits, which typically include the cleaner, wipe cloths and brushes, are the most affordable way to go.

A line worth considering is Sanus Systems’ new Elements Screen Care, a series of quality screen care accessories that gently clean high-end TVs and monitors, and easily remove dust without damaging the screen. Within the Elements line is the ELM101, a complete screen care system that includes a special alcohol and ammonia-free gel that gently cleans TVs and monitors without harming screens or discoloring bezels and a Micro-Mist bottle you can use to apply it in a targeted spray. Also included is a unique microfiber wiping handle that allows for quick, even, window-style-cleaning; a microfiber cloth that cleans without leaving behind lint or residue; and an antistatic dusting brush attached to the wiping handle that lifts debris and static electricity from the screen between cleanings. Sanus also offers a simpler cleaning kit called the ELM102 that includes the detergent gel and a microfiber cloth that stores in the bottle cap.

“We know these cleaners are going to be extremely popular among flat-screen television set owners because they offer the solution they’ve been looking for,” says Jason Schmidt, product manager for Sanus, “an easy and inexpensive way to keep their electronics clean.”

Elements Screen Care products are now available at thousands of retail locations nationwide; a store locator is available at

Once you have your cleaner on hand, here are the quick-and-easy steps you should follow to clean your set:

Step 1
Disconnect the power to your TV before you clean it each time. This is much safer, and it will allow you to see the smudges and dirt better.

Step 2
Use either lukewarm water or a cleaning solution to clean your TV, and wipe it on to the screen with a damp, soft cloth. Just a gentle wiping of the screen is enough. Rubbing, scrubbing and hard pressure can damage the screen.

Between cleanings, a little preventative maintenance will go a long way. Remember, it’s important to dust your TV and its screen on a regular basis. Excessive dust will damage any electronic device.  

Courtesy of ARAcontent