How I Clean my TV Screen and Remote Controls …


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I’m not sure why, but my TV screen always ends up covered in fingerprints. It surprises me a little now that my girls are teenagers and young adults as I would expect it more with smaller children or toddlers but it seems to happen anyway and it drives me crazy. It’s not too bad when you’re watching TV but the second it’s turned off, those fingerprints jump straight out at me!


So, once a week I clean the screen as part of my regular household routine. A gentle wipe with a microfibre cloth is usually all I need to do to clean the frame and the screen and return my TV to its former sparkling glory. These cloths are just amazing and you can buy them almost anywhere. I’m always careful not to press on the screen too hard and a gentle circular motion will lift most marks right off. If you grab some from a discount store you’ll pay as little as $2.00.


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If, however, the marks are refusing to budge, here’s what I do:


  • Always check the User Manual or Operating Instructions from the manufacturer, as that will usually contain cleaning instructions and guidelines, so it’s just a matter of following those.


  • I always turn the TV off before cleaning the screen because I don’t want to interfere with the pixels in the screen but mostly because it’s easier to see the marks and fingerprints.


  • Never use paper towel, sponges, abrasive scourers, tissues or rags made from clothing as these will often contain course fibres that might damage the screen and interfere with any anti-glare coating.


  • Never use detergent, window cleaner or any other household cleaning liquids as they may contain chemicals that will damage the screen.


  • Call or visit your local computer or electrical store where they will have available for purchase a liquid cleaner especially designed for this purpose. Generally, it’s best to spray these cleaners on to a cloth before applying to the screen rather than spraying the liquid directly onto the screen.


  • For an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly alternative, I use a mixture of equal parts warm water and white vinegar. This works like magic on stubborn spots or sticky areas left behind by small (and sometimes large) fingers. Dab the spot gently with the mixture and then dry off with a second, dry microfibre cloth again rubbing in a circular motion. I’ve never had any problems using this method, however, I would recommend again that you check with your manufacturer before attempting to clean your TV screen and always follow their instructions. If you do choose to use any kind of liquid to clean your TV screen, always unplug the TV from the power socket and allow the screen to dry completely before plugging back in.


I would treat the TV Remote in much the same way as the TV and follow the manufacturer’s Operating instructions for cleaning. If, however, you no longer have those, here is the method I use for cleaning my TV Remote Control:


  • Once a week when I’m vacuuming, I use the brush attachment to gently sweep over the remote and suck out any dust or crumbs. Then, I wipe over the remote with a dry microfibre cloth and rub gently on any spots that are noticeably dirty.


  • Once a month I give it a more intensive clean. Hold it upright and grab a soft toothbrush that you have set aside for small cleaning jobs. Move over the surface of the remote carefully with a gentle rubbing motion to loosen and dislodge any crumbs and dust paying particular attention to the edges of the buttons. Don’t be tempted to use a skewer, toothpick or other sharp, pointy object to dislodge dirt and crumbs as this may damage the remote.


  • Next, I make a mixture of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, pour some sparingly on a microfiber cloth and rub gently across the keys and the surface of the remote. The solvent nature of rubbing alcohol means it will get rid of grime and dirt as well as the oil from our hands. This will not only clean the remote but also disinfect it getting rid of nasty germs left behind after being handled by loads of different people and maybe even licked by pets. I use Isocol, which I normally purchase from Coles, Woolworths or my local chemist. Before cleaning with this solution, I always remove the batteries to avoid causing any damage.


  • Cotton wool tips are perfect for getting into the small spaces between buttons. Dip the tip into the mixture of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, squeeze the tip gently to get rid of any excess liquid and lightly and carefully wipe the cotton tip between and around the buttons. Rubbing alcohol generally dries very quickly, so I’ve never caused any damage to the remote.



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These are two very quick little jobs that can either become part of your household cleaning routine or something you do once a week between programs or when the ads are on. So tell me, when was the last time you cleaned your TV and remote control and are you surprised by just how dirty they can get?


  1. I’ve actually thought about bringing wipes when I go to hotels because I’ve heard the remotes can be really dirty!

    • You’ll probably laugh, Lorraine but I’ve actually done that! Just thinking about what could be on those remotes makes me feel queasy!