Tired of watching your favorite shows and movies through a haze of dust and smudged fingerprints? It might be time to do something about it. But there’s more to cleaning a TV screen than meets the eye. You don’t want to waste money on cleaning products that won’t work — or worse, ruin your screen by using the wrong products. In this article, you’ll learn how to clean a TV screen like a pro to get the best possible streaming experience.

Always follow manufacturer’s guide

Before you get into spring cleaning mode, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your specific TV setup. This can affect your warranty, so before you get started, it’s worth the time it takes to do some initial research.

For example, it’s not recommended to use water, soap, or any other liquids to clean LG TVs unless absolutely necessary. Instead, microfiber cloths should be used to wipe away dust.

Start with a microfiber cloth

Use a microfiber cloth to clean your TV screen

Paper towels and tissues can be more abrasive than you’d think, which means you run the risk of scratching your TV screen. On the other hand, microfiber cloths, like the ones used to clean eyeglasses, gently wipe away grease and grime. Make sure to unplug your TV before you start. Using a circular motion, wipe the soft, dry cloth over your screen without pressing too hard. For added stability, hold on to the back of your TV to keep it from scooting or tipping. The last thing you want is for your TV to fall and ruin your smart home hub. A microfiber cloth can’t fix a cracked screen!

If you run into stains, dampen the cloth with distilled water and keep wiping in circles. Be careful not to spray water directly onto the screen. For especially stubborn stains, you can dip your cloth into a mixture of mild dish soap and water and squeeze out the excess. Before you plug your TV back in, make sure the screen is completely dry.

Avoid harsh chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals on your TV screen

If your TV is on the older side, such as a tube TV which has a screen made of glass, you can simply clean it like any other glass item in your home. A window cleaner like Windex will do the trick. Plasma TVs also have glass screens but usually have an anti-glare coating that needs special treatment. To clean a plasma TV, smart TV screen, or any modern TV screen, stay away from harsh chemicals.

Chemicals to avoid

Alcohol, acetone, and ammonia can all ruin your screen, so avoid cleaners with those ingredients listed. Most chemicals that you already have, such as cleaning supplies for your bathroom or kitchen, have harsh chemicals. The best solution is to check the manufacturer’s guide for approved cleaners—or simply use water, if recommended. It’s always best to stick with a microfiber cloth before resorting to chemicals.

Don’t forget to clean your TV remote

,Don't forget to clean your TV remote and smart home hub

While you’re at it, you might as well clean the rest of your smart home set-up! Remote controls are home to numerous germs and can also collect dust. First, remove the batteries. Then clean the entire remote with your microfiber cloth. Here, you can dampen your cloth with diluted alcohol or another sanitizing liquid. Clorox, Lysol, and Purell are all great options. Use a cotton swab dipped in your cleaning solution to get around the buttons and into crevices. Lastly, wipe down the remote with a dry cloth and add your batteries back in.

For more spring cleaning tips, check our guide to cleaning your computer, monitor, and keyboard.

Emily Richey is the Content Manager for the CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber blogs. A recent graduate of Pace University NYC, she's an avid reader and writer. She spends most of her free time in bookstores and cafes, seeking the perfect cup of coffee.