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How To Clean a Plasma TV

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Authored by Douglas Mefford in Gadgets
Published on 05-26-2009

Plasma televisions are very high-tech pieces of equipment designed to be lightweight, very thin, and able to produce extremely high-quality images. These screens can also be used as computer monitors. To make such sharp images, plasma television screens are built from many very tiny glass, gas-filled bubbles. Each individual pixel of the screen image contains three color bubbles that produce either red, green, or blue that lights when electric current is run through the matrix. Due to this process by which they create such high-definition images, plasma television screens are more delicate than an ordinary television screen and require extra care when cleaning.

Begin by checking the owner’s manual that came with the set. Some brands have very specific requirements for cleaning the screens of their units. It is important before you begin the cleaning process to turn off the set. You should also allow time for the screen to cool down as they create more heat than a LCD screen. For an extra measure of safety, unplug the set as well. If cleaned while still hot, the solution may evaporate before it can work and there is always the potential for electric shock if left on. Some brands, such as Pioneer (TM) suggest that you do not use any liquids on the surface of their screens to avoid liquid creeping into the display.

The proper cleaning cloth is essential. To protect the investment you have made, invest in a soft, micro-fiber cleaning towels for the job. Avoid wood pulp based cleaning materials like toilet tissue, paper towels, or facial tissues. These products have fibers too large and sharp to avoid scratching the surface of a plasma television. One-use cleaning cloths are recommended so contaminants and dust particles from a previous cleaning cannot become hardened on the surface of the cleaning cloth and scratch the set during subsequent cleanings.

If you do not have a special cleaning fluid, use distilled water. The chemicals in tap water can also damage the surface. Avoid ammonia or alcohol-based cleansers at all costs. These will cause micro glazing to the screen that will slowly etch small cracks into the screen surface that fogs the display and destroy the high-quality images the set is designed to produce.

Never spray your cleaning fluid directly onto the screen. Doing so risks water getting into the set and shorting it out when turned back on. Apply your cleaner to the cloth and then wipe VERY GENTLY! If too much pressure is applied to the surface you can damage the alignment of the coloration bubbles that make high-definition possible. Use a minimum of fluid at a time and reapply cleaner to the cloth only as needed. An anti-static cleaner is preferred since it helps to repel dust particles even after the screen is cleaned.

With the cost of plasma television screens being somewhat expensive, spending the $20-$50 extra for the correct cleaning cloths and fluids is a small investment to pay for helping maintain it in peak condition.

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