Sunday, 07 September 2014 03:08

How to clean a plasma or LCD TV screen, how to clean a coffee maker, how to clean a hairbrush

Our three-in-one cleaning mini-blogs will take you from the living room to the kitchenHow to clean an LCD TV, how to clean a plasma TV. to the bathroom as we discuss how to clean a plasma TV or LCD TV screen (or a tablet screen or smartphone screen), a coffee maker and a hairbrush (and how to sterilise a wooden brush). A common thread is the use of natural products. Vinegar is used in two of these processes, and tea-tree or eucalyptus oil in the third.


It's variety time: How to clean a plasma TV, a coffee maker and a hairbrush

Your guide to cleaning an LCD, plasma and/or HDTV TV screen – and your tablet or smartphone

The most expensive component of your LCD, LED or plasma TV, and possibly of your iPad, Galaxy or other tablet or smartphone, is the technological and manufacturing marvel that is the screen itself. An LCD TV, for instance, is made of ultra-thin layers of glass, plastics, liquid crystals, glues and other materials. Hand-in-hand with its expense is its delicacy. Your LCD TV screen – or tablet screen – is easily damaged. Even older HDTV screens are sensitive creatures. Touch them and you might think you are touching glass, but it is more likely you are touching a very fine anti-glare coating. Consequently, when it comes to cleaning these screens what you must not do is important, so important we will start with a list.

How not to clean your LCD TV screen – or the screen of your tablet or smartphone

Do not use window cleaners of any type or brand (these most likely contain ammonia, which will damage the coating of your LCD TV, HDTV, tablet or smartphone screen)

Do not use alcohol or alcohol-based cleaners (which will also strip away the anti-glare coating)

Do not clean with paper products of any kind, or rags, no matter how soft they seem (these will to scratch). Use microfibre cleaning cloths instead

Do not spray your cleaner directly onto the surface (apply to your microfibre cleaning cloth instead)

Do not clean while the screen is warm (your cleaner will evaporate unevenly). It’s best to pull the plug from the wall and let your TV cool before you begin. If cleaning a tablet or smartphone, disconnect and power down

Do not rub vigorously or even press the screen – this will damage it

At last — here's what you can do to clean your TV screen

This section is not much longer than the “don’t do” list. Once your TV (or tablet or smartphone) is cool, wipe it gently with the microfibre cloth (or use an eyeglass cleaning cloth) to remove dust and dirt. Do not apply any pressure.

If a check reveals any residual grime or finger marks, you will have to apply a wash. This is easy.

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water (or use eyeglass-cleaning spray or a LCD screen-cleaning spray). Dip your cloth into your vinegar-water mix (or spray your cleaner onto the cloth) and then gently wipe the screen, working outward from the middle and using circular motions.

Don’t allow this solution to evaporate. Wipe down the screen with a fresh cleaning cloth, ie, one that is clean and dry, until all moisture is removed.

If the frame is dirty, too, wipe it clean with a microfibre cloth dipped in your vinegar-water solution – with this you are allowed and rub – and then dry it with a second cloth.

Happy viewing!     

How to clean a coffee maker the natural way

There are natural alternatives to using store-bought products to clean your coffee maker of hard-water build-ups and the gunk that spoil the taste of your morning brew. The prime ones are vinegar and citric acid.

If using citric acid, dissolve about 30 grams of this (one ounce in the old measure) in about one 900mls of hot water then add 900mls of cold water (stick to this ratio if modifying the total volume). Then follow the process given below (it refers to the vinegar mix, but equally applies to a citric solution).

Fill the water chamber in your coffee maker with the vinegar (either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar). For a regular clean, make the mixture one part vinegar to two parts water; if it’s been a while since the coffee maker has been cleaned, make the mixture half and half.

If you have a filter-type coffee maker, slip a filter into place, then fill the water chamber with your vinegar-water mix and start the coffee-making cycle (or hit the “clean” button if your machine has one). Halfway through the cycle, turn off the machine (you won’t need to do this if it has a self-cleaning function).

Let it stand for one hour, and then switch the device on again and allow the cycle to complete. Discard the vinegar-water mix (or pour into a spray bottle to use as a fungicide, slug killer or cat repellent in your garden).

Next is a rinse, which is just a matter of repeating the process with fresh water only. It’s best to do this at least twice, allowing the device to cool in between rinses.

While the device is rinsing, wash the grounds basket and glass carafe with detergent and hot water. Or you could soak the basket in a vinegar-water solution overnight, and then wash it.

If you’re having difficulty cleaning the carafe, you could swirl a vinegar solution around its inside. But we like this trick: fill it with ice, pour in plenty of salt, secure the lid and then shake, rattle and roll for several minutes. Not only is this good exercise, your carafe will end up spotless.

If you have a coffee steamer, just fill the pot with vinegar and water, let it stand overnight and then rinse thoroughly (or, again, make a brew with stale grounds which you will then discard).

Tips: Never, ever use baking soda and water – the taint this causes will remain for a long time, and do use soft or filtered water for your brews if you can to minimise calcium build-up.

How to clean a hairbrush – and how to sterilise a wooden brush

Is the sight of your hairbrush making you cringe? Here’s how to clean it …

Remove any caught hair by pulling it out with your fingers or tweezers. If the bristles are made of a natural fibre, be careful so that you don’t pull them out, too, and be gentle so that you don’t break them. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your brush and the hair is matted, snip through this material in a straight line with a small pair of scissors, again taking care not to damage the fibres.

Next, clean the brush. If it is made of any material but wood, do this when you next have a shower – using just shampoo. You can massage the bristles clean with your fingers, and scrub the surface gently with an old toothbrush.

Then just rinse and dry your hairbrush. For this last step, perhaps use a towel or a hairdryer set on cool (warmth could damage the bristles).

If you have a wooden brush, remember that water is the enemy of wood (a point we emphasise in our blog on cleaning timber floors). Don’t take it into the shower with you; instead, clean the bristles and surface at the sink with as little water as possible. Don’t rinse it. Remove the soapy stuff with a dampened towel instead.  Dry the brush immediately, being as gentle as you can.

As a last step, massage a few drops of germ-killing eucalyptus oil into the surface around the base of the bristles. Then let it dry naturally.


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