Super Bowl 50 kicks off at 3:30 PM on Sunday, February 7. Is your home theater system ready for the big game? There are a few easy things you can do to make sure your existing system is in tip-top shape before you invite your friends over for this year’s Super Bowl. You’ll enjoy the game more, and after the trophy is awarded and your guests go home, you’ll still have clean equipment to enjoy even while you’re cleaning nacho cheese spills off of your floor.
Be safe! While we recommend these cleaning and maintenance methods, always turn components off (and if possible, unplug) your equipment before cleaning. When in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual. Century Stereo is not responsible for any damage or adverse effects incurred while cleaning audio equipment.
Start by clearing your party space. If you’re married, your spouse will so appreciate you for cleaning up the living room ahead of the big game. Your guests will also notice the effort made. Bonus points if you help clean up the mess after the party! Start with the basics – sweep or vacuum, use a surface cleaner to wipe clean your coffee table, counters, and any other surfaces that your guests may use. Put away any clutter or items that get left out in day-to-day activities. If you can, make some extra space for auxiliary seating for your guests.
Once you have your space clear of dust and clutter, now is the time for the fun stuff. All you need is time, patience, some soft cloths, a soft brush, a vacuum, and maybe a can of compressed air if you haven’t cleaned your gear in a long time.
Start with your television screen. Grab a dry soft cloth (similar to what you’d clean glasses with) and gently wipe the surface of the screen and the edges. If the surface of your screen is particularly dirty and is NOT an LCD screen, you can soak your cloth in a diluted solution of one part mild liquid dish soap to about 100 times the amount of water. Soak the cloth in the solution, then wring the cloth well to remove excess liquid. Wipe the screen with the damp cloth, then use a dry soft cloth to dry the screen. Since many screens are sensitive, try to avoid wiping hard or more than necessary.
Next it’s time to clean your components, like your receiver, BluRay player, etc. Again with a soft cloth wipe the chassis of the equipment, from top to bottom. Try to wipe away from vent holes, to avoid pushing debris into the component’s interior. Use this same method on the front displays. Then take a soft, dry brush (you can even use a paintbrush) to dust on and around the buttons and knobs without changing your settings. You can also use a can of compressed air for some of the spots that are difficult to reach. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, you can also clean inside of the components with compressed air or an optical lens cleaner disc, however, by opening up your equipment, you’re very likely to void the warranty, so it is better to avoid doing so.
While you’re at it, you might as well give your cables a good once-over. If there is enough space behind your equipment, you can use the wand extension of your vacuum cleaner to remove some of the dust bunnies that have accumulated back there. You can also use your soft brush to aid with this. Be gentle! It would really be the pits to have clean cables (and therefore, a non-operating home theater system) that don’t work because you’ve bent the pins while cleaning them.
Finally, it’s time to clean your speakers. For the cabinet, go with the same soft cloth method as your television screen. Wipe away from the grille in order to keep dust away from the drivers. For really dirty surfaces, you can lightly dampen the cloth and then promptly dry afterward. Even for speakers with wooden cabinets or finishes, do NOT use furniture polishes or sprays, as they can leave residue or other adverse side effects on your speakers. Next, remove and clean your grilles. If you have cloth grilles, you may be able to gently vacuum them with a soft brush to remove dust. For metal or plastic grilles gently wipe them with a dry or slightly damp cloth. If you do use a damp cloth, be sure to fully dry the grille before putting it back on the speaker in order to avoid causing moisture to get through to the drivers. Finally, clean your drivers by dusting them with that soft paintbrush. You can also use a can of compressed air if your drivers are very dusty or dirty.
Hallelujah! You’ve got a clean system that’s ready to rock and show off! Now all you need to do is go buy some beer and fire up the barbecue. For tips on fine-tuning your television settings before the game, check out our blog post on Calibrating Your TV Display Settings.
If you’ve got questions, need a service call, or would like to upgrade part of your system before the big game, please don’t wait until the last minute to do so. The time we have, the less likely it is that we will be able to help you. Give us a call or visit the showroom today to get dialed in before Super Bowl 50!