Tell me this: when the screen was sparkling, how could I put it in the bin?

Cleaning up after a family visit often involves getting rid of – or at least refusing to open – something that is about to spill or smear on to the floor. Still, it’s better than just letting it pile up. And now a British creative has developed a bizarre new series of cleaning “activities” designed to fight TV grime.

Responding to a tweet asking for ideas for how to tackle anti-clutter methods, Chris Muscat, an art teacher and illustrator, came up with a system that involves scratching out tiny marks on to floor surfaces in order to spritz the spots with strong detergent. The art teacher then credits the activity to “professional cleaning mums” while describing it as a “good start”.

Chris Muscat (@ChrisMuscat2) .@TheyAreClumsy reply: “cleaning wipes aren’t going to help with all of the carpeting spots” – do you come up with a better idea? Let me know. — What’s Yours (@whatsyourstraits) December 8, 2018

Muscat told the Guardian: “There’s a near 30-year-old TV set with a lag and some signifiers to say it’s been in a constant smudging cycle for more than a year. The problem is the whole process takes too long and, at £9.99, is cheaper and a lot greener than using fabric softener at a service station. And since the machine is so shiny, I thought I would deliberately mess with it just to mess with it.”

The artist said the piece of writing that pops up when you open the manual repair kit was good.

“I’ve discussed this with other electrical enthusiasts and we’ve all agreed that professional cleaners have done a very good job in removing noticeable bits of grime. More interesting but time-consuming and frustrating is the daily multi-step process of ‘lowering the floor’ and ‘steering the air-poker towards the trim board’. The latter is a favourite, if not the most frustrating. The whole process is actually fairly slow, so doesn’t much benefit, “smudge” style, from cleansing.

“Now that we all know this TV has been in the same mess for so long, cleaning activities don’t seem all that harsh. I use the words ‘competition’ and ‘environmental project’ to describe the air-poker as it might be applicable to indoor snow-making equipment,” said Muscat.

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