Although the video projector requires little maintenance, you must still keep it clean to ensure the best performance possible, especially when it comes to the lens. It doesn’t matter if you have an LCD, DLP, or LCoS projector. Eventually, every projector lens gets dirty or dusty, so you must clean it up in order to keep the integrity of what you’re watching as clear and pristine as possible. This also applies to your projector screen. The dirtier the projector screen is the harder it is for you to watch even 4K images at the brightest setting and even without ambient light ruining the contrast of your projection.
Keeping Your Projector Screen Crystal Clear in Cleanliness 101
The last thing you want to happen is to have a projector screen that’s so dirty it’s no better than a brick wall when it comes to surface quality for your projection or projector image. Perhaps a hanging bedsheet can do better at showcasing your movie, game, or TV show for viewing than your dirty projector! You should clean it up post-haste to avoid this type of conclusion.
To wit, you should do the following things.
- Cleaning Dust and Small Marks: Loosen dust first by spraying the screen with short strokes of compressed air in a can instead of using one continuous spray. Cover your mouth or use a face mask to defend yourself from allergies, sneezing, germs, or respiratory irritation. You can buy a can of compressed air usually in the same hardware, big box, or electronics shops you bought the screen at. They’re one of many maintenance tools available for you. The nozzle of your can of compressed air should be placed 2.5 centimeters or 1 inch away from the screen. The short bursts of air allow you to methodically remove all the dust. Blow at the screen to loosen the dust further.
- Wrapping Masking Tape Around Your Fingers: First off, wear latex gloves to prevent putting in fingerprints or scratches all over the screen. Afterwards, wrap masking tape around your hand’s fingers until it’s about 2 inches or 5.1 centimeters thick. You will use the spool later. Make a loop of the masking tape around your fingers with the sticky face of the tape facing outwards. Cover your knuckles and fingernails so as to prevent them from coming into contact with the projector screen in question. You can also use wider tape than the typical masking tape you can purchase at bookstores and school supplies stores so that you have more area to work with once you go about cleaning the screen.
- Using The Tape as a Dust Eraser: Gently tap the screen to remove dust marks about 19 millimeters or ¾ of an inch in size. Using the tape you’re wrapped around your hand, go and press the tape unto the screen on the top of the dust mark. Lift your hand away from the screen and continue patting the surface until the mark is gone or has disappeared altogether. Switch between using the backside and front side of your hand to avoid putting residue on the screen. You’re essentially using the sticky part of the tape to gently pull out the dust without damaging the surface of the projection screen itself.
- Making Your Own Cleaning Solution: If the mark on the screen isn’t coming off using the tape method or it’s much bigger than the tape can cover, you’ll need to use a stronger cleaning technique. To wipe the entire screen without harming the reflective paint on its surface, mix a cleaning solution that’s composed of 5 percent mild soap and 95 percent distilled water. Stir the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Afterward, you can use this homemade or DIY cleaning solution to remove stickiness or stubborn stains on your projector screen without scratching it all up or ruining its surface when push came to shove.
- Use a Microfiber Rag: Before anything else, you can also use Green Works or Formula 409 as a substitute for your DIY cleaning solution. At any rate, moisten a microfiber cleaning cloth with the solution. Don’t soak it just moisten it up. Dip the clean cloth unto the cleaning solution then wring it out completely. You want it a little wet and not soaking, sopping wet. A cotton or microfiber cloth is the preferred cloth type because it’s lint-free, soft, and non-abrasive. On that note, don’t use a scouring pad or sandpaper to clean your delicate screens because that will scratch it all up. To keep it untouched, use only the right cloth.
- Wiping the Screen Itself: Use light pressure to rub the screen from side to side using your dampened cotton or microfiber towel. Work the wiping in such a way that you’re working from the top to the bottom of the screen from left to right. Use strokes about 13 centimeters or 5 inches in length. Allow them to overlap the area you just wiped to enable full wiping coverage of the screen. Wipe the whole thing completely. Don’t use a circular motion in wiping it because that can scratch it all up. Just swipe from side to side and top to bottom. Don’t get fancy with your swiping.
- Use a Separate Dry Cloth: Once you’ve wiped the screen with your DIY or shop-bought cleanser (either Green Works or Formula 409), you can wipe the residue of water with a dry cloth. Do it immediately and don’t let the water droplets dry on the screen since that could result in water stains, some of which can permanently damage the screen surface. The cloth you used to wipe the screen dry should be the same type of lint-free cloth you used to clean it. It should also be new instead of reusing the damp cleaning cloth you’ve already used. Make sure to continue using the side-to-side strokes while working your way from top to bottom—i.e., the same way you cleaned the screen in the first place.
- Removing Any Residual Marks with Alcohol: Get a Q-tip or ear cleaner. Dip it in isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. Make sure that the end of the cotton swab is soaked in alcohol. This alcohol will be more effective than any other solution you’ve used prior to cleaning the screen. Therefore, it should only be used for spot treatments or getting rid of certain stains in specific spots rather than systemic cleaning. Most convenience stores or pharmacies have this rubbing alcohol available. Use the wet end of the Q-tip cotton swab to wipe the mark off. Only wipe the area where you want to do a spot treatment and don’t go beyond there.
- Careful Spot Treatment Techniques: When wiping the mark with the cotton swab’s wet end at a localized area (and nowhere beyond it), you should go about it using short side-to-side strokes. Yet again, don’t use circular or rotational wiping techniques when cleaning a screen because the screen surface is more sensitive to scratches than your average car paint finish or glass window. The side-to-side wipes can overlap at areas that you’ve already wiped, of course. That’s perfectly fine as long as you’re wiping correctly. It’s the cotton swab you should rotate as the mark becomes cleaner and cleaner.
- Finishing Up Your Screen Cleanup: The Q-tip should be rotated so that you don’t end up rubbing back the dirt into the screen. You should swipe until the mark is gone then rotate the swab so that the clean part is facing the remnants of the mark. You should also do your wiping in a gentle manner. Don’t press unto the screen to hard because you might poke holes into it. Use the dry portion of the cotton swab to wipe the spot dry for good measure. Yes, that’s the reason why you only soaked one part of the swab with alcohol while the other end remained dry. Don’t let the alcohol soak or evaporate on the screen. Wipe it off immediately and ASAP to prevent stain formation. Dab the residue with the Q-tip or a clean microfiber cloth.
When All Is Said and Done
Projector screen upkeep is important to ensure that your projector image remains crystal-clear itself as well. Regardless of your screen type, you can use various household items such as cleansers to go about cleaning these screens. Your main objective is to remove marks and dust without damaging the screen paint itself, which is known to be reflective and can accurately display the image from your projector with TV-like clarity. You should take good care of your screen the same way you’d regularly maintain your home’s cleanliness or vacuum the floor until it’s clear of dust.
Most projector owners tend to neglect the screen even as they regularly wipe the lens and clean the filters of their projector. They shouldn’t do that. The screen will break down if left too dusty or it’s cleaned haphazardly. Usually, cleanup is as simple as wiping the screen down so that you’d have a clean display to project your projection on. Just remember to always follow the instructions of the screen manufacturer, even those that aren’t listed in this guide. Typically, these booklets will tell you which specific harsh chemicals you shouldn’t use on your screen.