How to Clean a Projector | 10 Easy Steps

It’s not a rare occurrence to leave your projector on for long periods of time. And while this is a great idea if you’re using it several times per day, the hours accumulate and your projector will eventually need cleaning.

Dust, dirt, and other particles can accumulate on lenses and filters and cause an unwanted reduction in brightness or a less-than-clear picture. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you think to clean your projector. Just follow these simple steps:

10 Steps to the clean projector

10 Steps to the clean projector

  1. Start by turning off and unplugging your projector. Don’t worry, nothing will explode if you leave it on, but it’s good to keep that in mind as a safety measure.
  2. Make sure you find the manual for your particular model of the projector so you know how to adjust the lens and shutter correctly. It’s also helpful to have a flashlight, as the projector lens is usually located inside an enclosure behind a door on the front or top of the unit (check your user guide for more info about your particular model).
  3. Remove the front and/or top panel of your projector. This is how you’ll gain access to the lens. For most projectors, there are four screws around the perimeter of the panel surrounding the lens.
  4. Once you’ve removed all four screws, open your projector carefully so that none of the internal bits fall out. In 2010 I took a 2-year old projector apart and found a previously missed screw!
  5. With two hands (because you’re holding a flashlight), pull out the lens assembly gently from its enclosure and set it on a soft, clean towel or cloth. You’ll want to set it on a towel, as lens filters/accessories are delicate and can easily be damaged by contact with hard objects.
  6. You can use an air blower or other type of air-cleaning device if you can find one for your particular model, although I’ve never used one. You can also blow air into space where the lens assembly will fit into your mouth (be careful not to breathe in the glass). This will reduce dust and dirt particles that are mainly found in that space between the lens assembly and its enclosure.
  7. Get a clean microfiber cloth and wipe down the surface of the lens.
  8. Remove any remaining dust and dirt with a lens cleaning solution. I usually use a mix of distilled water with Windex or something similar, but any cleaning solution that’s designed for lenses will work fine. Apply the cleaner to the microfiber cloth, not directly to the lens, as this could cause issues with your projector’s warranty (if you have one) or damage it in some other way. Wipe down all sides of your lens so you don’t miss anything.
  9. Let the lens assembly dry for about 30 minutes, then reinsert it into its enclosure and screw it back on.
  10. Put your projector back together (don’t forget to replace any screws and panels you removed!) and you’re good to go.

Here are the details:

10 Steps to the clean projector

First, plug the projector in and turn it on to ensure everything is working as intended.

Next, remove the lamp on top of the projector and then lift it out of its holder so that its wires are exposed. Inside there should be some paper tape wrapped around anything with power cables inside.

Once this is removed from these cables, they should be able to move freely now which will allow you access into an outer compartment of sorts where all other electronics live such as speaker wire and signal wires, etc.

Not all projectors will work in the same way, however, by removing the wires on both sides of the lamp and then allowing them to become loose inside the projector itself, you are able to now remove and clean other parts of the projector apart from just that lamp.

In this case for example you would be able to access all other components on either side of the lamp such as your speaker wire, signal wires, etc…

So, we have now exposed wires inside (which could potentially be in contact with your screen) and outwards towards your screen as well. What we are going to do now is use a little bit of cloth that has been dampened so that it is easier for you to wipe down each area.

If you are not able to access a specific area then simply cut a piece of cloth and tuck it under the wires at an angle and wipe down both areas in one go. Use the cloth in this way as you can imagine, some wires may be shorter than others.

Now ensure that whatever screen you have does not have any oil or fingerprints on it which will result in it becoming hard to remove, so if you can clean this off now then do so.

The second thing you need to do is make sure the screen is secure to the wall because this will ensure no damage can occur to either the wall or the screen.

Finally, now that you have removed all physical dirt on your screen, it is time to remove anybody grease that may have been left behind due to touchscreens, etc…

And for this, we are going to need a special type of cloth that will not leave any residue and also be able to remove all of these oils from your screen. I recommend purchasing a microfiber cloth for this job as it will not scratch your projector or leave any residue behind.

You will need a microfiber cloth for this job that is different from those that you usually use on your car etc… Most microfiber cloths are very strong and do not scratch anything, however, for projector cleaning it is important to get one that was made with oil-resistant fibers.

These are typically made of anti-static fibers and also have the ability to absorb oils from touchscreens, fingerprints, and other residues.

Having said this, I prefer the smaller version of these which is called a “microfiber towel” rather than the big ones which are called “microfiber cloths”. These areas you can imagine, much smaller and therefore easier to clean your screen with.

10 Steps to the clean projector

Once you have this microfiber cloth in hand, simply start by taking a section of the cloth with your thumb while holding it in a downwards motion.

Ensure that when using your wetted finger that it is wet and not dripping or there will be no point to doing this as the water will simply roll off the cloth straight back into the bin.

In order for the water to be able to clean your screen further, make sure you run it across every part of the screen until it becomes totally dry afterward, including under each part of the frame.

In the event that the cloth is not cutting it or you want to attempt this job without one, then simply go through each frame and gently polish the screen in a downward motion with a cloth.


We have shown how you can clean your projector here step by step. Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

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