You love how crisp and detailed images are with your home theater projector. Sometimes, you can feel like you are at the cinema instead of sitting in your living room. Everything looks amazing on the screen until you suddenly notice images aren’t as clear.
Your projector lens is covered in dust, and it is interfering with image quality. If you’re tempted to grab a bottle of window cleaner, don’t! There’s a right way to safely clean the lens. Wondering how to clean a projector lens? Here are the simple steps.
How to Clean a Projector Lens
You know not to use regular household cleaners on the lens, but there’s something else you shouldn’t do. Don’t use your breath to clean the lens. It can damage the coating on the lens. So, how do you get image clarity back?
The first step is to turn the projector off. The lens heats up and you don’t want to touch it until it has cooled down. Let it sit for thirty minutes or so, and then get ready to start cleaning. It’s not hard, but you want to be careful. You don’t want to scratch the lens you’ll never have optimal image clarity until it’s replaced. Replacing the lens is expensive.
Use Compressed Air
Chances are if you have a keyboard, gaming console, or DVD player, there’s a can of compressed air in your house. If not, it’s an inexpensive purchase at any office supply store.
Hold the can upright and keep it a few inches away from the lens. You also want to use short bursts of air instead of longer ones. Remember, the glass lens is delicate, and even a long burst of compressed air can cause damage.
What You Clean With Matters
You’re in the middle of a movie and notice odd spots or streaks on the screen. You’re wearing a soft, washed T-shirt, perfect for wiping off the lens. Even your softest shirt will scratch the delicate lens, instead use specifically designed lens brushes or micro-fiber cloth. The same cloth you use to clean your glasses can safely wipe the dust off a projector lens.
Always clean the lens in a circular motion, otherwise, your only spreading the dust around. You also want to keep the cloth or brushes clean. A dirty brush or cloth is useless when you’re trying to clean the lens.
You May Need to Use a Cleaner
Sometimes, compressed air and lens brushes aren’t enough to remove the dirt. You need a lens cleanser. If you have a cleaner for your glasses, it’s safe to use on a projector lens. If not, you can find an inexpensive bottle at any electronics store or in the eye care aisle at the local pharmacy.
You only need a few drops to clean the projector lens. Don’t go overboard, or you’ll waste time trying to wipe it all off the lens. Wipe in the same circular motions you used with the compressed air.
When Should You Clean a Projector Lens?
Thankfully, cleaning your projector lens is not a daily or weekly chore. Overcleaning can do as much damage as using the wrong tools. Unless you’re hosting movie nights at the beach, it’s a job you only need to do a few times a year.
The projector lens does have some protection from dust, and a light coating isn’t going to interfere with image quality. When images are noticeably less clear and detailed, then it’s time to look at the lens. If there’s a thick coat of dust, you need to wipe the lens down.