How to Clean a Projector Screen

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated December 6, 2022

The steps it takes to clean a projector screen are few, and you don’t need anything special for the job. From portable screens to retractable screens, most types of screens are cleaned similarly. A dirty screen can ruin business presentations, lower image quality, and more.


  • You can clean most screen surfaces with simple items around the house, such as warm water and a cotton cloth.
  • Stubborn stains can be frustrating, but using anything more than light pressure can damage most screen surfaces.
  • Projector screen materials range, so make sure you check to see whether there are special instructions from the screen manufacturer.

Even if you invest in the best projectors out there, dirt and dust particles are a reality. Any viewing surface you own should be cleaned regularly, including your projector lens and screen.

What is a Projector Screen?

A projector screen is a reflective surface that allows you to view the imagery emitted from your projector lens. While they don’t work in bright light or direct sunlight, most digital projectors can work with dim lamplight. Regular cleaning improves the viewing experience.

Multiple factors decide how well a screen will work, however. Understanding the question, “What distance should a projector be from the screen?” and “how to improve projector color accuracy,” helps immensely.

How to Properly Clean a Projector Screen

You don’t have to use harsh cleaning solvents. Still, for a proper cleaning process, it’ll help to include some chemical cleaning solutions. There is a multitude of reasons to make regular cleaning a part of your routine. For one thing, your screen will be easier to see, even in ambient light.

When regular cleaning doesn’t help issues with ambient light, it might be time to invest in a higher-lumen model. “How many lumens in an outdoor projector?” is a great question to ask.


Either buy specialized cleaning products or make your own. To make a DIY cleaning solution, get two buckets. One should have soapy water with mild soap. The other should contain plain, clean water.


To make the DIY cleaning solution, fill the bucket with plain water. From there, add in a few drops of dish soap. You want to aim for a mixture of 95% water and 5% dishwashing soap.


You’ll need a soft cloth for cleaning and one for drying. The best type to use is a clean microfiber cloth or lint-free cloths. Pay special attention because abrasive sponges could damage some types of projector screens. Delicate screens require careful attention to product usage.


Begin applying your soap and water solution to your screen. Use circular motions with gentle pressure and the occasional gentle strokes. Using “wax-off” circular strokes will keep streaks from forming.


If your dirty screen has tough stains, you may need to apply more abrasive cleaners. These shouldn’t be part of your regular cleaning routine. Always consult with the manufacturer before using generic all-purpose cleaners.


Use the clean, damp microfiber cloth to wash away the soap. This will be done with the second bucket of water, using clean, distilled water.


Remove excess water from the screen immediately, even if it’s just clean water. Leaving clean water on the screen can cause dark spots and deep stains. Do the same for gentle and abrasive cleaners, which also cause deep stains in any type of projector screen. This is a common mistake.


Once you remove all excess water from your projection surface, step back and take off your latex gloves. If you spot any dark spots or stains, use denatured alcohol to dab at the darker spots.

Insider Tip

You don’t have to use harsh chemicals to get your entire screen clean, but some abrasive cleaners might be required in some cases.


Can I prevent a buildup of dust on the projector lens?

Dust particles are everywhere. You can never totally prevent loose dust from attaching to the lens. You can only dust regularly with a dry cloth suitable for a projector lens. You can also use an air purifier.

Can I remove dry erase ink from a projection screen?

Yes, you can. Dry erase doesn’t always mean a permanent stain. The method you use will depend largely on your screen type, as well as how long the ink has been sitting.

Can I clean any projection screen surface?

Almost any projection surface is fair game. From retractable screens to a simple film screen, all require regular cleaning for the projector image to show up clearly. All types of projector screens benefit from a bit of water and a damp scrubbing sponge.

STAT: Uniformly white or grey screens are used almost exclusively as to avoid any discoloration to the image. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image