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Can You Clean Your Projector Lens With Water?

People use water to clean various things, from clothes and silverware to furniture and windows. It’s only fair to wonder if you can use it to clean other items like appliances and gadgets.

Water and other water-based cleaners are relatively safer than abrasive alcohol-based cleaners. However, they also pose some dangers.

Yet, can you clean your projector lens with water?

Well, yes – but there are certain parameters to follow.

This article provides a detailed guide on cleaning your projector lens using water. It also touches on the best lens cleaner alternatives if you’re looking for one.

Can You Clean Your Projector Lens With Water?

It’s perfectly safe to clean your projector lens with water. However, you can’t completely clean it with water alone.

You need to mix it with mild soap to properly remove dust and other debris. Furthermore, you need the right cleaning tools to make the cleaning process go more smoothly.

Materials include the following:

  • Lens brush
  • Air blower or compressed air cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Loosen Dirt

Lens brushes are designed specifically for sensitive areas of devices like projectors. You can use this to dislodge hardened dirt and other debris from your lens surface.

Brush gently and in a circular motion to avoid agitating the lens coating. Furthermore, avoid scrubbing the brush too harshly on the lens surface.

lens brush on the projector lens

Step 2: Blow Away the Dirt

Once you’ve dislodged all the hardened particles on your projector lens, use an air blower or compressed air cleaner to blow away the debris.

NOTE: If you’re using compressed air for the job, remember to hold it seven inches away from the projector lens. Use short bursts of air to blow away debris. Don’t keep the spray on for too long; otherwise, you may scratch or crack your projector lens.

Step 3: Wipe the Lens

Combine a portion of mild soap with a cup of water in a small pail. Dampen a piece of a microfiber cloth with the solution. Lightly wipe the lens with the dampened cloth using a circular motion.

Keep wiping the affected area until the stain softens.  Finish with a clean microfiber cloth.

cleaning a projector lens using a soft towel

Step 4: Leave It to Dry

Place your projector on a secure surface. Somewhere your pets or kids (if any) can’t reach it. Let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour before plugging it back into the power source.

Et voila!

Your projector lens is now spick and span!

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Cleaning Your Projector Lens with Water

do's and don't's note

There are proper and improper ways of using water to clean your projector lens. Below are the do’s and don’t’s of projector lens cleaning that you must keep in mind:


  • Make sure your projector is unplugged from its power source. 
  • Check the labels of soaps you’re mixing into your cleaning solution to make sure they don’t contain any aggressive ingredients.
  • Use tools designed explicitly for lens cleaning, e.g., lens brushes, lens wipes, compressed air cleaners, and air blowers. 
  • Always use circular motions instead of straight ones when cleaning your lens. Do this outwards, from the middle.
  • Make sure to store your cleaning tools in a dust-free space. Dirty lens cleaners are ineffective for cleaning lenses. 
  • Use short bursts of air when using the compressed air cleaner on your projector lens.


  • Never use tissue paper to clean your projector lens. This material will scratch your lens and leave annoying paper fibers on the glass. 
  • Avoid using your breath to dampen the surface of your lens. Your breath is acidic and will strip away the reflective coating of your lens.
  • Never pour water directly on the projector lens. Instead, pour small amounts of it onto a clean microfiber cloth, which you may then wipe the lens with. 
  • Don’t dip your fingers into the soap and water solution, and use that to wipe the lens. 
  • Never touch the tips of your cleaning brush with your fingers. Your fingertips will leave oils and dead skin from on the bristles, which inevitably can get transferred to your projector lens during cleaning.


How Often Should You Clean Your Projector Lens?

Projector lenses need to be cleaned regularly to maintain optimum performance and results. However, how often should that be?

The answer depends on how and where you store your projector lens.

cleaning projectors

Projector lenses come with lens caps out of the box. The cap protects the lens from dust, debris, and other particles and dangers.

If you store your projector in a secure place where dust can’t get in, and if you use its projector cap regularly, you don’t need to clean your projector more than once every three or four months.

However, if you store your projector in an area that’s dirty or exposed to dust and other particles, you may need to clean your projector more often.

How Can You Prevent Dust from Entering Your Projector Lens?

There are several ways you can prevent dust from entering your projector lens.

The first and most obvious solution is to use a lens cap. Most projectors come with a lens cap out of the box. Remember to replace it every time you finish using your projector lens.

projector covered with lens cap

The next method you can try is to use a projector jacket. This method protects your projector lens from dust and its other components and features as well.

Finally, you can also store your projector lens in a cabinet or shelf.

Final Thoughts

Dust getting into your projector lens is an inevitable issue. Luckily, there are many ways you can solve it. You can use water to clean your projector lens. Alternatively, you may also use dedicated cleaners to get the job done right.

Regardless of what method you use, remember the dos and don’ts of proper projector lens cleaning. Avoid using cleaners that are too abrasive. Furthermore, make sure only to use tools that are specifically designed for lens cleaning, e.g., lens brushes, lens wipes, microfiber cloths, and air blowers.

Last update on 2022-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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