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Can You Put a Projector Screen in the Washing Machine?

Can You Put a Projector Screen in the Washing Machine?

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When did you last clean your projector screen? Most owners focus all their attention on cleaning the lens while neglecting the projecting surface.

What most don’t know is that projector screens do get dirty over time. Especially outdoor screens. They get exposed to smudges, oils, fingerprints, dust, and all sorts of contaminants.

All this dirt and moisture overload affects the image quality and, eventually, the viewing experience. The only solution at this point is to clean your projector screen or risk further damage, which your screen may not recover from, and ultimately, your pockets!

And it is not just spraying some water on the screen and scrubbing with a kitchen towel. No. There is a proper way of cleaning projector screens.

In fact, there are various correct methods of cleaning projector screens. Of course, the procedures vary for each screen type.

For instance, how you clean a motorized screen will be different from how you clean DIY fabric screens.

In this post, we will take you through the projector screen cleaning guide, so keep reading.

Can You Put a Projector Screen in the Washing Machine?

a woman opening a washing machine

Most certainly NO! You can’t throw your projector screen into the washing machine and expect it to come out working perfectly.

Unless it is a fabric screen, commercial projector screens should not be washed in the washing machine. They will get damaged.

Even though projector screens are designed to be water-resistant, when they are exposed to wetness, they lose the reflective coat. They also get a stain that is hard to get rid of and impossible to watch with.

There are, however, screen materials that are made to get wet. It’s good practice to always refer to the user guide. 

Can I Put a Projector Screen in the Dryer?

No, you cannot toss your projector screen into your dryer. It will get wrinkled and distort the images projected.

The right way to dry your screen is to use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe in an up/down or right/left motion.

You can also use a Q-tip to dry off sections of the screens that you were cleaning.

How To Properly Clean a Projector Screen?

tools for cleaning

Before I take you through how to clean a projector screen the right way, I must tell you that screen materials vary. Therefore it’s important to first check the user guide or even check-up with the installer to know what you can or cannot do.

Is that understood?

Good. Now, let’s proceed with our cleaning guide.

So the first thing you want to do is assemble all the cleaning requirements. See the list below.

  • Soft microfiber cloths , you may need a couple depending on how dirty your screen is
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Latex gloves 
  • Isopropyl alcohol (only needed in case of stubborn dirt)
  • Cotton swabs to use along with the alcohol
  • Canned air

Step 1

canned air

To get started, put on your latex gloves so that you don’t leave your fingermarks on the screen or cause any smudges. Even worse, scratch the screen with your nails.

 You want to start with loosening dust and dirt, and the best tool for this job is canned air as there is no chance of you touching your screen. Exactly what you should be aiming at during the entire cleaning process.

To use canned air (compressed air), hold the Can at least an inch away from the screen and spray targeting the dirty spot.

You can also use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off the loose dirt, but canned air does the job pretty fast.  

When using a microfiber cloth, strictly wipe the screen in one direction. For instance, if starting from the left side of the screen, go all the way to the right, and if starting from up, go all the way down.

 Do not wipe in circular motions. This will damage the reflective layer of the screen. If you must wipe again, use another clean cloth.

Step 2

Formula 409 multi surface Cleaner Spray Bottle, 32 Fluid Ounces

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The next step is to use a damp microfiber cloth lightly dampened with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. The mixture should be in the ratio of 1:10, 10 being the water.

A great alternative to warm soapy water is Formula 409 , a surface cleaning formula. However, you will first need to dilute the formula, so mix a small amount of the formula with water.

Spray just a tiny amount onto a microfiber cloth and wipe your screen in one direction, just as we did in step one. Do not spray the formula directly on your screen.

Step 3

This is the drying step, and for this, you will need a dry microfiber to dry off your screen. Use the same wiping method as in steps one and two, preferably in the same direction you did in those steps.

Step 4

The last step is inspecting if your screen is clean. If it is, good job!

If there are some noticeable patches and spots, check out how to clean them off in the next chapter.

For a pull-up or pull-down screen, ensure that it is completely dry before rolling it up and putting it back to its casing. 

Caution When Cleaning a Projector Screen

  • Do not use abrasive scrubbing sponges or anything that could damage the screen
  • Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach or wax
  • Do not leave your screen to air dry; instead, pat it dry.
  • Do not scrub your screen; gently wipe
  • Do not ignore water splashes on the screen; immediately wipe off any splash
  • Do not put the screen into a casing when wet

How To Get Rid of Stubborn Spots on the Projector Screen

isopropyl alcohol 70

There will be instances where your projector screen has stubborn spots, especially an outdoor screen. 

While it is easy to quickly reach out for the harshest cleaning detergent in your home, resist the temptation.

Harsh chemicals will ruin the reflective surface and leave you with a permanent stain and an uneven image quality.

Instead, use isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to get rid of the dirty spots. Be gentle while rubbing, and once done, use a dry cotton swab to remove the wetness immediately. Leaving it damp for even a minute longer will ruin your screen.

Please skip this step if the spots are not affecting your image quality. You could end up with a damaged screen if you are not super careful when using isopropyl alcohol.

Some guides suggest you wear masking tape around your finger then dab the screen to remove dirt particles. Please don’t. Manufacturers don’t recommend it as the adhesive could ruin your screen.

How Often Should a Projector Screen Be Cleaned?

Ideally, projectors shouldn’t need to be cleaned often. A quick clean every three months and a deep clean once every year should be more than enough.

This is because projector screens are made from high-quality materials that do not trap dirt easily. The super-smooth surface also does not allow dust and debris to settle or stick to it. 

To make the care and maintenance of your projector screen much simpler, settle only for a premium quality screen. A clean projector equals a crystal clear image—no shortcut about this.


to do list for cleaning projector screen

For brilliant image quality and an enjoyable viewing experience for years to come, cleaning your projector screen should be on your to-do list at least every couple of months.

Cleaning a projector screen is a quick and straightforward task. We have made it even simpler by listing the cleaning requirements for you and showing you step-by-step how to do it correctly.

What are you waiting for? Get to it already!

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