Compared to a television, a projector gets easily mucked up from within.
Your TV, too, gets equally filthy inside, but because you do not open up the TV as you take off a projector’s lid, the TV feels ostensibly cleaner.
Even if the TV gets dirty, all the grime and dust do not impact its performance the way they do on a projector.
A projector has multiple removable parts that are crucial to its functioning—one of them being the projector lens.
There’s no self-cleaning mechanism built into projectors, even on the high-end Sony projectors. Until then, you must clean the projector lens manually.
But how do you go about cleaning your Sony projector lens? Spoiler: It’s more methodical than you may have initially thought.
Read on to learn more.
- How Do I Know When My Sony Projector’s Lens Needs to Be Cleaned?
- What Can I Use to Clean My Sony Projector Lens?
- How to Clean My Sony Projector Lens?
- How to Prevent My Sony Projector Lens from Getting Dirty?
How Do I Know When My Sony Projector’s Lens Needs to Be Cleaned?
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort for your projector to let you in on the poor state of its lens.
Here are a couple of tell-tale signs the lens of your Sony or non-Sony projector is dirty:
- A visible accumulation of dust or other contaminants on the lens.
- A specter of dust on the screen when you use the projector.
A decline in your projector’s picture quality may mean an unkempt lens, but it could also signify an aging lamp.
What Can I Use to Clean My Sony Projector Lens?
If you’ve read our previous write-up on cleaning your Sony projector filter, we advised against using specific cleaning tools/equipment (except for some compressed air) and that your clean fingers are more than handy for the job.
But since we are dealing with glass here, cleaning the lens with your bare fingers is strictly not advisable.
You must have a proper projector lens cleaning kit before getting started.
The cleaning kit should comprise a lens brush, lint-free cloth, lens-cleaning solution, and a manual blower, at the least. If you don’t have these supplies handy, here are some we recommend:
- Vortex Optics Lens Cleaning Pen
- Leader 25 C-Clear Lens Cleaning Solution
- Zeiss 2oz Spray and Microfiber Lens Care Kit
Do not use compressed air from your projector filter cleaning tool. Canned air contains propellants, which could further smudge the lens.
Also, do not use harsh cleaning materials or alcohol-based products. Not to mention, steer clear of benzine, thinners, insecticides, insect repellents, and sunscreen.
How to Clean My Sony Projector Lens?
Once you have the cleaning tools handy, get started with the cleaning:
- Turn off the projector and unplug it once the fan’s turned off.
- Use the blower to clear any superficial dust settled on the lens. Begin with blowing at the center before moving to the periphery.
If the lens looks spic-and-span already, you may abort the cleaning process.
But if there’s still some dust settled on the lens and the blower isn’t helping eliminate those, move to the next step.
- Grab a lens brush and start cleaning the lens. Brush the lens in circles, beginning in the center. Since the lens has a concentric makeup, brushing the lens haphazardly or in vertical and horizontal strokes is not advised.
- If the brush manages to clear the grime, use the blower to ward off the unsettled dust.
- Wipe the lens case and the lens itself with a soft, lint-free cloth for the finishing touches. You may also use lens-cleaning paper.
- If you can still see some dirt stuck to the lens, gently dab the lint-free cloth in clean water and wipe in circular motions. Again, start from the center and then spread out. You may need a fabric or two more if the first cloth becomes too dirty before doing its job.
- After the lens is super clean, grab a dry cloth to remove moisture off the lens.
Your Sony projector lens is now ready for action again.
For details, watch the video to clean the BenQ projector lens as below:
Cleaning Sony Projector Lens: Important Dos and Don’ts
When cleaning your Sony projector lens, be wary of the following:
- Clean the lens only when the projector is cool to the touch. In other words, do not unplug the device and attempt a lens cleanup if the projector was in use only a few minutes ago. Give the projector some 20 to 30 minutes to cool itself down.
- Don’t go overboard with the cleaning. Though you have multiple cleaning tools at your disposal, it’s not necessary to enlist them all for the cleaning task. For example, a lens brush or manual lens blower is good enough if the lens has a minor dust collection. You need not use the cleaning solution.
- Don’t overclean. If the lens looks clean (no gunk, dust, fingerprints, etc.) after a cleaning session, the job’s done. Do not perform another round of cleaning to be extra sure. And if the picture doesn’t look clear even when the lens appears clean, there may be some zoom and focus issues with the device. Don’t blame it on the lens.
- Do not use your bare hands. Always use a microfiber cloth. Also, don’t use heavy hands, or you’ll scratch the lens.
- Do not spray the lens. Make sure not to spray the cleaning solution directly on the lens. Spray it on the microfiber cloth instead. A direct application could mean excessive use of the solution, which may mar the lens’s anti-reflective coating or leave behind a deep-seated residue. Also, make sure the cleaning cloth is not soaking wet but sufficiently damp.
- Don’t go behind the lens. Always clean the lens from the outside. The lens’s inner side is considered an internal component that you shouldn’t touch if you have no past projector repair experience. If you believe the lens is dirty from the other side or no amount of external cleaning helps clear the smog, take it to a professional.
How to Prevent My Sony Projector Lens from Getting Dirty?
If you use your projector, the lens will get dirty inevitably. If you don’t want the lens to accumulate dust, keep it sealed inside its original packaging.
Unfunny jokes aside, there are things you could do or must ensure to stretch the time gap between two successive lens cleaning sessions as much as possible.
- Keep the lens covered when not in use. If your projector lies on a table or a stand unattended when not in use, make sure it’s covered. If your projector didn’t come with one in the box, here’s one: Interpro Dust Cover .
- Clean the fan. Your Sony projector’s fan helps keep the device cool but at the expense of accumulating dust. The dust can transfer to other projector components, including the lens, if not regularly cleaned.
- Use air purifiers. If you live in the city or the air in your region is fraught with microparticles, your projector is likely to intake more dust than usual via its vents. An air purifier can help alleviate the issue. Just make sure the cleanser is not set up in the corner opposite the projector. The closer the air cleaner is to the projector, the lesser dust accumulation in the device.
- Cover the projector before room cleaning. When cleaning the room, make sure you temporarily shift the projector to another room, retract it if it’s fixed to the ceiling, or cover it with a cloth in its entirety if it’s too heavy to be carried around.
Can you use a vacuum cleaner to clean your projector lens?
Technically, you can, but it’s not recommended or overkill. Moreover, the vacuum cleaner’s suction power could be overpowering for the lens and may even damage or break the lens.
Cleaning your Sony projector’s lens is an essential activity only when it needs to be done.
If the lens looks pretty clear or there are no signs of a dirty lens on the screen, you are advised not to touch the lens, even if it’s been weeks or months.
Unlike projector filters, the lens doesn’t get dirty as frequently. Moreover, cleaning the lens without not causing any damage to the lens is like walking on a thin rope.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is the adage. Likewise, do not touch your Sony projector lens if there aren’t glaring concerns.
Ultimately, the costs and trauma attached to repairing or replacing a scuffed-up projector lens far outweigh the benefits of cleaning a lens that wasn’t dirty to begin with.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.