How to Clean a Projector Screen

Caring for your screen is a pretty simple process

What to Know

  • Required tools: Microfiber or lint-free cloth, bowl, water, dish soap, latex gloves, masking tape, isopropyl alcohol, and cotton swabs.
  • Optional cleaning tools: canned air, Formula 409, large pencil erasers, and foam brushes.
  • Always remember to wear gloves if you need to touch the screen.

This article explains several techniques on how to clean a manual or motorized projector screen. 

A couple looking at a projector screen
domin_domin / Getty Images

Projector Screen Cleaning: What You Need

In most cases, you'll use these items to clean a projector screen:

  • Microfiber or lint-free soft cotton cloth (you may need two or three)
  • Bowl
  • Water (distilled is preferred)
  • Dish soap
  • Latex gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
The required supplies for cleaning a video projector screen.

Optional Cleaning Tools

Optional items that can make the job easier:

  • Canned air
  • Formula 409
  • Large pencil erasers
  • Foam brushes
Optional supplies for cleaning a video projector screen.


Put on the Latex Gloves and Start Cleaning!

Follow the provided video projector screen cleaning tips carefully, as not all screens use the same material. Before proceeding, check your screen's user guide for details on what, or what not, to do.

If your screen was custom installed, consult your dealer or installer to make sure the following procedures won't damage the screen material. If your screen includes periodic cleaning and maintenance, let the dealer or installer do the job.

  1. Get the easy stuff. To start, get loose dust and other particles off the screen. This cleaning can be done using either a dry microfiber cloth or canned air. If you use a cloth, gently use a left/right or up/down motion in short segments to wipe the screen. 

    Never use a circular wiping motion to clean a projection screen. Due to variations in the construction of the reflective surface material, circular wiping may damage the screen. 

    An example of projector screen cleaning using a dry microfiber cloth (cloth one)


    If you use canned air, use short bursts to loosen the dust and particles. 

    Keep the spray nozzle at least one inch from the screen.

    Using canned air in the video projection screen cleaning process.


    After completing this process, check the screen. If there is no sign of dust, particles, or anything else that may hamper viewing, this may be all you need. However, if you think you need to go further, continue with the next step.

  2. Lift the harder stuff off. Look for particles that are stuck to the screen. Wrap masking tape around your hand (cover your fingernails and knuckles), a foam brush, or a large soft eraser with the adhesive side facing out. Then, dab the tape on a particle to see if you can remove it. Avoid touching the adhesive to the screen surface so as not to create small damaged areas.

    If you feel uncomfortable using masking tape on the screen, skip this step.

    Projector screen cleaning using masking tape methods


    Inspect the screen after completing the above step to see if you need to continue. 

    If you need to touch the screen surface to inspect it, wear latex gloves to avoid getting any particles or oils that are on your hand onto the screen surface.

  3. Time for a damp cloth. If you need to continue, put some warm water with a small amount of mild detergent into a bowl. The ratio should be about 5 percent detergent to 95 percent water.

    You can also use Formula 409, but don't spray it on the screen. Instead, mix a small amount with water (don't mix with other detergents) and apply it using the procedure outlined below.

    Dip a microfiber or lint-free cotton cloth into the water. After removing, squeeze it, so the cloth is just damp (you don't want water dripping down the screen or your arm). 

    Use short left/right or up/down motions starting at the upper-left or upper-right corner of the screen. Gently wipe until you complete the process for the entire screen surface or the area you need to clean.

    Cleaning projection screen using microfiber cloth dipped into cleaning solution of water and mild detergent.


    If water collects or runs down the screen, grab a dry microfiber cloth to avoid staining.

  4. The dry cloth follow-up. After completing the damp cloth step, use a dry microfiber or cotton cloth to dry off the screen surface. Use the same gentle left/right or up/down motion. Start from the same spot that you did with the damp cloth.

    Cleaning projection screen using a dry microfiber cloth


    When you're done, inspect the screen to see if it is clean. If so, you can stop. If you still notice a few stuck particles, there is one more thing you can do.

  5. Get the remainder. This last procedure requires a double-ended cotton swab.

    Read the following carefully. If you don't feel comfortable, forgo this last procedure if the remaining spots don't affect your viewing experience.

    Dip the cotton swab into isopropyl alcohol and leave the other end dry. Go to a spot on the screen you want to remove or clean and dab the alcohol end on the spot. Immediately clean the area with the dry end of the cotton swab. If you leave the spot too damp, it may stain the screen, which can't be removed.

    Projector screen cleaning touch-up using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol


    Since the dry end of the cotton swab will get damp after a couple of uses, you may need several cotton swabs to do the job. Or, make another pass with the dry cloth (dab or use a left/right or up/down motion only).

  6. Your projection screen should now be clean. If needed, repeat any of the above procedures.

Cleaning Manual or Motorized Roll-Up Screens

When you clean a manual or motorized pull-up or pull-down screen, make sure it sets long enough after completing the cleaning process. This way, you'll be sure it's completely dry before you roll it up or down into its sealed housing.

If the screen is dirty again when opened, there may be something wrong with the housing. Consult your user guide, dealer or installer, or customer support for further assistance.

Some outdoor projector screens can be washed off lightly with a garden hose. Consult the screen's user guide.

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