How often should I clean my projector lens? When does dust build-up on the lens? What causes dirt build-up?
No matter if your buy a project under $150 or an expensive projector under $2000, both types of projector require equivalent maintenance. When Projectors get dirty, the light gets scattered, and the image becomes fuzzy. If you notice that things start looking blurry, take action before it becomes severe.
Projector lenses accumulate dust because the air gets trapped inside the housing and condenses into tiny particles. The best way to remove dust from the projector lens is to use a soft cloth to wipe off the surface gently. Also, regularly cleaning the lens helps prevent the lens from becoming foggy or cloudy.
Steps to Clean Projector Lens with removable lens:
1) Turn the projector off.
2) Remove the lens cover plate by twisting it in the opening direction. Be sure not to drop any screws or other loose parts while removing the cover plate.
3) Carefully pull the lens out of the projector body. Make sure you do this slowly. It may be helpful if someone else could hold onto the lens during the removal process.
4) Use a soft cloth to clean all the projection areas of the lens thoroughly. Pay special attention to the site right next to the lens mount. It is where most of the dust will collect.
5) Reinstall the lens back to its original position. Screw the lens holder back firmly into place. Avoid dropping any screws again!
6) Repeat steps 1-5 until everything looks clear.
7) Reinstall the lens cover plate.
8) Restart your projector to ensure there aren’t any more issues with the optics.
If your projector doesn’t have a removable lens cover, you can still accomplish the same thing by following these instructions:
Steps of Cleaning for Projectors with non-removable lens covers
1) Start by turning off your projector.
2) Open the side panel located directly under the lamp hood using one hand.
3) With the help of another person, carefully pull out the entire lamp assembly from the projector.
4) Invert the lamp assembly so that it is facing down. The bottom part of the lamp fixture (the base) will now face upwards.
5) Carefully move the lamp assembly towards the front of the projector. You will need to use both hands to keep the lamp steady as you slide it along the metal guide rails. The lamp assembly shouldn’t contact anything except the metal guide rails. Once the lamp assembly reaches the end of the rails, disconnect the power supply wires which connect to the projector’s mainboard. Disconnecting the power supply wires is necessary because the lamp assembly has become heavy enough to cause damage to the projector’s electronics.
6) Now, turn the projector back on and watch the dust sucked away from the optical path.
7) When you’re done, replace the lamp assembly in its proper position and close the front panel.
You should also check the lens filter every time you change the filter. Changing filters is easy. Just unscrew the lens and remove the old filter. Then, screw on the new filter in the correct location. If you don’t see the filter at the top of the lens, look underneath for it.
What are the various ways to clean projector lenses?
There are many ways to clean projectors‘ lenses, including using compressed air, vacuuming, and wiping them with a soft cloth. However, they all require a lot of effort. So, here we’ll teach you how to clean lenses quickly and easily without requiring much effort. Although some people find this method quite hard, I assure you that cleaning lenses are pretty simple.
Steps for Cleaning projector lens while compressed air is running
1) Turn off your projector.
3) Open the side panel located directly below the lamp hood.
5) Move the lamp assembly towards the rear of the projector.
6) Connect the power supply cable to the power outlet.
7) Switch on the compressed air nozzle and press the button on the housing to start compressed airflow.
8 ) Wait until the airflow stops before touching the glass surface.
9) To avoid scratching the lens, only touch it with the nozzle when the airflow is stopped.
10) Do not leave the nozzle in place for too long, or else the air pressure will drop, and the airflow won’t be strong enough to clean your lens effectively. Airflow will stop after about 2-3 seconds.
11) Clean the lens using either a wet or dry microfiber cloth. Be careful not to scratch the lens with the cloth!
12) Use the microfiber cloth to wipe the dirt off the lens.
13) Replace the nozzle over the hole where you removed it earlier.
14) Close the door of the projector.
15) Press the button on the housing again to stop the compressed air flow completely.
16) Remove the power cord by pulling it out of the wall socket.
17) Turn the projector back on.
18) Observe if there are any more dirty spots on the lens. If so, repeat the above steps.
Steps for Cleaning projector lens while vacuuming
1) Turn off the projector and open the side panel
2) Vacuum the area around the lamp hood and near the lamp assembly, then vacuum up the entire bottom part of the projector.
4) While still connected to the switch box, open the lower cover and ensure no dirt remains inside the projector.
5) Unplug the projector from the wall socket.
6) Place a small rubber mat under the front panel. It will prevent the cover from moving accidentally.
7) Put the carpeted floor pad underneath the projector and connect the vacuum hose to the port located on the backside of the projector cabinet.
8) Start vacuuming.
9) Make sure to keep the nozzle away from the sides of the projector since it can damage the internal components.
10) Leave the nozzle in place for a few seconds to remove most dust particles.
11) After removing the nozzle, turn the projector off and switch it off.
12) Repeat step 11 until no dirt remains on the lens.
13 ) You’re done! Now put the projector away in its proper place.
Cleaning projector lenses with a moist cloth
This method is similar to the one described above. The difference is that instead of using compressed air, you use a piece of cotton soaked in water. It’s easier than other methods because you don’t need an external compressor to run at full speed. All you need is a damp cloth.
1) Remove the filter cap from the lamp.
2) Spray some cleaning solution onto the lens using the nozzle.
3) Rub the lens gently with the cloth.
4) Rinse the lens several times with fresh water.
5) Wipe off all the remaining moisture from the lens.
6) Dry the lens thoroughly with a soft towel.
NOTE: Using a humidifier is also recommended as it makes everything nice and soft.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can I use my regular vacuum cleaner for cleaning projectors?
A: No. Although it might work, it will not have enough suction force to suck up all the debris. Besides, the noise caused by the vacuum motor will disturb others when watching movies.
Q: What are the different parts that come in contact during a cleaning process?
A: A projector has three main parts: Lens, Lamp Hood, and Lamp Assembly. Filters separate them. The filters are generally made of mesh or velvet. The lamp assembly contains high-voltage electronics such as the transformer, rectifiers, diodes, etc.
Q: How often should a projector be cleaned?
A: Projector manufacturers recommend changing the lens every three years. However, we find this too long especially considering that the lens is relatively easy to clean. We usually change our lens once every year.
Q: Will the cleaning solution affect any electronic component inside the projector?
A: Not really. Most of the time, water alone does not harm electronic components. If your projector has a built-in heater element, there may be a case where the heater circuit could get damaged if left in contact with water for an extended period. But, in general, cleaning solutions do not harm any electronic parts.
Q: Is there a way to stop the lamp from flashing while cleaning?
A: Yes, there is. Hold the power button down after turning off the projector to avoid annoying flickering. It will make the lamp go into sleep mode. When you want to restart the projector, press the power button again, and the light will usually start glowing.
Projector lenses are very delicate and sensitive. Any scratches or dust particles can impair the clarity and brightness of images projected. Therefore, it’s essential to take good care of them. Fortunately, most problems can be solved easily without expensive repair services.