The projection screen is the most visible part of your two-piece projection system. It’s also the most vulnerable to damage and grime. To avoid getting dusty or dirty, a screen should always be kept retracted into its case when not in use. But if something does happen that requires the screen surface be cleaned, here are a few tips for cleaning projection screens without damaging the surface.
It would be a shame to get fingerprints or fingernail scratches on a viewing surface which you are painstakingly trying to clean. So, be sure to wear gloves any time you are cleaning or adjusting the projection surface—especially if it’s a premium surface like TecVision. Latex works best—no lint or scratchy fibers are left behind.
Don’t let it wait.
Keep the projection surface free of dust. Don’t let it build up over weeks or months. If there is something more serious to contend with—like foreign matter, dirty fingerprints, or some type of stain—then take action immediately to avoid it setting and becoming harder to clean off.
Use something soft.
Whatever you do, don’t grab a scrubbing sponge or some other hard, scratchy cleaning tool. Some viewing surfaces can be easily damaged by using rough materials. A soft, lint-free cloth—cotton or microfiber—is preferred. And when you clean, be gentle. Instead of taking the Karate Kid approach—“wax on, wax off”—try blotting with the cloth. Some standard products, such as Matt White surfaces, can withstand gentle wiping. If you are cleaning a high gain or retro-reflective surface, try using a soft brush—again, very gently.
Be wary of chemical cleaning solutions.
Never use cleaners that contain abrasives, wax, or harsh chemicals. For most applications we recommend simply using water. If that doesn’t clean the spot, try a simple solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
Never use Armor All®.
Years ago, people apparently used Armor All® to clean projection surfaces. In a way it made sense, after all—most projection screens are vinyl. But there’s more to a flexible projection screen than vinyl. It’s the coating over the vinyl that actually does the work, and using something like Armor All® can wind up damaging the projection surface.
Not all screen surfaces are created equal.
Different projection surfaces require different handling. For an old-fashioned Matt White vinyl screen, soap and water and a soft cloth work fine. If it’s a tough stain you can wipe a bit harder. With premium screen products like our TecVision line of 8K-ready surfaces, it’s a different story. There should be no wiping, just gentle blotting. You can use a mixture of Clorox® Formula 409® and warm water, and if it’s a stubborn stain or sticky surface, straight Formula 409® can be used. For rear screens, only a dry cloth should be used—period.
If you aren’t sure what kind of screen surface you have, of if you have something more than a plain old white vinyl surface, you should consult the manufacturer to make sure you aren’t doing more harm than good.
Draper’s screen care and maintenance instructions can be found online—just click here (this link will open a PDF document when clicked).