How to clean a projection screen
February 1, 2018 1:24 PM   Subscribe

I need to clean smudged dry erase marker off a projection screen. It seems like it's vinyl. When I walked into the room to make sure the equipment was working in preparation for tomorrow's presentation, the mark was just a blue line about 8 inches long. I tried to make it better. Now it's a gray smudge about 6" x 10".

Alcohol? Peroxide? Cotton balls? Unicorn tears? What can I use to clean this up? It doesn't need to be perfect, but I would like it to be better.
posted by donpardo to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Alcohol. But patch test a tiny tiny spot in the corner first to make sure you won't be doing violence to the surface.
posted by flabdablet at 1:26 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Isopropanol 70% or 99% is easily available at most drug stores in the first aid section.

As flabdablet points out, do a spot test somewhere innocuous, but 2-prop's pretty mild.

You can apply with cotton balls, but a paper towel should be fine.

"Soaking" it (leaving on for a little while before wiping dry) can also help re-solublize the pigment.
posted by porpoise at 1:51 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Possibly some Goo Gone. Test that too.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2018

I think alcohol shrinks vinyl. I would rub the spot gently with a q-tip. Or put chalk over it to cover the smudge.
posted by jbenben at 2:07 PM on February 1, 2018

Windex works on permanent marker on whiteboard, so... maybe? Also Magic Eraser but test it to make sure it doesn't do anything weird to the texture of the screen.
posted by raspberrE at 3:50 PM on February 1, 2018

Screens are usually vinyl, yeah, but most have a coating that helps reflect the image back at the audience, and that's what you're in danger of damaging.

Da-Lite, a company that makes a lot of screens, suggests:

1) mix of distilled water and dish detergent

2) Clorox Green Works or Formula 409

3) Isopropyl alcohol as a last resort

From personal experience, you should use a soft cotton rag, like an old T-shirt (you can buy bags of "old T-shirt rags" in most big-box hardware stores); rub in one direction, not in circles; don't scrub hard, be fairly gentle; because you're not scrubbing hard, you're gonna want to do a LOT of passes across the screen - don't just swipe it a few times and then give up, give yourself at least fifteen minutes of regular wiping to see if you're having an effect. You need to put some "elbow grease" into it, but that's in terms of time, not effort, if you see what I mean.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:34 PM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconded. It should be the cleaning product doing the work, not you; your job is to give it enough time and access to do that.
posted by flabdablet at 6:14 PM on February 1, 2018

Speaking from recent experience, it's not coming out.
posted by goatdog at 6:14 PM on February 1, 2018

Thanks everyone. I am armed with various solutions and some cotton balls. I will report back.
posted by donpardo at 5:13 AM on February 2, 2018

Yeah. It pains me to say that goatdog is right.

But a sheet of legal paper and four small pieces of tape does the trick for now.
posted by donpardo at 6:11 AM on February 2, 2018

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