How to Clean Moving Heads

September 8, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

Allan Reiss, Product Manager and Alex Ocampo, Product Engineer

Cleaning your moving heads correctly and often is key to their functionality. With proper cleaning, you will not have to replace parts, which will save you money and make the most of your investment. If you’re not sure how to take care of your moving yokes, follow these four simple steps. It will mean a longer life to your precious gems.

1. Break down the fixture. Take off all covers—base, arm, head covers. You want to wipe the exterior covers when the fixture is disassembled, especially if you’re using a wet wipe for tires, since this can leak. Some fixtures have filters, so remember those need cleaning too: take them out, blow them with compressed air or dust them.
2. Clean the fan(s). Any type of compressed air for cleaning fans is ok. Some people use a vacuum, but compressed air works better. Also, when cleaning with compressed air you want to stop the fan from spinning—just insert a pencil in the fan to stop it. Not doing this could damage the fan.
3. Glass is next.
Clean the glass, front lens, colored dichroics and the color wheel with a nonalcoholic cleanser. Do not use alcohol-based degreasers, such as your typical orange degreaser because the residue leaves white streaks on your glass and lenses, scratching them. Also, make sure you use a lintless rag to keep lint away from the lens. The lint can get stuck inside the fixture and appear on your projections.
4. Do we clean gobos? Yes, gobos collect dust as well. If you work with glass gobos, you would have to use the same nonalcoholic cleanser you used to clean the lenses.

How often should I clean?
Now that you know how to clean, do it at the right times—which depends on how often you use the fixture.
If you use lights on a daily basis, like in a club, where they attract dust and take on all the fog, bubbles, and other residue from the environment, clean them twice a month.
For a mobile DJ who uses the lights for about 10 hours a week, cleaning once every two months should keep the fixture in great working condition.
Remember, a clean fixture is a productive fixture!

Now that you know how to tend to your moving heads, click here for useful tips on how to clean scanners and here to learn how to clean effect lights!

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