Well its an anti-reflective coating I think. I beleive it diffuses light that bounces back to the lenses from the screen. Presumably if you didn't have it you might get nasty reflections from the front of your lens showing up in your projected image. Not sure really but this is what I theorise.
I cleaned mine with a very fine cloth and Isopropyl alcohol - some people dilute it - I used it neat. Keeping the cloth wet reduces the risk of causing micro-scratches but you're gonna want the cloth to dry out a bit in order to mop up the residue. Therefore I would think it is critical that you use a cloth that can't scratch during dry use. Not sure what that would be though. I've thought of micro-fibre cloth that you can use to clean spectacles which sometimes have anti-reflective coating but not tried that yet.
You rubbed off the anti-reflective coating. You're likely to have more reflections and reduce your ANSI CR. Not a fatal problem, but not a good idea.
You really need to be gentle when cleaning your lenses. Not only can you rub off the anti-reflective coating, you can very easily scratch the lenses. Not all of them are glass, and the plastic ones REALLY scratch easily. Rubbing ANYthing on the lens when it isn't already clean can grind grit into the lens and scratch the heck out of it.
I used a cleaning method recommended by Ericglo, and it worked like a charm:
* Spray lens surface with a good lens cleaner, mostly isopropyl alcohol. The lens cleaner you can buy at Lenscrafters is made by a very reputable company and would probably work very well. This loosens any crud, grit, etc, and washes it off the lens surface without touching it.
* Spray lens surface with deionized water. This is extremely pure water with almost nothing to spot the lens. You can get it for about 40 cents a gallon at Whole Foods grocery stores, and probably other places. This rinses the cleaner and gunk off the lens.
* VERY GENTLY buff the lens dry with a soft cotton cloth. I used 100% cotton tissues, which you can get for a couple of bucks at Whole Foods, or Lenscrafters, etc.
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