How To Clean a Camera Lens

Piper O'Shanassy19 Mar 2022

Making sure that your camera lenses are free from dust and marks will help you capture crisper, clearer photographs. The same is true for a lens filter; all glass that comes between your camera's sensor and your subject must be clean. However, dust accumulates. It's unavoidable, and you simply have to accept that it will eventually wind up on your lenses. Moreover,  other items, such as oil from your fingertips, the surroundings, food, or anything you pick up whilst outside, could also get on your gear.

To prevent scratching and other damages to the camera lens, cleaning it demands particular care. Unlike sunglasses, you can't just wipe a camera lens on your shirt and expect not to leave scratches which might compromise image quality permanently.

It is just as vital to understanding how to clean a camera lens as it is to learn how to take a picture.  A filthy lens could quickly derail a whole shoot. Worst, you might have to spend several hours wiping off dust, dirt, and other streaks post-photo processing. Thus it's important to master the basics of lens cleaning to save yourself time and from doing additional work.

Keep in mind though that if you're clueless about what you're doing, you could risk breaking or damaging your glass. Cleaning your lens is a simple process once you get the hang of it. Having the appropriate tools and skills will, however, definitely make lens cleaning much easier and faster.

What To Clean the Camera Lens With

Dirty optics could degrade the quality of your images. There are specific tools for cleaning camera lenses. Because cleaning camera lenses is a bit more difficult, specialized items and tools can assist you.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A soft cloth is ideal for cleaning the exterior of a camera or lens.
  • An air puffer is the best tool for blasting away dust, dirt, or grime.
  • A gentle toothbrush with no rubber bristles that massage your gums. Simply get a basic toothbrush which you can use to gently brush off dust and dirt particles.
  • A LensPen is an indispensable tool whether you're out snapping photos or cleaning your lens at home.
  • It's best to avoid using disposable items as much as possible, but non-abrasive wipes are useful for removing tenacious gunk from your lens.
  • If all else fails, a few drops of a lens cleaning solution on a lint-free wipe can remove any remaining filth.
  • As an alternative, you could also use towelettes that have already been pre-soaked in a lens cleaning solution.

How To Clean Camera Lens With Household Items

One of the most important aspects impacting picture quality is the state of your camera lenses. Clean lenses help in the production of sharp and clear images. Keeping your camera lenses clean also helps them last longer. When it comes to the gear you'll need in cleaning your lenses, you have a lot of alternatives. If you're looking to save money, there are household items you can use:

Turkey Baster

Squeeze the baster and let the air from the turkey baster strike your lens, pushing dust and dirt away. It is critical to remove these elements first for them not to damage your glass once you use a cleaning cloth later. Using a baster is similar to using a puffer, which is usually included in a professional camera cleaning kit.

Your Breath

This is a simple and cost-free technique for cleaning your lens. Literally blow on the lens to dampen and soften the surface, and then using a microfiber cloth, wipe in a circular motion.  The moisture from your breath helps break up grime and prints, making them easier to remove.

Microfiber Cloth

Wiping away bothersome prints on your camera lens is straightforward with a lens microfiber cloth. You might have one lying around the house since microfiber cloths are useful for a variety of tasks, including cleaning your laptop screen, desktop monitor, eyeglasses, and even in drying dishes. They help in lens cleaning since they are built from 1000s of microscopic strands that are sewn together to form a soft and scratch-free material.

Makeup Brush

You can safely brush away dust and debris with a soft cosmetics brush.

Although using household items isn't ideal, it's better and much cheaper than having a filthy lens or spending a lot of money on a camera cleaning kit.

How To Clean Camera Lens Without a Lens Cleaner

Making sure your camera is spotless and removing dust, dirt, and grease from your lens is essential, but it could risk your gear. If you'd rather avoid cleaning your lenses with something that comes into contact with the lens like a lens cleaner, you can use a bull blower instead.

When cleaning dust from a camera lens, using a bull blower should be the first solution since it is the least likely to risk damaging your lens. If there's dust on your lens, a short puff of the blower could be all that is needed to clear it.

Things to Do

  • Remove any possible dust from the blower first by squeezing a few puffs away from the lens.
  • To avoid blowing airborne particles onto the glass, keep your hand fairly close to the lens without touching it.
  • Push a few puffs of air across the surface of the lens.

Things Not to Do

  • Avoid using your breath for it can blast saliva and moisture onto the lens.
  • Air compressors should not be used since they might leak oil.
  • Air cans fueled by freon should not be used since they produce dampness.
  • Don't squander your money on a little blower. You need a large blower that is much easier to use and works better.

How To Clean the Inside of a Camera Lens

Dust in camera lenses could accumulate in four places. It might be outside the front glass, outside the rear, in between the front and back, or anywhere in between. Dust could be easily removed from the front and back parts. You can do it yourself if you have the necessary tools. However, any dust or dirt inside the lens must be removed only by a professional since dismantling the lens might endanger your gear, especially if you are unable to reassemble it perfectly. Furthermore, any warranty on the lens will be voided if you disassemble your camera. Your best bet would be to take it to a camera servicing shop and get it cleaned by a professional.

Without a doubt, the state of your camera lens could affect the quality of your photos. However, it's a double-edged sword since cleaning too often could risk scratching your lens. Thus it's important to clean your camera lenses only when absolutely necessary.

Piper O'Shanassy

Piper O'Shanassy

Piper grew up with a love of animals, which quickly turned into a love of photographing them. She shares her tips and tricks on photography, and hopes she can help you shortcut your expansion of a passion.

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