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“Lens is the eye of a camera”
Anonymous

The necessity of a clear lens can be attributed to the line “the cleaner, the better”. By no means it indicates you to wipe your lens all day long. It means, keep your lens far from dust.

Then again, how to clean a camera lens when it gets dusty even under proper care? If that is the case, how to properly clean a camera lens?

Considering your part of the concern, we have come up with a detailed cleaning solution process along with the best camera lens cleaners.

Let’s dive in.

How Could You Check Dust on DSLR Camera Lens?

If you own a DSLR, your ulterior desire is to prolong its life for a long time to capture some great shots. In that case, you have to take great care of your device to accomplish that goal.

Otherwise, malfunctioning of the equipment can disappoint you and lead your camera to deteriorated features.

The lens is the most indispensable part of the camera. Therefore, be extra careful when you spot any difference while taking photos. There are various type of dust a camera lens can come across, such as-

Excessive dust- lots of accumulated dust.
Haze- kind of grease.
Balsam separation- a rainbow look shining in the light.

Run the following test to become more accurate.

  1. Keep your aperture setting to a small number; for most cameras, the ideal number is f/22. Change the number to larger or smaller if required.
  2. Focus on infinite distance. Go to the ‘manual focus mode’ of your camera and turn the ring to the infinity symbol mark.
  3. Take photos of the plain surface like black or white.
  4. Check the photo from the display and search for spots. If your lens has any dust, you will find some dust marks.

How to clean a camera lens?

The lens of a camera is a sensitive part. Keep it capped when you are done working and never touch it with your fingers.

Refrain from cleaning it frequently or occasionally. There is a saying, ‘lens cleanliness is like a double-edged sword.’ So, be cautious. Do it only when you must, for example, there is dust, error, focusing problems, or something like that.

How to clean a camera lens
CamKix Professional Camera Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras

So, when you need to clean a lens, there are a few camera lens cleaners you require-

  • Lens blower
  • Lens brush
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Camera lens wipes, tissue or microfiber cloth

Check out the step-by-step guide noted below for properly cleaning your camera lens by using these products.

Step- 1: Blow the Dust Away

First, make sure to do this process in a clean environment.

You can do this task in 2 ways.

1. Camera Lens Cleaner Air Blower

Separate the rear cap from the lens. The very first kit that must be used is a bulb blower; with it, you can blow larger pieces of dust away from the lens.

Before using a blower, squeeze a few puffs. It will remove the particles or dust inside the blower. Then, put the bulb blower close to the lens, but do not touch. Blow around every part of the rear.

2. Camera Lens Cleaner Air Blower Brush

In maximum cases, the blower can complete the assigned task. If not, use a brush as well.

Among the variations, a particular type of brushes that looks like a pen has gained popularity. These brushes are made of either camel or goat hair; the bristles are soft, thin as well as harmless to the lens. While using it, brush the lens gently for removing any remaining smudges.

Do’s:

    • Keep your camera lens away from sand and water. If you must, then keep it wrapped and make a hole around the lens.

Don’ts:

    • Do not ever think to blow with your mouth. Your saliva will increase condensation!
    • Never use canned, compressed for lens cleaning; it can release fluid!
    • Avoid using air compressors too; it can drip oil.
    • Do not touch the brush with bare hands.
    • Avoid using random bristles; it can mark scratches in the lens glass.

You can buy these everywhere or can check this product.

Step- 2: Use Lens Pen to Clean Dust

Use a lens pen for deep cleaning. Lens pens are safe to clean a camera lens, especially digital cameras.

Being shaped like a pen, it is very convenient for work. It is lightweight and small in size and has a piece of plastic at the end. No liquids are needed to clean with lens pen; rather it uses a form of carbon that obliterates fingerprints and smudges of the lens.

Do’s:

    • Remove the moisture before using the lens pen.

Don’ts:

    • Avoid cleaning piles of dust with it.

You can purchase the lens Pen here.

Step- 3: Clean the Lens With Fluid or Solution

There are some stubborn dirt or smudges that cannot be cleaned even after using a bulb blower or brush. Hence, you have to use a spray bottle of cleaning fluid or cleaning solution, which is made of alcohol.

Cleaning fluid made with denatured alcohol works better as it is entirely used for cleansing electrical contacts. Not all the cleaning solutions or fluids contain alcohol.

Bottles of cleaning fluid contain 1 oz, 2 oz, and 8 oz sizes. These types of cleaning liquid clean the lens surface, leaving no streak. It does not stay long and evaporates quickly and thus protects the gear.

It is highly advised not to spray or apply the fluid directly on the lens. Apply the liquid to the tissue or cloth.

The reason behind this is, due to capillary action, drops of liquid can penetrate inside through the edge of the lens, even if it is watertight. In that case, water drops will act as a lens and may focus sunlight on the lens or coatings and cause detriment.

Do’s:

    • Stick to the recommended products like-solutions, deionized water, or alcohol for cleaning lens.

Don’ts:

    • Do not use fluid containing detergent and water.
    • Avoid using old fluid.
    • Do not use acetone on the camera lens. It can have an adverse effect!
    • Never use a household window cleaner, either.

Step- 4: Wipe the Lens

It is highly recommended to use camera lens wipes/tissue, swab, or microfiber cloth while using liquid for cleaning the lens.

The most commonly used one is the lens tissue. It is easily available and not much expensive. However, note that the tissue must be disposed of after using once.

Cleaning wipes are also popular. These wipes include alcohol. When you use such wipes, start wiping from the centre then, circularly move to the sides.

Another option is swab. A cotton swab is much preferable and effective for cleaning the edge of the lens meticulously.

Many people prefer using a microfiber cloth. This is an effective one as well. However, make sure to have this cloth cleaned properly because this type of cloth is used for cleaning several electrical devices. If that happens in your case, slight negligence can cause smudge stains in your lens.

Do not use liquid fabric softeners for washing this type of cloth as there is a chance of having chemical residue and streaks on the lens.

Dip that piece with a light amount of cleaning solution or fluid and wipe it in a circular motion starting from the centre to the edges. Remove the fingerprints, dirt, or other smudges. Do not pressurize much unless there is something hard to remove.

Do’s:

    • Use your wipes or tissue or swab only once.
    • Wipe your camera lens gently.

Don’ts:

    • Avoid using facial tissues.
    • Never use random pieces of cloth.

Step- 5: Take Precautions

There are some other precautions you must take. Take a look here-

  1. Do not leave your lens in hot cars or hot places.
  2. Before removing the memory card, lens, or battery, make sure to turn your camera off.
  3. Keep your camera bag clean.
  4. Keep the above-mentioned camera lens cleaners sealed in plastic bags to secure from smudges or dust.

Which Camera Lens Cleaner Should You Use – 9 Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit

Having the availability of a lot of camera lens cleaner made it tough to decide which one is the best. However, our methodical research has found these following camera lens cleaners are the best.