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Picture perfect: how to clean a camera lens

Get your pictures crisp and clear with our simple guide on how to clean a camera lens at home.


camera inside a suitcase with clothes and a cell phone

Key steps

  • An electric air blower will remove loose dust and dirt.
  • Use a soft brush to remove stuck-on dust.
  • Use a microfibre cloth and lens cleaner from the outside-in, working in circular motions.

Taking photos is much more than simply recording memories, it's also a way to express creativity and celebrate the beauty in the world. If your camera sensor is dirty or dusty, this will naturally impact the quality of your photos. In this article, we'll teach you how to clean a camera lens, sensor and more without damaging the camera.

When cleaning your camera lens, it's important never to use your breath to blow the lens as this could lead to damage.

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How to clean a camera sensor, lens and other parts: A simple guide

When it comes to understanding how to clean a DSLR lens there are a few key steps you need to be aware of.

What do you need to clean a camera?

  • Air blower. You should never use your mouth to blow on the lens as there is acid in your breath which could cause damage. Instead, use an air blower. These have a pump and pipe and can channel clean air into the cleaning.
  • Soft brush. The lens, sensors and other camera parts are sensitive and should always be cleaned with care. We recommend a brush made of feathers, camel or goat hair.
  • Microfibre cloth. Ensure it is soft, clean and dry.
  • Lens cleaner. This is a specialised product you can use without causing scratches.

How to clean inside the camera lens and sensor areas:

  1. Use the air blower to gently remove any loose dust.
  2. Use the soft, down brush to remove any lingering dust.
  3. Add a drop or two of lens cleaner to your microfibre cloth. Never drop it directly onto the lens.
  4. Clean from the outside-in, working in a circular motion.
  5. Make sure you take care to remove any oil stain, fingerprints and dust carefully.
  6. Whilst there are some home remedies for how to clean fungus from a camera, we recommend that you contact a professional if you spot any signs of mold growing on your camera sensor or lens.
  7. If you are determined to clean the mold yourself, make sure you follow these steps:
    • Always work quickly to prevent it getting any worse.
    • Mix hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.
    • Alternatively use a vinegar and water mix.
    • Use your chosen mix and a microfibre cloth to wipe down the affected area.

Care tips after lens cleaning: Your camera protection guide

Now you have our lens and camera sensor cleaning tips, here are a few key points to keep your camera lens in good working condition between cleans:

  • Always replace the lens cover when the camera is not in use.
  • Be sure to keep your camera in a dry place to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Add a silica gel pack to your camera bag to prevent moisture.
  • Use a microfibre cloth and lens cleaner for regular cleaning.
  • Keep your camera away from water to prevent damage to the lens and other components.

Knowing how to clean a camera lens and keep your camera working at its best will make sure you take picture perfect shots without having to spend a lot on extra repairs or even a new camera. For more electronic care advice, have a look at how to remove scratches from a phone screen.

Originally published