How to Clean Camera Lenses: Everything You Need to Know

How to Clean Camera Lenses

No matter how well you take care of your camera lenses, you might need to occasionally clean them. But they are sophisticated equipment and if you try to clean them without knowing the actual procedure, you might end up damaging your lens. So, if you are wondering how to clean your lenses, then this article is just for you. We are going to discuss everything you need to know about lens cleaning here.

Let’s start with the easiest part, checking your lens. To check if your lens needs cleaning, just check the front and rear elements of the lens. Additionally, you can open up the aperture and see through the lens to check if you can find any dust particles. If there are no visible particles, you probably don’t need to clean them. But if you do find something, then you will need to clean your lens with a proper cleaning kit. A cleaning kit usually comes equipped with an air blower, a soft brush, a piece of microfiber cloth, and a moist wipe. 

Before you start cleaning, hold your lens upside down to an approximate 45-degree angle. Because it is not only convenient to hold your lens this way while cleaning but it also helps the dust particles to fall out of the lens. After that, you can start cleaning with the air blower. Then you use the brush while holding the camera in the same upside-down position. That should be enough to get rid of bigger and more stubborn dust particles.  However, you have to be careful while brushing the lens. And you have to maintain the same direction of the brush rotation and finish brushing the whole front glass of the lens in one go. 

Look through the lens once again to check for dust. If you find any visible particles, proceed further with the cleaning liquid and microfiber cloth. But before wiping, place the lens on a flat surface. And you shouldn’t apply the cleaning liquid directly to the lens, rather you should apply the liquid to the microfiber cloth, and then gently rub the front optics of the lens. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the sequence that has been mentioned here should be maintained accordingly. If you start with rubbing with the microfiber cloth, it might cause spots of abrasion on your lens because of the dust particles. So always use the blower and the brush to remove those particles first.  

Now once you have finished cleaning your lens, it’s time to take proper care of it so that you don’t have to clean it over and over again. Speaking of cleaning lenses too frequently, it might cause abrasion marks and other complications to your lens. So, you should not be cleaning it too often.

As for maintaining the hygiene of your lenses, you can use a dry box to keep your lenses from fungal growth. Apart from that, you should be careful while traveling with your lenses, especially if the place you are going to has a different weather condition. In that case, you can use an air-tight plastic bag and silica gel pack. It will help keep your lenses dry and free of water vapor.   

This is just a rough guide on how to clean your lens by yourself. If all of this information seems too overwhelming or complex to follow, then you can always take your lens to a professional camera cleaner. Overall, we hope that this article was helpful in providing some context on what to do.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.