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The quality of your photos depends on how clean your lenses are.
A clean camera lens help create sharp and high-quality images.
When was the last time you cleaned your lens?
To assist you in this process, we wrote a simple-to-follow, step-by-step lens cleaning guide to help you keep your lenses in impeccable condition.
New to the world of camera equipment. Read our whole guide on every item you need in your gear arsenal.
4 steps to clean a camera lens
1. Use an air blower or soft-bristled brush to remove dust
Start with an air blower to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.
Using canned air or blowing on the lens yourself is not recommended, as you may just dirty the lens more or even damage it.
If you start with a cloth, you may scratch the lens with the dust while wiping it away.
2. Use a lens brush
After you're done with the air blower, use a lens brush to clean away any residual dirt.
The best practice is not to touch the bristles of your brush, as you may dirty them.
You can also use the air blower on the brush to eliminate dust particles. Try to be as delicate as possible so you don't scratch your lens.
3. Use a camera lens cleaner
Next, you can use a lens cleaner fluid with a microfiber cloth or a lens cleaning tissue.
Be cautious to only use cleaning fluids that are suitable for your lens. Strong chemical cleaners can damage the lens.
You should apply the lens cleaner to the cloth you're using. Usually, around 5 drops should be enough, depending on what kind of cleaner you use.
Often it's not necessary to use cleaning solutions, but when you have to get rid of oily smudges, a cleaner is more likely to help you.
4. Use a microfiber cloth
You can use a reusable microfiber cloth or a one-time use-only cleaning tissue.
If you decide to go with the microfiber cloth, wash it occasionally so it's not oily or greasy.
When it comes to the cleaning technique, you may decide to go from side to side of the lens or use a swirling motion starting in the center and moving towards the edges.
Different people use different techniques, so find your own preference and stick to it.
After you're done, you can wipe any remaining moisture with a new lens cleaning tissue.
And now you should have a sparkling clean lens! Good job.
How do I keep my camera lens clean?
The best defense against dirty lenses is a precaution. Make sure to attach the lens cap after you're finished shooting with the lens.
Store your lens in a designated camera bag, so it doesn't get dirty from the environment.
Purchase camera and lens cleaning gear to take care of your lens in case they get dirty. Also, have a few spare microfiber cloths in the bag.
You can also put a protective UV filter on your lens. Arguably, it doesn't help much against substantial impacts, but it will help keep your lens clean from dust.
How often should I clean my lens?
Try to avoid excess cleaning.
It is well known that a camera lens is a sensitive equipment, and overcleaning may damage it.
Clean your lens only if there is visible dirt, or the dust affects your photographs.
That means if you use the lens once a week and take proper care of the lens caps while in storage, you shouldn't have to clean your lens more than once every two/three weeks.
Dust is everywhere, and even if you clean your lens all the time, it will still get there. That's just how it is.
How do I avoid getting dirt on my camera lens?
Follow these 3 steps to avoid any pollution of your lens.
1. Tilt the camera downwards when changing lenses
Tilting the camera downwards when changing lenses helps prevent any dust from landing on the lens.
2. Always avoid using canned air
Canned air can be too strong and damage the lens optics or leave unwanted streaks. It is recommended to use an air blower.
Even your breath may do the job if you don't have any cleaning equipment available.
Just be careful not to spit saliva on your lens.
3. Wipe dirt and dust off your lens mount
Keeping your camera equipment clean, mainly the lens mount prevents any dirt from getting to the lens.
4 essential items in a camera lens cleaning kit
Be sure to carry these in your cleaning kit when you're shooting.
You never know what happens, and it's better to come prepared.
1. Air blower
An air blower is the best way to blow away dust and dirt. They are pretty cheap and easy to get.
2. Soft-bristled brushes
Lens brushes with camel hair are the most recommended. This is because camel hair is thin and harmless to the surface of the lens.
You don't have to buy fancy stuff; just make sure it's suitable for your lens and will not damage it.
3. Microfiber cloth and camera lens wipes
Cloth and wipes are used for wiping down the remaining dirt from the lens in combination with cleaning fluid.
Be careful with the tissues, too, as some types can scratch the lens surface.
Also, facial tissues can contain various chemicals and oils, which are not suitable for lens cleaning.
4. Cleaning fluid
Cleaning fluid is essential when you work with oily fingers or your lens gets greasy. In a situation like that, blowing air isn't enough to clean your lens.
This is the essential gear you need in your lens cleaning kit. There are other items you can carry, such as specific brushes and different kinds of cloth you prefer to work with.
In the end, the cleaning equipment is just a means to an end - a clean and functional lens.
Follow the tips we provide in this guide, and you should be able to keep your lens functioning and flawless for a long time.
Next: Find the 8 Best camera lens cleaning kits
Now you know all the essential tips to keep your lens in excellent condition.
Do you want to make your life easier?
You can purchase readily available lens cleaning kits containing all the necessary items.
How to clean a camera lens?
Use an air blower and soft brush to remove all the dirt you can. Then, using cleaning fluid and a microfiber cloth, wipe the lens in a circular motion to get rid of all the remaining grease and dirt. Remember to be gentle.
How to clean a camera lens without a lens cleaner?
Focus on blowing away all the dust with an air blower. Then use a lens cleaning brush to get rid of the remaining dirt. Finally, you can use a lens wipe to get rid of greasy parts.
Can I use alcohol to clean my camera lens?
Lens cleaning fluids contain alcohol, and if you are experienced you can create your own solution. It is recommended to buy a lens cleaning fluid made for the purpose of taking care of your lens, because you can damage it otherwise. Always take great care since lenses are very sensitive equipment.
What can I use to clean a camera lens?
You can use an air blower, a lens brush, a microfiber cloth, lens wipes, and a lens cleaning solution.