How to Clean a Camera Lens? (Which Camera Lens Cleaner Should You Use)

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?

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. 

  • 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. 
  • Focus on infinite distance. Go to the ‘manual focus mode’ of your camera and turn the ring to the infinity symbol mark. 
  • Take photos of the plain surface like black or white. 
  • 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?

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. 

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. 

Camera Lens Cleaner Air Blower

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

Clean the Lens With Fluid or Solution

Step- 3: Clean the Lens With Fluid or Solution

Some stubborn dirt or smudges 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 center 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 center 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. 

1. Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large

Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large

Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large is an ideal product to remove dust from the camera lens, sensor, telescopes, keyboards, microscopes, musical instruments, etc. 

The air blaster is 7.5-inch long and made of double silicone rubber of 2.4-inch diameter. 

There is a one-way valve at the end of the 2.25 inch long and thin nozzle. Being a one-way valve, it does not allow dust to penetrate. However, before using the camera, taking a few puffs of air will cleanse the inside as well if any dust remains inside. 

Use the air blaster close to the lens. Squeeze it, and then a burst of clean air will eliminate all the loose dust. 

The Giotto’s patented unique piece of air blaster is shaped like a rocket which can stand upright alone. There are 2 more sizes of air blast available- 

  1. Medium- 6.6″ (168mm) 
  2. Small- 5.3” (135mm)
Pros
  • Useful for cleaning loose particles on the lens
Cons
  • Rubber will crack if it is kept unused for a long 

 

2. Matin Camera Lens Cleaner Brush – Goat Hair / Small

Matin Camera Lens Cleaner Brush - Goat Hair / Small

Matin lens brush has gained trust with its exquisite features. It effectively and smoothly cleans dust from the camera lens, binocular, laptop display, and other optical items, leaving no scratches or marks. 

The lipstick style lens brush is 9cm long and made of goat hair. The body of the brush is made of plastic. The bristle that is kept safe with a protective cap is dense and soft. Bristle is glued strongly enough not to fall out.

The bristles are retractable. Twist it after you are done cleaning. The brush will back down in the tube and put the cap. Thus it stays clean and protected. 

Pros
  • Easily cleans dust
  • Small in size and portable
Cons
  • Not applicable for cleaning heavy dust 

 

3. LensPen NLP-1

LensPen NLP-1

It is said the LensPen is the actual tool. It removes all kinds of marks, dust, grease with perfection. 

LensPen NLP-1 is one of the top cleaning tools and suitable for lenses like cameras, small aperture spotting scopes, binoculars, telescopes, and other optical items, including eyepieces.

One end is attached to a dust removal brush. 

On the other end, there is a 12mm in diameter cleaning tip affixed with an 11 cm long full-size pen. The tip is kept a bit concave to cope up with the convex shape of the lens. It is coated with LCF invisible carbon that won’t dry or spill. 

Pros
  • Environment-friendly tool.
  • Easy and safe to use.
  • Effective cleaning tool for optical lenses.
  • Convenient to use with its compact size and without liquids. 
Cons
  • Sometimes cap may fall off

 

4. MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

MagicFiber clothes are made of high-quality microfiber material that removes all types of dirt, including smudges, fingerprints, oil, etc., leaving no scratches, marks, or lint. 

Each pack is individually packed and is always ready to use. This cloth is reusable. Use hand wash to wash it but refrain from using detergent. 

The fiber works effectively on delicate screens and lenses like a camera lens, touch screen, smartphones, LCD TV screens, etc. The saw-tooth edge prevents loose or frayed strings and assists in removing dirt on narrow spots of the lens. It absorbs the dust and leaves the glass surface clean. 

Pros
  • Soft and durable
  • Cleans fast
  • Ensures crystal-clear optics 
Cons
  • Not appropriate for large screen

 

5. ZEISS Lens Wipes 

ZEISS Lens Wipes 

Another best camera lens cleaner are wipes. Zeiss lens wipes are comparatively popular for its convenience as well as quality. 

This pre-moistened camera lens wipes work on any streaks and evaporate quickly. It will take a little time to obliterate the mark. 

Pros
  • Spotless clean
  • Cost-effective
  • Individually wrapped
Cons
  • Dry out quickly, even if not used

 

6. Movo Deluxe Essentials DSLR Camera Cleaning Kit

Movo Deluxe Essentials DSLR Camera Cleaning Kit

The Movo Cleaning Kit contains all the necessary tools you need to clean your DSLR Camera, those are-

  • Rocket Air Blower
  • Tin-Oxide Camera Sensor Cleaner Liquid
  • APS-C Sensor Cleaning Swab (x10)
  • Lens Pen
  • Plush Cleaning Brush
  • 9 x 9” Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (x2)
  • 6 x 6” Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (x2)

This kit helps keep your camera working perfectly. These tools are used to clean not only camera gear but also sensitive parts like lens and sensor. For the whole cleaning purpose, a kit like this containing all the specialized tools is really convenient. 

Pros
  • Zipped case convenient for storage and travel
  • Quality products
Cons
  • Lens brush may leave speckling  

 

7. CamKix Professional Camera Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras

CamKix Professional Camera Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras

This lens cleaning kit is a top choice for novice photographers. 

It provides all the necessary tools as well to ensure the pristine condition of the camera. It is nice and affordable. This kit includes a variety of useful tools like- 

  • 1 x Air Blower
  • 1 x Double Sided Lens Cleaning Pen
  •  Brush
  • 1 x Empty Reusable Spray Bottle
  • 1 x 50 Sheet Pack of Lens Tissues
  • 5 x Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

The spray bottle is filled up with an alcohol-free cleaning solution to remove any stains. It does not damage the lens’s surface. The cleaning brush is not static. There is no silicon or such material to cause abrasions. 

Pros
  • Multiple cleaning cloths
Cons
  • Cleaning pen may leave a residue

 

8. Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit

Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit

Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit is one of the best lens cleaning kits of Lumoid. It is loaded with high-quality tools and ensures a spotless look. 

It offers all the tool required for cleaning the camera lens and sensor and keep it working; those are- 

  • 6 Altura Photo 16mm Dry Sensor Cleaning Swabs 
  • Altura Photo All-Natural 2oz. Cleaner 
  • Hard Carrying Case 
  • Lens Cleaning Pen 
  • Lens Brush 
  • Air Blower 
  • 50 Sheet Lens Tissue Paper 
  • 1 Large and Original MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

The cotton swab is perfect for cleaning sensors larger than APS-C. Moreover, for those who own full-frame cameras, this is the best pick for them. 

Pros
  • Travel case ensure safety 
Cons
  • Little pricey

 

9. Altura Photo Bundle Cleaning Kit with Refillable Spray Bottle

Altura Photo Bundle Cleaning Kit with Refillable Spray Bottle

Altura Photo Bundle Cleaning Kit with Refillable Spray Bottle is a 6-piece camera lens cleaning kit comprises all the necessary tools, those are- 

  • Photo Lens Cleaning Pen System 
  • High-Quality Lens Brush 
  • Altura Photo Air Blower Cleaner 
  • Altura Photo 50 Sheets Lens Tissue Paper 
  • Handy Empty Spray Bottle 
  • 3 MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

It is an effective and exceptional set of tools that is applicable for photographers of any level and suitable for all types of lenses and optics. The empty bottle allows you to use a cleaning solution of your preference. 

Pros
  • Every tissue is separately packed in polyurethane plastic bags
  • Compatible with all models and brands
  • Safe for traveling 
Cons
  • There are duplicate versions of this product containing low-quality tools 

 

Things To Consider Before Choosing the Best camera lens cleaning kit 

Things To Consider Before Choosing the Best camera lens cleaning kit 

Among the variations, how do you find the best camera lens cleaner or kit that is suitable for you? Here are the tips.

Consider the facts that answer your questions as well as solve your problems. The facts generally include as following- 

  1. They are of high-quality. It functions as it describes, no exaggeration. For example- brush and lens pen should work for a long time; cleaning liquid should be safe for lenses.  
  2. If you buy a kit set, it includes all the necessary tools. 
  3. Your specific tool or the kit is easy and handy to use. You do not have to face any unnecessary hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions –

Q: How do I keep my camera lens clean?

A: 

  • Cap your camera before and after use. 
  • Only clean when you find a problem. 
  • Never put lenses in hot or dusty places. 

Q: How do I avoid getting dust on my camera lens?

A: There are some protective measures you need to take so that your camera lens does not come in touch with dust- 

  • Keep your camera bag clean.
  • Put cleaning kits in separate plastic bags.
  • Do not use old products for cleaning. 
  • Put nothing related to the camera in dusty places. 
  • Never keep a camera or camera parts in hot, cold places or under heavy rain under any circumstances. 
  • Do not switch lenses when you are in a foggy or moisturized environment. 

Q: What does A Camera Cleaning Kit include?

A: A camera cleaning kit includes- 

  • Air blower cleaner
  • Lens cleaning pen or brush
  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Cotton swabs for sensor cleaning
  • Might have a carrying or protective case

Q: Can You Clean Your Camera Lens Without A Kit?

A: Yes. A camera lens can be cleaned without a kit; you have to be extra careful, though. Take a look at how to clean a camera lens without a kit. 

Lightly blow the dust with your mouth off from the lens and then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. For deep cleaning, you can use eyeglass cleaner. Spray it on the microfiber cloth and wipe gently to get a cleaner lens. 

It is never recommended. There are various types of kits, tools, and cleaning materials available in the market for cleaning camera lenses. It is a lot easier and safer to clean with those materials. What more important is, the device we are dealing with is a sensitive one. If you plan to save money, it is really not worth it. A minor mistake may cost your camera tremendous harm.  

Q: How do I remove lens fungus? 

A: Old lenses mainly come in a touch of fungus infection. However, if you find your camera lens is infected with fungus, make no delay. You have to take urgent steps. 

There are a few solutions that act as a remedy against fungus, such as- 

  • Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia solution
  • Vinegar and water solution 

Conclusion

Your clean lens will capture the best photographic moment that may consider the turning point of your career. You have already realized the value of the equipment and device you use. So, take care of those, and that’s it, you are good to go. 

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