The cleanliness of your camera lens affects the quality of your images. It’s as simple as that. But it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because if you clean your lenses too much, or too often, you run the risk of scratching your lens. This post will briefly summarize how to clean camera lenses, with suggestions on where to purchase some of the materials. Let’s jump in.

Best Way to Clean Camera Lens

Step 1: Use a blower to remove dust

If you want to clean your lens, avoid blowing on it. Your saliva or breath could increase condensation. The safest way is to use a blower to get rid of any dust and residue.

They look like this:

How to Clean Camera Lens - Blower

Blowers are the safest way to clean your lens

And you can purchase one here.

How to Clean Camera Lens

Step 2: Use a lens brush

If a blower isn’t enough, and you still have some specs on the lens, no worries! You can use a lens brush, but we recommend a lens brush with camel hair. Camel hair is thin and will be less harmful to the lens.

Keep in mind brushes can pick up a lot of unnecessary substances. Try not to touch the brush with your hands. It may seem insignificant but if the oils on your hand get to the lens, it could really do some damage.  

They sometimes look like actual brushes, other models are made a bit slimmer like a pen.

You can buy these everywhere, including here.

If you want to how to use the brush check out the video below.

Learn more about using a lens brush

Camera Lens Cleaner

Step 3: Use camera lens cleaner

Using camera lens cleaner is a last resort because you really don’t want to risk streaks. Most solutions are alcohol-based and if you just use one or two drops, you probably won’t leave any streaks. 

If you’re interested, you can purchase here.

Don’t spray the cleaner directly on the lens, instead use a lens cleaning cloth or tissue. See the next step.

How to Clean Camera Lens

Step 4: Use a cloth or tissue 

When you use liquid camera lens cleaner, make sure you wipe it off with either a microfiber lens cloth or specific lens cleaning tissues. Do not use regular tissues as they could scratch your lens.

There are some newer tissues available that work really well.

Clean your camera with lens tissues

These are safe and cheap. They’re one-time uses so you’ll avoid potential reuse contamination.

Although, if you want to be waste-free, I’d try the second option.

Learn how to use microfiber cleaning cloths below.

Use washable clothes to remove dirt or smudges

Effective way to get rid of those annoying smudges. They’re a bit more than the tissues, but they’re washable. You can purchase clothes here, or buy the paper tissues here.

Avoid Excess Cleaning

Clean your lens as little as possible 

Remember, your equipment will get a little dirty sometimes, but if you’re constantly keeping up with every spec of dust, you can end up doing more damage than what was there to begin with.

Your camera lens is very sensitive, so only clean it, if it’s a must. You can also repeat these steps for cleaning the rear lens, lens caps, and filters.

In the next video, indie filmmaker, Jeven Dovey, applies the tips above, with some pro-tips on what he keeps in his workspace.

Step by step cleaning guide

Now that you have a clean lens, is it the right one? Read more below.

Up Next

Choose the Right Camera Lens

Knowing how to take care and properly clean your lenses is part of the profession. But are you cleaning the right lens for what you’re trying to do? Or did you just keep the kit lens until you decide you’re good enough to buy a different lens?

Even if you’re not a pro yet, knowing which lenses do what can give you that extra boost from newbie to enthusiastic beginner. 

Up Next: Choose the Right Lens →
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  • Alyssa Maio is a screenwriter from New Jersey, now living in Los Angeles. She works as a copywriter here at StudioBinder.

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