The Best Way To Clean Your Digital Camera

clean-lensThis week I’ve been asked a barrel of questions! I’m very lucky to have such a loyal group of subscribers. One the questions I was asked was from John about digital camera cleaning and what sort of digital camera cleaning equipment did he need (a different John to last week).

Well don’t do what I did before I knew anything about photography. It’s embarrassing, but I’ll tell you anyway. I was standing at a beautiful beach one balmy, Aussie summers dusk and there was a rush of wind. It blew sand all over me and onto the digital camera. Knowing ‘zip’ about digital camera care and maintenance at the time I cleaned the lens with the corner of my t-shirt and went on my merry way.

When I arrived home that night I took out my digital camera to download the images to the computer and out fell small particles of sand onto the floor. I thought “what the..?” I was surprised to see so many grains. I took off the lens cap and there were sand granules embedded into the edge of the lens. And that particular digital camera lens has never retained the same sharpness and clarity since my various trips to the beach. After a while the sand granules on the lens caused the annoying lack of quality that I previously had. I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my time with digital photography from not knowing any better, and that was a doozy.

Thankfully I learnt and am now teaching digital photography. Camera care and cleaning is a regular thing you should give your digital camera. And the best way to clean a lenes? Carefully! This is why you should never take the edge of your t-shirt and clean it because unbeknownst to you, you could be leaving tiny trails of grit and dirt on the lens causing scratching.

Remember all digital camera lenses are made of glass. The clarity and sharpness you get in your digital photos relies heavily on the surface of that glass to be squeaky clean. Nothing must get onto the lens if you can help it. Its pretty hard to keep a lens 100% clean because of dust particles floating around in the air, but you can get as close to100% as possible with some handy digital photography camera cleaning equipment.

There are a couple of ways you can clean your digital cameras lens, and that’s with a bit of spit…..just kidding. Seriously, you must use a proper lens cleaning cloth. You can use cleaning fluid too. This can cause some streaking across the lens if you use too much. One drop on your lens cleaning cloth in a gentle circular motion with a will get most marks off a lens.

In popular digital camera stores you can buy a pretty good lens cleaning fluid. It shouldn’t be more than $20-$25 depending on where you go. The digital camera lens cleaning fluid is an alcohol-based fluid that, just between you and me, I wouldn’t take my digital camera out without it. The digital camera lens cleaning fluid is ideal because it’s not solely for dust but accidental finger prints and other unplanned smudges.

Don’t forget about your other digital camera filters too. You can have a polarizer on the front of your lens which will most likely need a clean if you’re using your digital camera a lot, or if you are using it outside for a day. You’ll be amazed at how dirty the lens can get. If you’re not sure, grab a lens cleaning kit from your nearest digital camera store.

Personally I have several lens cleaning cloths, lens cleaning fluid, a brush with an air capsule to blow of dust then brush, cotton buds to get into the crevasse and a small leather pouch I keep it all in. The leather pouch is actually a small ladies purse. I bought it for the size and the durability and protection it gave my cleaning equipment.

No more wiping the lens with a t-shirt! (Heaven forbid!)

Happy shooting,
Amy Renfrey

About the Author:
Amy Renfrey is the author of two major successful ebooks “Digital Photography Success” and “Advanced Digital Photography”. Her educational ebooks takes the most complex photography terms and turns them into easy to understand language so that anyone, at any level of photography, can easily move to a semi-professional level of skill in just a very short time. Amy also teaches photography online to her students which can be found at She’s photographed many things from famous musicians (Drummers for Prince and Anastasia) to weddings and portraits of babies. She is a photographer and also teaches digital photography.

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4 responses to “The Best Way To Clean Your Digital Camera”

  1. Pk_JoA says:

    OK, right before googling this I did clean my lens with my tshirt.
    Oh, well. Newbie mistake, I guess.

  2. Stingley says:

    More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  3. Riley says:

    Haha, thanks amy.. I did what Pk_JoA did, then decided, “Maybe I should check on google..”

  4. Tcko says:

    Hi everyone….I have found a much better way thats on the cheap….buy alcohol and distilled water and a small sprayer, mix 50/50…I use those microfibre cleaning cloths but rarely and never rub..spray a small amount of the solution on one cloth and wipe gently then follow up with a dry one.
    But first always blow the lense clean, I use canned air for pc’s, short bursts though, as it will get the lense cold and it will draw moisture…no scratchs so far.

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