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How to clean your camera sensor and lenses?

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  • 3 min read

One of the most common mistakes done by beginning photographers is that they often fail to properly maintain their cameras.

Smudges on camera optics or dust inside the mirror can cause a lot of complications in the long run. Such factors can reduce the image quality of the camera, especially in low light. It also tends to shorten the life of the camera.

Cleaning camera lenses, sensors and mirrors is not rocket science. Most DSLRs already have a sensor cleaning system built in. All you need to do is enable it and the camera will automatically clean the sensor everytime you use it.

The lenses and mirrors are also relatively easy to clean. With the proper tools, you’ll have your optics shiny new in the blink of an eye.

Although one should keep in mind that cleaning lenses should be a regular part of a photographer’s maintenance routine. Make it a daily habit though and you’ll end up doing more damage than good.

Also read: Nikon vs Canon: A beginner’s perspective

Cleaning DSLR Lenses

There are a bunch of tools easily available on Amazon for cleaning lenses. Most of these tools consist of DSLR cleaning kits, which include some cotton swabs, a microfibre cloth, a blower and lens cleaning solution.

All you need to do is carefully detach your lens from the camera, pour just a little bit of lens cleaning solution on the front side of the lens and gently clean with the microfibre cloth. Be sure to brush off any visible dust from the top using a brush first though.

The inside or the back side of the lens is a little bit tricky. Be really careful here or you might end up doing some damage.


Use the blower provided in the kit to gently blow out any dust that might have accumulated inside the rear. Chances are, you won’t be having any smudges on this part of the lens as this is almost always inside the camera.

Alternatively, you could just use the cotton swabs to clean out the back of the lens.

That’s it. A simple ten-minute exercise and your camera lens are shiny new. Again, be careful when cleaning your optics and make sure you don’t overdo it.

In case you’re confused about what cleaning tools to buy, here’s the kit I personally use.

Cleaning DSLR Mirror

The inside mirror, just as the rear end of the lens, is a little bit tricky and needs great attention. It’s a very easy process but a small mistake can cause damage.

First up, using the brush provided in the kit gently clean off the mirror and nearby areas. This step itself should get rid of a majority of dust particles.

However, if there’s still dust or residue left on the mirror, you can use the cotton swabs that came with your cleaning kit.

Dip the cotton swab in the cleaning solution and gently clean the mirror using it. This should get rid of any residue or dust on the mirror.

Be sure to let the solution dry off before putting on a cover or lens on your camera. Also, make sure you don’t use too much solution otherwise you’ll just end up smudging your camera mirror.

So there you go. Simple ten-minute routine maintenance for your camera.

Happy snapping!

Also read: Top 4 Instagram repost apps for Android and iOS

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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