How to clean your camera and care for your camera lens

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Our cameras are our pride and joy, but how many times have you given it the good, deep clean it deserves?

Cleaning your camera can be a tricky and sensitive task and making sure you know how to clean your camera safely, is of utmost importance. One wrong move on your sensor or lens can see your piece of equipment irreparably damaged.  

The sensors inside our cameras and the lenses we use are very delicate and can be easily scratched, which is why we need to proceed with caution. Below, we take a look at some of the equipment and techniques you can use, to give your camera and lens a good clean, without fear of damaging your equipment.

How do you know if your camera needs to be cleaned?

Indications that you may need to give your camera a clean can range from desaturated, ‘misty’ images, or dark spots or areas on the final photos. A tiny speck of dust on the lens or sensor can cause spots to appear on your images, whereas a film of mist may indicate a layer of dirt or grime on the lens, that needs to be wiped away.

If you are a professional photographer and find yourself regularly taking snaps outdoors and changing lenses frequently, then you should look at cleaning your camera a little more regularly, around once a month. This will help to keep your images looking clear, crisp and free from unwanted anomalies.

Correct cleaning equipment

There are only a few key pieces of equipment you need to carry with you in order to keep your camera in tip-top condition:

  • Rubber bulb blower
  • Non-abrasive wipes
  • Lens cleaning spray

These items are best kept in your camera bag when you’re out and about, so you can keep your camera dirt free whilst on location.

A rubber bulb blower can help to remove dust without you having to touch the lens or sensor directly.  Non-abrasive wipes can help remove any spots of dirt or water,without scratching your equipment and finally, lens cleaning spray can help get rid of that stubborn grime.

How to clean your sensor and mirror

Unless you find yourself constantly changing your lenses, your sensor should not need to be cleaned regularly. This is one of the most sensitive and important parts of your camera, so it should only be touched when absolutely necessary.

To access your sensor, you’ll need to put your camera in ‘cleaning mode’. This is usually listed in your menu and the name of it can vary between different camera models. You may find it in your menu under one of the following:

  • Mirror Lock-up (usually on Nikon cameras)
  • Clean Manually
  • Sensor Cleaning

When cleaning your sensor, the above mode will raise the mirror up and out of the way, in order for you to be able to access the sensor. Then, use your bulb blower to remove any specks of dust. This is all your sensor should need and we would not advise putting any cleaning fluid directly on the sensor. You should also make sure you have a full battery before entering into ‘cleaning mode’. This will ensure you have enough time to clean the sensor whilst the mirror is raised. Check out this video for more information about cleaning your sensor and mirror. 

How to clean a camera lens

Your lenses will require a bit more maintenance than your camera body, as the lenses are what we find ourselves handling the most. Simply remove the lens from the camera and use the bulb blower to remove any dust or loose dirt. Then, you can go in with a non-abrasive cloth and some lens cleaner, to really give your lens a good clean.

Try and spray your lens cleaner directly on the cloth and not on the lens, to make sure it doesn’t sit in any of the lenses crevices. Once your lens is clean, replace the lens cap and back cover and store securely in your case.

To help make sure your camera and all of your lenses stay safe from dust, water or general wear and tear, make sure to invest in a sturdy case. Our Dave 500 dustproof cases are perfect for keeping your equipment free from dirt and safely packed away. Our Dave 500 hard camera case is waterproof, dustproof, easy to transport and completely customisable for ease of use. Give your camera the perfect home and keep it cleaner for longer.    

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