How to Clean Camera Lens with Household Items: Important Tidbits

Whether you have a basic camera without many high tech features or you have an advanced professional camera, it is important to ensure that your camera lenses are spotless before doing any photo shooting. This is in order to get good quality images. Dirt in the lens destroys details in an image.

When you use a dirty lens, the produced images will require editing during post-production to remove the dust specks. It can be such a waste of time using a dirty camera lens sometimes because some dust spots may not be edited during post-production.

Camera lenses get dirty from dust, fingerprints and other particles during use and also during storage if they are not kept in a camera bag. In that regard, let us walk you through a bunch of facts and things you need to do to keep your lens sparkling clean.

How to Clean Camera Lens with Household Items

Cleaning your Camera

It is important to clean a camera lenses the right way to avoid damaging or scratching the lenses. First, ensure you have a good grip on the camera or lens during cleaning. It is advisable to use a table or counter to hold the camera or have it directly below you when cleaning. In case the camera drops, it will be held by the table or counter.

A lens cleaning kit is recommended for cleaning camera lenses. The kit can be bought from a camera store. If you are not in a position to acquire a lens cleaning kit, then you can use various household items to clean your camera lens. When choosing household items to clean a camera lens, avoid items that will damage the lens and coating. You need items that will preserve the life of your camera lenses. Find suggested below some household items that can be used to clean camera lenses.

Alcohol-based cleaner

A little moisture or wetness is required when cleaning lenses to remove stubborn smudges stuck on the lenses. Camera manufacturers have special lens sprays or camera blowers for cleaning lenses. In the absence of lens sprays or blowers, use an alcohol-based cleaner as an alternative. It is recommended for cleaning lenses because it dries fast. Apply it to your microfiber cloth and not directly on the camera lenses.

If you do not have an alcohol-based cleaner, then you can sprinkle a little water on the microfiber cloth. If you are out in the field with no access to water, blow your breath into the lens, avoiding spitting saliva onto the lens.

Please note that a lot of fluid will damage the lenses. Also, avoid cleaning your camera lens with soapy solutions. Soapy solutions take time to dry attracting dust to your camera lenses in the process. In addition don’t use cleaning wipes, glass cleaners or any other chemical cleaners on your camera lenses.


A toothbrush is a good alternative to a lens brush for cleaning the outside of your lenses. You need a soft-bristled toothbrush. Soft bristles will not scratch the glass. The bristles of the brush will remove any dirt that is built in the lenses. After dislodging the dirt with a toothbrush, you can now use a microfiber cloth to clean the lenses. Avoid touching the toothbrush and exposing it to oil or other dirt particles. Store the toothbrush in a sealed plastic bag after use.

Microfibre cloth

A microfiber cloth or lens tissue is ideal for cleaning the inside and the outside of the lenses. Microfiber cloths are sold in camera stores for less than $10 dollars. On the other hand, if you have bought a pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses before, you should be having a microfiber cloth. You can convert the microfiber cloth that was provided for cleaning your lens into a camera lens cleaning cloth.

Use the microfiber cloth together with the cleaning fluid, lens sprayer, lens blower or water. Sprinkle the cleaning fluid on a small section of your microfiber cloth. Or use the microfiber cloth immediately after blowing onto the lens. Leave a small section of the microfiber cloth for drying the lenses.

Alternatively, you can use another dry microfiber cloth to dry your lenses. Using dirty microfiber clothes will transfer dirt back to the lenses. Clean your microfiber cloth after one, two or three uses and store it in a good case. Avoid cleaning the cloth with commercial detergents because they may not get rinsed out well and can eventually damage your camera lenses.

The best way to clean your camera lens is to wipe the lenses in concentric circles. Start cleaning from the center of the lens going towards the outside. Press gently and avoid wiping the lenses multiple times.

Cleaning your camera lens with other cloth materials will leave fibers on your lens, making it even dirtier. Also, other fabrics are abrasive and may scratch the lenses.

Also read: Guide To Basic Camera Parts and Functions – Important To Read

Maintenance of your Camera

Maintaining your camera well will save you from cleaning your camera often and will extend its life. If your camera is not maintained well, it may require professional cleaning.

As much as it possible, avoid exposing your camera lens to moisture and dust. Dust will adhere to your equipment more where there is moisture and this can destroy your camera and reduce its lifespan. When swapping lenses, try to do it in a dustless environment without any humid. Not unless your camera is waterproof and can be submerged in water.

During storage, always put a lens cap on the lenses to maintain it well. Some cameras will come with a cloth case for storing extra lenses, use the cloth case for keeping the lenses. As much as possible, avoid touching the camera lens to avoid fingerprints on the lenses.

To protect your camera lenses from dust particles, always store your camera in a good camera case or bag. Clean your camera bag occasionally. You can use a vacuum to suck out the dust on the camera bag.

Also read: How to Use Canon DSLR Camera for Beginners


For best quality images, the lenses of your camera need to be clean. However well you maintain your camera, it is inevitable that your camera lens will get dirty. If you are afraid of cleaning your expensive lenses yourself for fear of ruining the lenses, then consider professional camera cleaning.

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