Gear Tip: The Best Way to Clean a Dirty Lens Professionally

Michael Sand
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For most of us, dirt on your camera’s lens is the most annoying thing in the world. Being able to keep your lenses free from any smudges and fingerprints will result in making your photos look nice and professional.

This is the Professional Camera Lens Lens cleaning kit offers the highest quality cleaning kit. Using a professional kit like this will definitely give you better results than cleaning it yourself with your clean hand and a handkerchief. To have a sparkly clean camera lens everytime, there’s nothing better than using a professional kit like the Lenspen.

This kit will give you outstanding results and will also stay on your camera as it is so small and light. The cleaning pad on the lenspen wraps around the lens so it covers approximately 90% of the lens.

Having a clean lens will ensure your photos will look professional. A Lenspen is a healthy investment for all people who want pretty nice shots.

NameCategoryProduct
Altura Photo Professional Cleaning KitBest OverallAltura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit
SE 6" Cotton SwabsBudget PickSE 6" Cotton Swabs
Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 CtUpgrade PickZeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct

1. Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit

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Pros:

  • Cleans all exposed surfaces with one cleaning solution
  • A 3-pack and can be bought in bulk

2. Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System

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Pros:

  • Quick and easy attachment
  • Keeps camera and lens together
  • Great build quality

I am a big fan of these cleaning systems for photographers who hate cleaning their camera lenses. These systems have the potential to give your camera glass a much deeper clean than you can achieve by just using a cloth or your shirt – and the convenience is a huge bonus.

The Fotodiox lens pen is a fantastic little cleaning system. It is designed to be used by photographers to fix lens smudges. It works on both camera lenses and phone screens (most of us need it for our phones!). Simply plug the cleaning system in to the USB port of your laptop, attach the lens cleaner, start the relevant app, and the pen automatically cleans the lens.

The system is made from a durable build, and the pen bristles are made from a special microfiber that cleans effectively without the need to use an extra cleaning solution. It is so easy to use you can clean your lens in less time than it takes you to eat a sandwich!

3. Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct

Our rating: 9 / 10

Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct

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Pros:

  • The right solution for cleaning job such as oil, dust, grease, and fingerprints
  • No need to use cumbersome brushes or sprays for effective cleanings
  • The wipes can be stored in a portable pouch for easy carrying and convenience
  • Tear-off strips for quick dispensing of the tissue

The Zeiss lens wipes are pre-moistened with precise solutions of cleaning compound and saline so you can clean lenses without the hassle of using a brush or spray. It also prevents the need from using other applicator tools as well. This makes the Zeiss solution more convenient and comfortable to use.

For most people, it would likely take a lot of time to clean lenses manually. The Zeiss lens wipes can help you save that time and keep your lenses clean without needing any pump sprays or irritating brushes. This features is very convenient and may save your lenses from possible damages.

The Zeiss lens wipes come in a small but sturdy pouch that allows for better storage of the product. You can easily carry the lens wipes in the pouch for convenience and to store in small places. The packs are made up of tear-off strips which allows for quick adjustments of the lens wipes inside the pouch for grabbing the next wipe.

4. MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Our rating: 9 / 10

MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

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Pros:

  • Each cloth is soft and gentle enough for even the most sensitive of device lenses
  • Machine washable
  • One purchase is enough to last for years given the low price
  • It’s a microfiber cloth – it’s designed specifically to never scratch or leave swirl marks
  • Super absorbent and doesn’t leave any streaks or spots

Cons:

  • Wringing them out is painstakingly slow, though your patience will be rewarded with streak-free cleaning
  • As it is not a spray, it’s necessary to exert a bit of elbow grease to get them as clean as possible
  • Your fingers will become stained if you don’t wear gloves while cleaning my… well, you know why you should wear gloves.

A dirty lens makes the best of images look hazy and sometimes blurry. Although it is possible to clean your lenses using conventional products, it is rare that they end up spotless unless you have a PROFESSIONAL clean them for you. That’s where spray products come in. They’re very effective, but they are also very harmful for the environment ‑ in fact, they are even illegal in some places!

5. Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large

Our rating: 8 / 10

Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large

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Pros:

  • This product quickly and efficiently removes dirt and dust from camera/lens lenses, filters, and viewfinders.
  • The Giottos AA1900 is lightweight and compact, making it convenient for carrying with you.
  • Users report that this product helps to clean your lens even in tight spaces and that it’s great for screens, glass, lens, and mirrors.
  • This product is highly versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces.
  • The Rocket Air Blaster will not leave behind streaks or scratches and is safe to use on all lens coatings.
  • This product is ideal for cleaning sensitive equipment like binoculars, microscopes, and cameras.

Cons:

  • You have to use two hands to operate the device, which can make it difficult to navigate all parts of the lens. According to some users, they find this product a little loud while operating.
  • The airflow provided by this device may be too strong for delicate equipment or surfaces.

The Rocket Air Blaster by Giotto’s is one of the most sought after cleaning devices for DSLR lenses. You can use it to clean all the hard to reach parts of your camera, including eyepieces, viewfinders, and lenses.

6. SE 6" Cotton Swabs

Our rating: 6 / 10

SE 6" Cotton Swabs

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Pros:

  • High quality swabs
  • Perfect for cleaning your glasses and other lenses
  • Sturdy form factor for holding onto the cotton

Swabs are the most common way to clean a dirty lens. The main reason for this is convenience and safety. A cotton swab makes it easy to reach difficult areas without putting your fingers where they shouldn’t be. Additionally, you can’t get much closer to a lens without actually touching it. Swabs also make it easier to clean small areas that are best done by hand.

The best swabs are always made of high-quality cotton as opposed to synthetic materials. High-quality cotton is soft to the touch and has great absorption properties without leaving residue on your lens. It’s also important to select swabs that are a specific length. Longer swabs make it easy to reach tiny areas but may make it harder to clean big surfaces. Smaller swabs are great for cleaning larger areas but may not reach small areas.

7. ROR Optical Lens Cleaner 2 Oz Spray Bottle

Our rating: 6 / 10

ROR Optical Lens Cleaner 2 Oz Spray Bottle

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Pros:

  • Ultra-safe, state-of-the-art components
  • Promotes safety in bathrooms and classrooms
  • Buy in bulk

It’s incredibly difficult to clean smear off glass without professional equipment and specially formulated cleaning solutions, especially in case of large glass surface areas. Here’s why:

Humans have pretty poor eyesight (except for that eagle-eye guy in accounting). Over time, your eyes lose their ability to perceive light that’s given off by dirt and grease. Your ability to see all the dirt that’s on your glasses and in your bathroom, for example, really depends on the amount and size of the dirt particles.

Therefore, it’s important to minimize the size of the dirt and grease particles so that your eyes can more easily see them and adjust their viewing angle accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you clean a dirty camera lens?

If your lens is smudged with nasty fingerprints or lint, it’s a bad idea to try to wipe it clean with your shirt or T-shirt. The fabric will inevitably scratch the lens and ruin its finish.

Just as you don’t want to wipe out a lens with your shirt, you also don’t want to wipe your lens with anything that’s sharp or has rough edges. This damage can be difficult to repair.

To clean your camera’s lenses, you can purchase a lens cleaning solution and a soft cleaning cloth. Gently wipe the solution and cloth across your lens surface from left to right. This will be your first pass. Slowly move in a circle around the lens from left to right. This will be your second pass.

How do I clean the dust out of my phone camera lens without opening it?

If you just need to dust off the outside of your phone, a lightly applied brush is just fine. However, if you’re looking for a deeper clean, a microfiber clean will do the trick. A simple microfiber cloth will work wonders, and is relatively inexpensive when purchased in bulk.

Just be careful not to push your luck when using a microfiber cloth on your phone camera lens because they can scratch your lens even if you apply it carefully. Use common sense-if the lens feels like it’s getting scratched, just stop.

Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean camera lens?

You can’t use rubbing alcohol to clean camera lens. It’s too harsh for delicate equipment made from plastic and optical glass. Instead, you should use photographic lens cleaning solution that’s designed specifically for this purpose.

This is an important distinction to understand because, in fact, it’s possible to permanently damage your lens with some household cleaning products. Some specialty camera lens cleaners are safe to use on camera lens, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For cleaning the outside of your lens, some photographers use anti-reflective lens cleaner. Many camera stores sell this. It’s gentle enough to clean off any oily fingerprints or smudges from the outside of your lens and also leaves behind an invisible coating to help repel oils and fingerprints in the future.

How do you clean vintage lenses?

While you can usually clean vintage lenses by using rubbing alcohol or a lens spray, it's much easier if you do it the proper way. The best way to clean vintage lenses is with something called LensPen. This is a cleaning solution and applicator that fits onto the end of a sturdy and stable felt-tip pen.

LensPen is absolutely perfect for cleaning lenses because you can easily get those tiny spots and fingerprints off of your glasses, sunglasses, camera lenses, and even your camera, too. It’s important to use the right cleaning tool on your lenses because the chemicals and materials in your cleaning supplies can damage the lens coating and even degrade the lens materials. LensPen is safe enough to use on all lenses; new and old. It really is a must have product.

Conclusion

An expensive camera lens is one of the most valuable accessories that you’ll find in the photographic world. It’s important that it remains in a good condition if you want to take good pictures. But a dirty lens can ruin your photo shoots and put the most expensive piece of equipment you have on the market to waste. No one wants that.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Altura Photo Professional Cleaning KitBest OverallAltura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit
SE 6" Cotton SwabsBudget PickSE 6" Cotton Swabs
Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 CtUpgrade PickZeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct