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Pointers By Paul's Photo

Cleaning Your Camera

After a birthday party with the kids, a day at the beach or an exciting day in Yosemite your camera needs a good cleaning. A simple external cleaning after every photo outing will keep your camera working properly for years and improve your picture quality.

NOTICE: Theses tips are recommended for simple in-the-field cleaning.

Careful cleaning can improve your cameras service life.

Improper cleaning can irreparably damage your camera.

Proceed at your own risk!

Internal cleaning, digital sensor cleaning and maintenance is not recommended in-the-field and is best left to trained professionals.

What do you need?

From the Camera Store:

Promaster MicroClean Cleaning Cloth #5378

Promaster Jumbo Hurricane Blower #3906

Promaster Premium Cleaning Pen #68488

Promaster OpticClean Lens Cleaner #7415

Hoodman Lens Cleanse

ROR- Residual Oil Remover

Delkin Sensor ScopeImage Sensor Cleaning Kit

BlowOff Duster

From Home:

Soft cotton cloth. Terry cloth towel, old T-shirt

Micro-Fiber cleaning cloth

Tooth brush. Soft bristles

Boars Bristle shaving brush

Paint Brush- stiff

Wiha 261 PH00x40 screwdriver

Pink Pencil eraser

Flashlight- small

Window cleaner and/or water


Camera Cleaning:

Set up operations on a large, clean surface like the kitchen table or bathroom counter.

Avoid dusty areas like the bedroom or sofa or carpeted areas!

  1. Wipe the area down thoroughly to remove most of the dust
  2. Brush dust and dirt vigorously from camera body using the tooth brush and/or shaving brush. Work the corners and crevices especially.
  3. Wipe the camera body thoroughly (metal and plastic parts only, not the lenses elements) with the soft cloth spritzed with Windex or tap water to remove dirt, finger oils, salt and sand. This step is for the plastic and metal parts only and should be done nearly every day!
  4. Clean external contacts with eraser. Remove batteries and clean camera contacts & batteries with eraser.
  5. Wipe around the lens mount. Clean the Lens Contact points gently with micro-fiber cloth. Blow off the imaging sensor with the hurricane blower. Turn the camera lens mount DOWN so gravity helps remove the dust and specks. Lubricate the lens mounts on the camera and back of the lens with a little bit of “nose grease” NEVER wipe or touch the focusing screen, image sensor, mirror or shutter of your camera...leave that for the professionals!
  6. Clean the LCD screen and top screen as you would a lens. Use the Hoodman Lens Cleanse.
  7. Clean completely the lens caps, lens hoods, straps. These are places where dust and dirt hide and contaminate your camera kit.

Lens Cleaning:

  1. Brush dust and dirt and wipe with damp cloth, just like the camera. Remove lens from camera, remove lens caps and filters. Use body caps and rear lens caps as needed. Make sure lens caps are completely cleaned!
  2. Blow off dust from lens using the hurricane blower
  3. Fog optical surface with your breath. Rub gently using small circular motion
  4. with clean portion of micro-fiber cloth.
  5. If fingerprints and smudges do not clean with the micro-fiber use the Hoodman Lens Cleanse. Two parts wet first then dry. Blow dust off lenses and filters before re-assembly.
  6. Clean the front and rear of each lens AND the front and back of each filter

Bag Cleaning:

  1. Completely empty the camera bag and shake vigorously outside
  2. Wipe external vigorously with wet cloth.
  3. Wipe internally with damp cloth
  4. Vacuum the interior completely to free dirt from Velcro and padding