Here's our top tools for camera cleaning … without spending big bucks
1. Pressurized Duster: Yup, the thing that you use to blast all the gribblies out of your keyboard can be used on your equipment, too. When using these air cans, make sure to ‘shoot up’ instead of down, and use quick little bursts. With prolonged use, the cans will tend to get cold to the touch and even expel some liquid if pointed down.
I use the canned air for getting dust out of lenses, inside and outside; as well as camera bodies. It’s a good first-line product for cleaning to remove the surface dust.
But what happens if the dust doesn’t want to move?
2. Blower Brush – You’ve probably seen these little gadgets, a big plastic or rubber circle with a brush on the end of it. These things are great for removing objects that are a little more clingy than what the pressurized air can remove. Important to note, if you think something needs a little blow, use the air can or the blower brush – never blow onto glass or into you camera. You will send spit along with the air, and could possibly cause more troubles.
Blower brushes are readily available as part of a basic camera cleaning kit. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these kits (unless you really want to throw cash away), usually they’re for sale around $10 and include a few other cleaning devices that we’ll get to shortly.
What about waterspots or gunk that’s REALLY on there?
3. Cotton Swabs and Cleaning Solution – These guys should be part of that cleaning kits we referenced in the blower brush point. All you need is a drop or two of cleaning solution, then use the cotton swab to gently rub the area. If on glass, make small circles, starting from the middle, and working your way around to the outside. You can use the dry end of the swab to soak up any remaining moisture. Make sure you don’t touch the swab ends before cleaning as you might transfer some of the oils from your fingers to the swab.
If the lens is especially dirty, you may want to use the microfiber cloth that should also be included with your cleaning kit.
That’s pretty much all you need for some basic cleaning! I recommend doing a light clean like this pretty regular. Before you plan an outing, take a look at your equipment and determine whether or not it could use a clean – the five minutes you invest could save you from awful images!