How to clean a camera

Yes, to get the best out of your camera, whether digital or 35mm, you need to keep it clean, especially the lens. Tools needed to clean a camera include:

• Compressed air
• Lens cleaners made specially for cameras
• Clean cloth (lint-free)
• Tooth brush (soft bristle)
• Pencil eraser
• Handheld blower (can be purchased at any store that sells cameras and accessories)

For the adventurous or those who like this sort of thing, you can make your own cleaning tools.

Be sure to consult the manual that comes with your camera for advice before you begin cleaning. The manufacturer’s website is also a source of important information on how to care for your equipment.

Cleaning the exterior

Use a soft toothbrush, makeup brush or specially made brush to reach into crevices of the camera casing. Once you have removed dust from these hard to reach areas, use compressed air to blow loose dirt off the equipment.

Next, use a damp, lint free cloth to clean the casing. Make sure not to get any water or cleaning fluid inside the camera itself.

Cleaning the lens

The lens of any camera is one of the most delicate parts of the equipment; as such great care must be taken when cleaning it. The first thing you must do is clean off the lens with a bulb brush to get rid of dirt so as to avoid scratching the glass when wiping. Using photographic lens cleaner, dampen some lens tissue (or other cleaning material made especially for photographic equipment) and gently wipe the lens. If you do not have lens cleaner, blow lightly on the lens to create a mist; under no circumstances should you wipe a dry camera lens. Always clean your camera lens in a circular motion, starting from the center. There is no need to apply pressure when cleaning the lens. Remember to clean both ends of the lens.

You will not need to clean the lens often; every couple of months is fine.

Although some persons clean their SLR (single lens-reflex) mirrors, it best to leave this to the experts.

Cleaning the battery contacts

Use a good fashioned pencil eraser to clean away rust from battery contacts. Be gentle when rubbing so as not to remove the coating on the contact ends. Blow off the debris from the eraser or use a soft brush such as a lipstick brush.

Once you have cleaned your camera, take steps to keep the equipment clean. Keep the lens cap on when you are not using the camera, and place the equipment in its carry case or bag when not in use.