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How to Clean Your Camera Lens

31 Days of Spring Cleaning: Clean Your Camera Lenses

You take your camera anywhere — the park, the beach, the office — and it's probably shoved in your bag most of the time, attracting dust, dirt, and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your tote. How often do you clean your camera lenses? The window to your world, your lens is one of the most important pieces of your DSLR. Ensure it's tidy and shiny with these five cleaning and care tips.

  1. Store your gear properly — One of the best ways to keep your lenses in tip-top shape is to store them properly when not in use. Keep your lenses in a cool, dry place, and if you store them in a photography bag, toss in a few silica packets to keep the moisture away. Always keep your lens caps on when stored, and consider keeping them in lens bags to keep them scratch-free.
  2. Use a filter — Keeping a UV filter on your lens is the first step against damage, as it prevents scratches but also protects your lens from harmful UV rays.
  3. Keep a stock of microfiber cloths — Just like your phone, your lens sometimes needs a good wiping down. Make sure your cloth is clean before wiping down the lens. The last thing you want to do is scratch your lens surface with a dirty, grimy cloth!
  4. Consider lens-cleaning fluid — You can find lens-cleaning fluid and lens tissues in your local photography shop, and while some may seem pricey, the good news is you don't need a ton for it to be effective. Just a few sprays of fluid on your lens tissues should do the trick to lift dirt and smudges.
  5. The LensPen — I keep a LensPen in my camera bag for on-the-go cleanings. With a brush on one end and a soft curved sponge on the other, you can keep your lens clean and dust-free from anywhere.
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