How to clean the inside of a camera lens

Written by jessica taylor
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How to clean the inside of a camera lens
Camera lens (Photo by Sarah Klockars-Clauser,, CC Attribution-ShareAlike License)

Cleaning the inside of a camera lens is a fairly easy process, though it's generally not necessary unless it becomes visibly dirty.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lens-cleaning solution
  • Lens-cleaning tissue or a microfiber lens-cleaning cloth, available at most camera shops

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  1. 1

    Locate the button that releases the camera's lens from the body. The release button should be next to the lens on the body.

  2. 2

    Hold down the release button while gently turning the lens to remove it.

  3. 3

    Turn the lens over to see the optics on the inner side. Check for visible dirt, dust, sand or other debris. Blow gently on the lens to remove any particles on the surface.

  4. 4

    Put a drop or two of lens-cleaning solution on a lens-cleaning tissue or microfiber cloth. Only a small amount of cleaning solution is required--too much could cause streaks on the lens.

  5. 5

    Gently rub the tissue or cloth on the inner lens surface using a circular motion. Continue to rub the cloth on the lens until it appears clean and there is no liquid left on the lens. If necessary, repeat the process using another drop or two of cleaning solution.

  6. 6

    Allow the lens to sit for a minute or two to properly dry. Then place it back on the camera body by lining the lens up on the mounting surface and gently turning until you hear a click.

Tips and warnings

  • A lens tissue or cleaning cloth may be used without cleaning solution to remove smudges.
  • When leaving your lens unattached from your camera, apply a lens cover on the inner side as well as a lens cap on the outer side to protect the optics.
  • Never use rubbing alcohol to clean any part of a lens. Alcohol could cause damage to some lens coatings.
  • Never put cleaning solution directly on a lens surface. Always put it on a tissue or cloth.
  • Do not use paper towels or any other kind of tissue with rough surfaces. Use only lens-cleaning tissues or microfiber cleaning cloths made for lens cleaning.

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