How to Clean Your Compact Camera

We take our cameras to some amazing places, and often those places are messy, dusty, wet and muddy.

Whether you took your camera to a tropical beach or a winter music festival it’s likely your camera needs a clean.

If your camera is clean and well looked after, it will work better for longer. So here are some tips for keeping your camera in tip-top condition and ready for your next adventure.

A man taking a photo in the sand


Before you begin cleaning your compact camera you will need to prepare your workspace. A clean environment will make it much easier to rid dust and particles from your camera.

You don’t want to expose your lens to more dirt when you are trying to clean it. So a neat bench space is a must.

Cleaning your camera can be quite fiddly. You’ll have your hands full juggling the camera and the cleaning supplies, so use your wrist strap or neck strap to avoid dropping your camera.

Gather all of your supplies together.

Things you'll need:

  • Wrist or neck camera strap
  • Blower
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Lens tissues
  • Lens cleaning solution or lens cleaning pen

Step 1: Remove Dust and Particles

You might be tempted to blow on your camera’s lens to remove dust. Unfortunately, the saliva that might escape your mouth is bad for the optical coating on the lens.

It’s safer to invest in a blower. A blower is an inexpensive small hand pump with a small nozzle. Don’t confuse this with a can of compressed air.

Compressed air is too powerful and may blow particles into the edges and into the camera body which can only exacerbate problems.

You can also use a specialty soft bristled brush to kick particles off your lens without scratching your lens. An appropriate soft bristled brush will look like a make-up brush, not a tooth brush.

A digital compact camera


Step 2: Wipe the Lens with Cloths or Lens Tissues

To clean your compact camera thoroughly you'll need to wipe away dirt grime and smudges. To do this you’ll need a microfiber cloth.

This kind of cloth is much more suited to cleaning your camera than your shirt sleeve. Many other materials can do more harm than good.

Microfibre is soft, and won’t scratch your lens. Make sure to use a clean microfiber cloth every time you clean your camera.

Lens tissue is a cheap, disposable option for cleaning your camera lens. The tissue paper you blow your nose with is not the same as lens tissue.

Lens tissue won’t leave fibres on the lens and doesn’t contain moisturising oils like tissue paper does.



A blue cleaning cloth

Step 3: Use Lens Cleaning Solutions

If you still have stubborn marks, it's time to use some lens cleaning solution.

When using lens cleaning fluid it's important remember:

  • Avoid using too much liquid which can cause streaks
  • Use specially formulated lens cleaning solutions
  • Never pour cleaning fluid directly onto a lens

Excess liquid on your lens might slip through and damage the electronics. You don't want to use water as it will leave streaks on your lens and Acetone based cleaning solutions will strip your camera lens’s optical coating.

Lens cleaning solutions are perfect for getting rid of smudges caused by finger oils, and high humidity.

To use, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth or lens tissue with the lens cleaning fluid. Wipe the lens in small circular motions. Lens cleaning solutions won’t leave streaks, and soon your lens will be crystal clear.

Other useful cleaning accessories include lens cleaning pens, which are a great all-rounder option. They remove smudges and fingerprints off lenses, viewfinders and LCD screens.

Lenspen Original Cleaning Pen uses a non-liquid cleaning element and a cleaning brush. You can get them in kits with everything you’ll need to keep your camera tip-top.

If you are looking for the best cleaning accessories for every kind of camera, check out our online store or head into your local Camera House shop for more handy cleaning tips or expert sensor cleaning.