Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit & How to Clean Camera Lens

If you are looking for the best camera lens cleaning kit, you’ve come to the right place. Because in today’s article, I will cover how to clean your lens the right way and what tools you need to achieve it.

A critical skill for photographers to learn is how to clean camera lenses. No matter how hard you try, your gear will get dirty if you are out taking pictures. Even if a lens doesn’t leave your bag, dust is inevitable. The point is that you need to be able to clean your lenses and do it the correct way.

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit & How to Clean Camera Lens

Luckily, it is not that difficult. You can safely clean any lens even when you are out in the field. We will examine how to clean the lens and what you should have on hand.

Why You Should Clean Lenses Correctly

While most lenses are reasonably durable, glass can scratch. Foreign material from a dirty cloth, for example, can scratch your lenses while you are trying to clean off a smudge. So what you use to wipe a lens must be very clean and delicate.

The coatings applied to the front, and rear elements are more delicate than the actual glass. These coatings can do everything from protecting the lens from UV light to reducing glare and many other functions. Certain chemicals and abrasive cleaning can damage these coatings.

Additionally, the coatings can react with certain types of cleaners and leave streaks or cloudy films on the glass. Acetone is one chemical that should never be used to clean a lens.

Only Clean When Necessary

One of the first tips about cleaning your lenses is “Don’t.”

In other words, unless you truly need to clean them, you should avoid it. The reason is that the glass and coatings can be damaged and degraded over time. You affect its overall quality and life expectancy every time you clean your lens.

Now, this is not to say that a quality lens can’t withstand hundreds of cleaning and still produce high-quality photos; it can. However, those of us who would like our lenses to serve long lives would benefit from cleaning as less frequently as possible. 

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit & How to Clean Camera Lens 1
Check first if the lens requires cleaning

Use Soft Bristle Brush

Most debris that gets on the front element can be brushed away with a soft bristle brush without any chemical or “wet” cleaning needed. 

Most photographers prefer camel or goat hair brushes for this task, and this should be one of the tools you carry in your camera bag. Personally, if I go outside and step away from my bag, my lens brush is one item I will stick in my pocket.

The stuff you can’t brush away will generally be oily smudges or fingerprints. In most cases, this will require a cleaner to act as a solvent to remove from the glass.

Camera Lens Cleaning Kit: Use soft brush

Use Air Blower

Another popular and useful tool for lens cleaning is an air blower. These handheld bulbs produce a puff of air when you squeeze them. They will generally have a nozzle at one end so that you can aim the airflow at specific parts of the camera. A quality blower can be a convenient device to have in your kit.

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit: Air Blower

Don’t Use Canned Compressed Air

Even though blowing air is an acceptable way of clearing debris from an element, you should never use a can of compressed air. Pressurized dust cleaner produces too much force when sprayed, which can damage parts of your camera and lens. Excessive pressure can also stir up more dirt into the air and make the situation worse.

Additionally, the “canned air” products do not contain what we call “air.” They are filled with compressed gases such as difluoroethane, trifluoroethane, tetrafluoroethane, or butane. These gasses can react with the coatings on your lens, and the fumes can damage your camera. Avoid them.

How To Clean Camera Lens Correctly

Step 1: Use Soft Brush

Remove as much dust and debris as possible with a soft bristle brush. It is vital to ensure the brush is clean and free from oils or other particles.

Step 2: Apply Cleaning Solution

Apply a few drops of cleaning solution to a fresh lens wipe or clean a microfiber cloth. Most companies have their cleaning solution, but any solution that is designed for lens cleaning should be acceptable. Make sure you read to ensure that it is safe for your specific lens coating before using.

Ultimately, you can use pre-moisturized lens cleaning wipes. The best ones are from Zeiss.

Step 3: Wipe

Clean with just enough pressure to remove the dirt, starting from the outer edges and moving inwards in a circular pattern. Going from the center out can “push” dirt and debris into the edges of the lens where the body meets the element and can make it harder to remove.

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit & How to Clean Camera Lens 2

This technique can be done to the lens’s front or rear element. It also works well for either side of an optical filter.

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit: 8 Top Options

1. Vexko Camera Lens Cleaning Kit

Vexko Camera Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras – Ideal Cleaner for Professional Camera, Sensor, Lens and LCD Screen. Compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic

1 camera lens cleaner solution
8 cotton swabs
6 sensor cleaning swabs
2 microfiber cleaning cloths
1 air blower cleaner
25 camera lens cleaner wipes
1 lens cleaning pen
1 lens brush
1 traveling pouch
Check the latest price here

The Vexko Camera Lens Cleaning Kit is a 9-item professional lens cleaning solution. This kit is perfect for keeping your camera and lenses clean and free of dust and debris.

The kit comes with an air blower cleaner and a lens cleaning pen. The air blower is ideal for quickly removing unwanted particles from your lenses or camera body, while the lens cleaning pen is excellent for gently removing fingerprints or smudges from the delicate front elements of your lenses.

The lens cleaner solution and microfiber cloths will help you clean the lens, while the sensor cleaning swabs will allow you to keep the camera sensor free of dust.

The items in the kit are made from natural ingredients, and the kit has everything you need for lens cleaning.

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2. Altura Photo Professional Lens Cleaning Kit

Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras and Sensitive Electronics Bundle with 2oz Altura Photo Spray Lens and LCD Cleaner

Photo Lens Cleaner
Lens Cleaning Pen
Lens Brush
Air Blower Cleaner
Camera Cleaning Tissue Paper
Microfibers Cleaning Cloths
Check the latest price here

The Vexko Camera Lens Cleaning Kit is a 9-item professional lens cleaning solution. This kit is perfect for keeping your camera and lenses clean and free of dust and debris.

The kit comes with an air blower cleaner and a lens cleaning pen. The air blower is ideal for quickly removing unwanted particles from your lenses or camera body, while the lens cleaning pen is excellent for gently removing fingerprints or smudges from the delicate front elements of your lenses.

The lens cleaner solution and microfiber cloths will help you clean the lens, while the sensor cleaning swabs will allow you to keep the camera sensor free of dust.

The items in the kit are made from natural ingredients, and the kit has everything you need for lens cleaning.

Check Latest Price & Reviews


3. Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit

Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit,black

LENSPEN standard
LENSPEN micro
Dry anti-fog cloth
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Carrying Case
Check the latest price here

The Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit includes a LENSPEN standard, LENSPEN micro, Dry anti-fog cloth, and Microfiber Cleaning cloth. The zippered carrying case with a belt loop makes it easy to take with you on the go.

The kit comes with two Lens Pens, one for cleaning and one for polishing. The cleaning pen has a soft brush that safely removes dust and dirt, and the polishing pen has a special non-abrasive tip that wipes away fingerprints and smudges.

The small form factor and the carrying pouch make it the perfect lens cleaning kit for landscape and travel photographers.

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4. K&F Concept 23-in-1 Professional Camera Cleaning Kit

K&F Concept 23-in-1 Professional Camera Cleaning Kit for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras with APS-C & Full-Frame Sensor Swabs/Air Blower/Lens Cleaning Pen/Lens Brush/Microfiber Cleaning Cloths/Carry Case

Microfiber Cloths
Air Blower
Lens Pen
Lens Brush
Sensor Swabs
Antistatic Glove
Carrying Bag
Check the latest price here

The K&F Concept 23-in-1 Professional Camera Cleaning Kit comes with microfiber cloths, an air blower, a lens pen, and a lens brush. This kit is the ideal solution for keeping your camera and lens clean and in good condition. The microfiber cloths are great for cleaning the lenses and body of the camera, while the air blower can help remove dust from hard-to-reach places. The lens pen and brush are perfect for getting rid of fingerprints and smudges on the lens.

The sensor cleaning swabs are designed to remove dust and dirt from your sensor, and the antistatic gloves help keep your hands clean while you’re working. This kit also comes with a carrying case so that you can keep everything organized and in one place.

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5. Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit

Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit

Microfiber Cloths
Air Blaster
Lipstick-style Cleaning Brush
Cleaning Fluid
Moistened Lens Wipes
Check the latest price here

The Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit comes with wet and dry lens cleaning solutions.

Dry lens cleaning tools include an air blaster and a lipstick-style cleaning brush. The air blaster will remove any dust or debris from your lenses, while the lipstick-style cleaning brush will help to remove any smudges or fingerprints.

Wet lens cleaning solution includes a 1 oz bottle of cleaning fluid and 10 individually-wrapped pre-moistened lens wipes. The cleaning fluid and wipes are safe for all lenses and delicate lens coating surfaces.

The Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit also comes with a travel case.

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6. LensPen NLP-1

LensPen NLP-1 , Black

New design
New twist cap activator
Retractable ultra soft natural brush
Ergonomic body
Good for 500 cleanings
Check the latest price here

The latest LensPen NLP-1 has a new and improved patented design. The carbon cleaning compound allows for more cleaning without fluids. Carbon absorbs large amounts of oils, making this pen perfect for keeping your lenses pristine.

Its compact size makes it easy to take with you on the go, and it doesn’t have an expiration date. Each pen is suitable for up to 500 cleanings.

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7. ZEISS Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes

ZEISS Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes, 200 Count

Pre-moistened
Safe for anti-reflective coating
Leave no streaks or residue
Individually wrapped

Check the latest price here

I like these ZEISS Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes because they gently clean lenses and are safe for lens anti-reflective coating. I don’t have to worry about streaks or residue because the wipes don’t leave any. Plus, they’re guaranteed not to scratch my lenses. I appreciate that they’re individually wrapped and disposable too.

I never leave my house without a couple of Zeis wipes stashed in my camera bag.

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8. ROR Optical Lens Cleaner

ROR Optical Lens Cleaner 2 Oz Spray Bottle

2 oz Spray Bottle
Lens coating safe
Leaving no streaks or smears

Check the latest price here

If you’ve ever tried cleaning your lens with a shirt or bare hands, you know how frustrating it can be to eliminate all the smudges and fingerprints without damaging lens coating.

ROR optical lens cleaner is here to help. This product is designed to clean your lenses quickly and easily, without leaving any streaks or smears behind. Simply spray the cleaner on your lenses and wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth. ROR optical lens cleaner is safe for all types of lenses, even with a delicate anti-flare coating. This compact portable cleaner will fit in any camera bag or pocket.

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What To Do With Dust Inside A Lens

Every photographer has a moment when they look into a lens and see dust inside and immediately go into panic mode. Our lenses are the most critical part of our camera, after all, and the dust must be affecting image quality!

The truth is that dust inside a lens is entirely normal. While very high amounts of dust can be a problem, generally, it is benign. Even a brand new lens fresh from the factory will have some dust particles inside. The reason for this is that the lens body is not airtight. It “breathes” when you zoom in or out or adjust the focus ring. As the elements move inside, air rushes into and out of the lens body. If not, the air pressure would make it impossible to adjust the lens more than a tiny amount. This air movement is what causes dust to enter your lens.

We can certainly reduce the amount of dust that gets into our gear by cleaning properly and storing our lenses capped and put away in a sealed bag or box. One thing that is often overlooked is cleaning the inside of your gear bag. Removing everything from your bag and vacuuming it out can reduce dust and dirt coming in contact with your gear.

So what can you do about dust inside your lens? Honestly, not much.

Some companies do offer a service where you can send in a lens and get it cleaned and refurbished. However, this comes with a significant price tag, and it is generally more cost-efficient to replace the lens instead.

Dust inside camer lens

Under no circumstances should you open your lens and try to clean it yourself. First of all, it will void any warranty. Second, you will most likely be unable to reassemble the lens correctly, as it requires an exact measuring of distances between the elements. Third, unless you have a very advanced cleanroom set-up, you would probably get more dust in the lens than you got out.

The good news is that the dust will not affect image quality. The only dust that will show up in your images is dust on the sensor. Dust on the sensor would need to be removed, but it is an entirely different topic we will address in another article.

Best Camera Lens Cleaning Kit | Conclusion

So, in conclusion, try not to clean your lenses unless it is genuinely needed. If small amounts of debris get on the front or rear element, you can brush it off with a soft bristle brush or a blower. If you need to clean the lens, make sure that you are using the proper tools and do it correctly.

Get a camera lens cleaning kit and keep it in your camera bag at all times.

Dust inside the lens is normal and will not affect image quality unless it becomes extreme. You can try to reduce the amount of dust that gets into your gear by keeping it sealed up when not in use and cleaning regularly. Do not try and remove dirt or clean the inside of a lens yourself, and never take the lens apart.

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by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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