How to Clean a DSLR Camera

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Updated November 18, 2022

If you are new to the world of digital photography, you may want to learn how to clean a DSLR camera. Many of the best digital cameras are DSLR models, and these cameras require regular maintenance and cleaning. So why clean the best DSLR cameras, and what are the various methods to do so? Keep reading to find out.


  • Cleaning a DSLR camera is important to ensure the images are of high quality and that the gadget lasts a long time.
  • Clean the camera’s sensor to remove specks of dust using the built-in automatic cleaning mode or by using a dry air blower or wet sensor swab.
  • Clean the exterior with a dry microfiber cloth and do the same thing with the glass surface of the camera lens. It is particularly important to keep the lenses clean, and you can use a lens cleaning solution.

Do You Need to Clean Out a DSLR Camera?

If you are learning how to clean a DSLR sensor, you no doubt know the importance of keeping your camera clean. A clean DSLR camera creates fantastic photos, so you won’t have to learn how to fix a blurry DSLR camera lens. You also want to make your camera last as long as possible, especially when learning how much a DSLR camera is.

Insider Tip

A DSLR camera’s automatic cleaning mode may not sufficiently clean the image sensor.

As for which components to clean, you are benefitted from learning how DSLR cameras work. Basically, clean the sensor, the lens, the exterior, and related components.

How to Clean Your DSLR Camera?

There are various methods and steps that go toward successfully cleaning a standard DSLR camera. Unique designs, however, may require unique cleaning processes.

Don’t Forget the Sensor

DSLR sensors get dusty with repeated use, but there are many ways to clean them. Some cameras have automatic cleaning modes that basically flush out the dust from the sensor. You can also use a light air blower (do not use compressed air) to gently blow away dust from the sensor when it is exposed. Relatedly, there are dedicated sensor-cleaning wipes and sensor swabs available for purchase. Just exercise caution when using these, as sensors are delicate.

Clean the Body

Cleaning the exterior body of a DSLS is similar to when cleaning a mirrorless camera or a point-and-shoot camera body. Use a soft and dry microfiber cloth and work slowly and carefully so as to avoid damaging the various components. For persistent grime and gunk, dampen the cloth with distilled water and give it another work-over, exercising caution to avoid certain parts of the camera.

STAT: The term sensor dust is used to describe the particles or elements that enter a camera and stick to its sensor. This usually happens when the camera user exposes the sensor by removing the body cap or switching lenses. (source)

Clean the Lens

Don’t neglect the lens when cleaning the camera. Use a small blower bulb and a soft brush to remove dust and sand from the lens surface. Follow that up with a dry microfiber cloth, cleaning in a circular motion from the middle outward. Make sure to clean both the front and rear elements of the lens.

Cleaning DSLR FAQs

Where is the DSLR sensor?

It is located behind the reflex mirror, though the actual location depends on the camera. Check behind the rear element as a start. When in doubt, check the instructions so you can move on to the rest of the cleaning process.

Why clean camera lenses?

Camera lenses must be clean to reflect light accurately. Otherwise, you end up with a blurry spot or bits of dust. Use cotton swabs or cleaning kits to successfully clean camera lenses.

What is camera sensor dust?

Sensor dust is basically bits of dust that have traveled to the camera sensor. These specks are visible in photos, so use a soft cloth or a cleaning fluid for delicate surfaces.
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