How to Clean the Inside Lens of a Digital Camera

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Updated February 13, 2023
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Difficulty Hard
Steps 10
Time Required 15 minutes
Things to Know

Even the best digital camera gets dust particles inside it, and photographers often want to know how to clean the inside lens of a digital camera. The cleaning process for the rear lens of the camera and eliminating dust specks there is straightforward once you know how to clean the lens of a digital camera. Unfortunately, this is all part of maintenance for a digital camera.

However, some professionals warn that you should not clean the rear lens of the camera. Provided you have finished using the camera, for now, you won’t be able to do depth of field on the digital camera until it’s cleaned and put back together. After that, you can test it by connecting the digital camera to a computer so that you can view the newly taken images on the screen.


  • You will need a plain blower, brush, lens cleaning solution, and a lens cleaning cloth.
  • To clean the lens, you should disassemble the lens when removing the dust that affects image quality.
  • Once you have taken the lens apart, you will be able to clean the lens similarly to how you would clean the outside of the camera.

Steps to Clean Inside the Lens of a Digital Camera

  1. Remove the thin plastic cover on the lens. This cover has the lens’s information, including the brand name, aperture specifications, and filter sizes. You may need to use something that can slip under the strip and move it. Once you remove the plastic strip, you access the tiny screws that hold the lens together.
  2. Unscrew the top part of the lens. As mentioned above, these screws are small, so you probably need a precision screwdriver. Again, make sure you set the pieces in a place where they won’t be lost or forgotten.
  3. Mark the top part of the lens and the top of the lens cylinder. Make sure to mark both of these items because this will help you realign the two parts of the lens when you put it back together.
  4. Disconnect the top of the lens from the lens barrel and set the lens barrel to the side. Make sure you keep the barrel within reach so it won’t knock the screws away. Also, having the barrel nearby will make it easier to reassemble the lens.
  5. Blow any dust spot or dirt off the top of the lens. By blowing the loose specks of dust particles off the top, you reduce the chance of scratching the lens with the pieces. Although the stakes are low if you use the right tools, solid objects like the brush or the lens cleaning brush can damage the glass elements.
  6. Clean any remaining specks of dust using the lens cleaning cloth. Apply the lens cleaning solution to the designated soft cloth. You can also use a lens pen or a cotton swab, both of which will help you remove dirt in hard-to-reach areas. Do not apply the cleaning solution directly to the lens since you don’t want to get any other part wet.
  7. Repeat steps five and six on the inside of the lens and the various lens elements. Additionally, you may want to clean off the outside of the lens barrel, eliminating any specks of dust that may enter the lens or camera.
  8. Place the lens in the lens barrel, aligning the marks you made. You ensure the lens is set up properly by doing this. Additionally, you should try to make the lens as level as possible.
  9. Replace the screws. This step secures the lens to the lens barrel, so you should check that you tighten the screws enough that the lens doesn’t move. You may also want to check that the screws are flat.
  10. Place the plastic ring along the top of the lens. You may want to secure the ring with some glue, making it harder to remove. You shouldn’t have to go through this process very frequently. If dust remains in the lens, you should send it in to be cleaned by a professional.

Insider Tip

Make sure you have somewhere to put the screws where they can be easily found and not lost.


What to do when there is dust inside your camera?

You can send it to professionals for dust removal, which most camera brands recommend. However, you may be able to clean the dust yourself if you are careful.

How do I avoid getting dust on my camera lens?

One of the best ways to avoid dust on a camera lens is using a lens cap and camera case. However, most cameras end up with dust, no matter how careful you are.

How do I keep my camera lens clean?

To keep your camera lens clean, you should wipe the lens with a cleaning cloth or use the plain blower after using the camera.

STAT: In 2019, digital camera accessories wholesale sales in the United States were estimated to amount to 83 million U.S. dollars. (source)

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