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How to Clean the Dust Out of Your Camera

Dust in camera equipment can cause significant problems to camera quality and performance. If you are looking for ways to remove the dust from your camera, then this blog post is for you! We will walk through how to clean out your camera lens or camera body, how to remove dust on your camera sensor, and other tips on minimizing the amount of dust in your camera.

How Does Dust Get Into A Camera?

The camera lens is a very important part of your camera. It helps to capture the image you want and provides user with different options for taking photographs depending on their needs or wants.

Dust gets into cameras through many ways, but the main cause is changing lenses in outdoor situations where dust and debris are prevalent. Another reason why dirt enters your camera is by not using a camera bag when transporting equipment from one location to another – this exposes it to buildup of foreign particles along with other elements such as water. If you own an interchangeable lens camera (ILC), then chances are that most of your time spent traveling will be within airplane cabins which further increases the likelihood of getting dust inside your camera body – especially if you walk around carrying all of your camera gear in one bag.

Another way that dust gets into a camera is if you don’t place a mount cap on your camera body and leave it exposed.

How Does Dust Impact Camera Performance?

As you might have guessed, camera dust can impact camera performance in a number of ways. First off, the camera lens is often exposed to tiny particles that may become lodged between your camera lens and camera body – which could lead to scratches on both surfaces as well as impaired image quality due to small air bubbles created. This also means that it’s more likely for dust or other foreign matter from entering into your camera sensor when changing lenses out doors where there are many airborne pollutants such as pollen or dirt.

In addition to this – if too much build up occurs inside your camera body, then it will affect how quickly autofocus works because the motor needs space around the moving parts so they don’t get caught on anything else preventing them from moving freely. The camera sensor can also be impacted by dust – which will lead to images appearing blurry every time you try and take a picture because the camera shake caused when focusing is exacerbated due to there being small particles between your camera lens and camera body that are not letting light pass through clearly.

Do I Need To Clean The Dust Out Of My Camera?

It’s nearly impossible to not get dust in your camera. The question is whether it’s affecting your ability to compose images, or if dust can be seen in your images.

It’s worth noting that dust in your camera is completely fine. If you answer either of these two questions with “No” and it’s not a problem to simply overlook it, remember that the presence of dust within your camera is acceptable. Of course, maintaining and cleaning your camera on a regular basis is a good habit, but being obsessive about dirt will only disappoint you. However, if your response to these questions is “Yes,” then it’s critical to figure out how to remove dust efficiently.

Cleaning Dust Out Of Your Camera Body

Below we’ll walk through two solutions for cleaning dust out of your camera.

Self-Cleaning Mode

The first option is to use the camera’s self-cleaning mode. This is typically found on camera models that have built-in sensor cleaning. On these camera models, you’ll find a switch or menu option where the camera will run its own self-cleaning mechanism to remove particles from the camera itself. This is usually done by shaking your camera’s sensor with some force so it can knock off any dust currently stuck onto the surface of your camera body.

You should only use this option if there isn’t something wrong with your images and you don’t see debris when reviewing them in Lightroom (or whatever software program you’re using). If most of your photos are blurry, then this means more than just dirt has made its way into your camera – which likely means that more drastic measures need to be taken.

If you’re not sure about whether to use this method yourself – take it in! This way will ensure your camera remains safe and sound after performing some general dust removal procedures. On top of this – everything listed below is fairly simple and most camera owners will be able to do this with little trouble.

Manually Cleaning Your Camera Body:

If your camera’s self-cleaning option isn’t working or if you want to get a more thorough clean, then the second alternative is going to be slightly more involved. Before doing this though, it should be noted that there are professional camera body cleaning services out there for those who don’t feel comfortable sticking their fingers into all sorts of different parts on a camera without knowing how they work inside and what risks might come from tampering with them.

  1. The mirror should be locked for cleaning using fresh batteries, according to the manufacturers. If you have an AC adaptor, you may use it.
  2. After turning on your camera, go to your camera’s sensor cleaning menu and turn on “manual cleaning mode”. It may be named something like Self Cleaning, Mirror Up, or Mirror Lock Up.
  3. It’s not necessary to self-clean. While you may raise the mirror and put it out of the way, you’ll have to blow yourself. The camera may shake the sensor during this stage to shake off dust, which is acceptable.
  4. Make sure the mirror is up and the lens is off. Check to see whether the mirror has been raised. If you can’t raise the mirror after trying everything in this step, replace the lens or body cap and turn off the camera. Begin again at Step 2 and work your way down. You may need to send your camera to a service center if you can’t get the mirror to rise even though you’re using the correct menu.
  5. Change the position of the camera so that the aperture is facing or slanted downward. When you blow into the camera, this makes it simpler for dust to fall out.
  6. Take a blower and squeeze-blow air into the cavity three or four times. The blower isn’t a vacuum cleaner. Even with the lens mount or just outside the camera, you may get plenty of air movement by hovering the tip of the blower over the sensor.
  7. Don’t use a can of air spray. Don’t use a blower brush, either. Squeeze the end of your blower instead of using your hand. Don’t procrastinate. The longer you leave the camera open, the more dust may return in it.
  8. Turn on your camera and take a few practice shots. To check whether there are any dust spots in the sky or on your ceiling, use a small aperture and shoot. You can clean the sensor yourself or send in the camera for maintenance if it does.

Minimizing Dust Getting Into Your Camera

Now that you’ve cleaned the dust out of your camera, let’s look into some ways that you can minimize dust build up in the future.

Putting A Cap On Your Camera Mount

The camera cap is a great way to minimize dust from getting sucked into your camera body. When you remove the lens, it’s best if you put the camera mount through its paces and snap on the camera cover as soon as possible after removing your camera glass.

Cleaning Your Body Cap

If you don’t have a camera cap or if the one that came with your camera doesn’t work, then consider purchasing an aftermarket camera body cover. If this isn’t in your budget either, then it’s always best to keep your camera in its original packaging until you’re ready to use it.

Avoid Swapping Lenses In Dirty Conditions

While camera body caps are great at keeping dust out of your camera, it’s best to not swap lenses in dirty conditions. If you’re shooting outdoors and the camera is exposed to dirt or sand, then don’t put the lens off until you clean both surfaces.

Using a Lens Hood When Shooting Outdoors

If there aren’t any camera covers available at all times during shoot time, consider attaching an aftermarket lens hood whenever possible. The same goes if you’re using filters that attach directly onto the front element of your glass – use a filter holder that has its own built-in lens hood feature for maximum protection against accidental drops as well as potential damage from falling debris like raindrops, bugs, etc…

Cleaning Your Camera Bag

A camera bag is a great place for dust to accumulate. If you’re using a gear bag that’s inside another bigger camera case, then use compressed air from your blower and blow the camera out every few weeks.

Ziplocking Your Camera Or Lenses

If you’re camera bag doesn’t have a dust-proof seal, then consider putting your gear inside a ziplock to keep the camera and lenses from getting dusty.

Using Cleaning Cloths And Lens Tissues

Before using any cloths or tissues on camera glass, make sure that they are 100% lint free. If there’s even one piece of fabric sticking out from an item like these Kleenex brand lens tissue wipes for instance – use something else instead because it will leave behind fibers on your camera sensor which can show up as strange spots in your image files later on!

Keeping Your Camera In Dry Conditions

Make sure that your camera is kept in a dry environment when it’s not being used. If you’re camera bag doesn’t have any moisture-resistant features, then use a desiccant instead to keep the camera from getting moist or wet inside.


By following the above camera dust-prevention tips, you will be able to minimize camera sensor dust and keep your camera kit clean for years to come. And on the chance that you need to give your camera a more thorough cleaning, just follow the tips that we highlighted above and you’ll easily be able to clean your camera kit.