How to clean the camera lens on your phone

We have all been there. You go to take a quick shot with your phone, and the photo looks blurry, so you grab your shirt, blow on the lens and give the camera a rub to get a sharper shot. While the occasional buffing with a soft piece of clothing shouldn’t cause any damage, there are better ways to clean your camera lens, and here’s how.

Four ways to clean the camera lens in your mobile phone

Camera lens cleaning brush and microfiber cloth

image rights: Pixels

1. Use a cleaning pen to remove dust

If you have a dusty phone camera lens, a quick brush with a cleaning pen or similar soft brush is usually all it takes. Cleaning pens come in different shapes and sizes. Some have a finer brush end while others have wider, thinner brush ends. Use the right size and say goodbye to dust.

If you don’t want to buy a cleaning pen, then A CleaningAnd the A soft makeup brush will do the same job.

2. Use a microfiber cloth to remove smudges

If the camera lens is blurry because it is covered with fingerprints, you will need a gentle polishing with a microfiber cloth. Unlike tissues that can leave dust particles on the lens, a microfiber cloth wipes smudges without leaving lint behind.

If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, any soft cloth will do a similar job as long as it’s not been washed in fabric softener (fabric softener can leave streaks on the camera lens).

3. Use a squeegee for more stubborn dirt

If you handle your camera lens after eating chicken wings, or it’s simply too rubbing to quickly rub with a rag, you’ll want to give lens wiping a try. Lens wipes are infused with lens cleaner making it more effective against stubborn grease and dirt.

Don’t regularly use wet wipes on the camera lens, as they often contain softeners that make the lens greasy.

4. Use a lens cleaner or homemade cleaner

Finally, if you don’t have lens wipes, you can use a dedicated lens cleaner, or a homemade version, on the corner of a microfiber cloth or soft tissue. Lens cleaners tend to be dilute alcohol solutions.

If you don’t want to buy a lens cleaner, you can make your own by mixing a 50:50 ratio of 70% isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. If you want a smudge-free finish, don’t use tap water.


How to remove condensation from the camera lens on your phone

iPhone camera lens close-up

image rights: Unsplash

Not all smartphones have an IP rating, especially if they are not flagships. If the camera lens is foggy on the inside, this means that moisture has managed to penetrate the camera housing and collect on the inside of the camera lens.

To get rid of this fog, you will need to dry your phone, which helps to get rid of the moisture. The easiest way to do this is to put your phone in an airtight container of silica gel or uncooked rice. These products draw moisture from your phone in approximately 24 hours.

While your phone has a nice dry rice bath, it’s best to turn it off in case the moisture gets deeper than you think, and it can cause issues with your device’s internal electronics.

While it may be tempting to put your phone on the radiator or blow it with a hair dryer, high temperatures can do more harm than good. If your phone’s camera lens is still foggy after spending the night on rice or silica gel, you’d better take it to a repair shop. Unless you know what you’re doing, we advise against taking apart your phone to clear condensation from the inner side of the camera lens (and depending on your phone, this may even require disassembling the camera module itself, in which case putting it back together becomes noticeably more difficult).

How to protect the camera lenses on your phones

If you want to keep the camera lens of your phone in good condition for as long as possible, it is worth looking into lens protectors as well. Screen protector for your phone To protect the front camera. Lens protectors adhere to the camera lens glass and will protect it from scratches. Although they will also get dirty eventually, the main drawback is that you can easily replace them.

If you don’t want to use a lens protector but want to keep your phone’s camera lens free from scratches, a raised case will help keep the camera lens glass away from rough surfaces.


How not to clean the camera lens on your phone

iPhone on a black table with water drops

We’ve covered how to clean the viewfinder and how to get rid of condensation from under the glass; Now it’s time to talk about how not to clean your phone’s camera.

1. Do not use household glass cleaner

Household glass cleaners like Windex are often too harsh for the thin coating of your phone’s camera lens. Stay away from them and use only products designed specifically for lenses.

2. Do not use rough clothes

Microfiber clothing is soft for a reason. The rougher the fabric you use, the higher the chance of scratching the camera lens. This also applies to the use of soiled clothing. Soiled clothing may already contain trapped granules, which can then be rubbed into the viewfinder.

3. Do not use tap water

Finally, while distilled water is hard to buy, if you’re looking for a streak-free finish, you need to invest in the good stuff. Tap water contains minerals and other impurities that are left on your screen, leaving marks or residue that can make your camera lens look dirty.

If in doubt, let the professionals do it

You may have noticed that we didn’t mention cleaning the inside of the camera lens for good reason. If your camera lens needs cleaning from the inside, we highly recommend taking it to a professional. Opening your phone’s camera housing will prevent it from being watertight and could open up a whole can of worms. If in doubt, let someone with experience do it for you. Unfortunately, condensation can build up on IP rated phones, and depending on the exact problem, the solution may be to either leave it alone or send it in for repairs. Giving advice becomes more difficult without knowing the exact facts of the case, so we recommend that you take a look at an expert.


If you need more help, we also have guides for you How to clean your phone screen And the How to clean the speaker grille of your phone.