Tips on how to keep your DSLR camera sensor clean and dust free

If your camera’s sensor isn’t clean, both the image quality and the mechanical functionality of your camera could be compromised. There are many products out there designed to clean the sensor and other electronic components of your camera. But what is the best way to keep your camera’s sensor clean?

Because it is electro-statically charged, the sensor attracts dust and other airborne particles. Any dust in the area around the sensor is easily drawn to it, eventually sticking to the sensor and causing a problem. As time goes on, any non static sensitive debris also attaches itself to the sensor. Therefore, the problem is twofold: preventively keeping the sensor clean and finding a safe and effective way to clean the sensor.

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Keeping your Camera Equipment Clean

One of the best things you can do is to keep your camera equipment as clean as possible. Two things you should always have in your kit are an anti static brush and a lint-less, status-resistant cloth. Keep the body clean by wiping it down with the cloth and removing debris from the lens with the brush will help to keep things like dust and sand out of the nooks and crannies of your camera. As an added precaution, it’s a good idea to cover your camera with a disposable rain cover. When you finish using your camera equipment for the day, clean your equipment. It’s also an excellent idea to keep a lens cap on your camera at all times.

Changing Lenses

When changing from one lens to another, use extra caution. When you remove the lens assembly, it’s very easy for dust particles to get into the camera. When you remove your lens, do so with the LCD display pointing upwards, not resting on a table. It’s always easier to clean the lens of your camera than it is to clean the sensor. When you remove your lens, place it lens cap side down while you affix the new lens.

You will still have to clean your Sensor at one point

Now that we have examined these preventative measures you can use to keep your camera sensor clean, it’s important to understand that no matter what we do, no matter how diligent we are, at some point or another we are going to have to clean the sensor. The camera is comprised of many different moving parts, parts that rub against each other, allowing dust and other particles to get in.

The trouble is this: How do you go about safely cleaning your camera’s sensor. Many camera stores offer cleaning services, but that can be costly and it’s important to know how to do it yourself. There are lots of online tutorials for sensor cleaning, but not all tutorials are created equal. Be sure you are following reputable instructions, or you could cause your camera serious damage! If you aren’t comfortable cleaning your sensor yourself, it may be a good idea to have it professionally cleaned, or to have an expert show you how to do it. 

For more information about these and other electronic components, check out

Image: Shutterstock

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