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Tips & Tricks

How To Clean Your Camera’s Sensor

By Hanssie on February 11th 2016

Sensor cleaning is a daunting task, but a necessary one. There are six dozen opinions on how to do it and how to do it properly. But should you even do it yourself?

You can go the spendy route of taking it in to have it done by a professional, ignore it until you no longer can ignore it anymore or figure out how to safely and carefully do it yourself. In any case, sensor cleaning is a must for your DSLR as your sensor will collect dust and will plague your images with unwanted spots.

In the following video from AdoramaTV, photographer Doug McKinlay shows us how to clean your camera’s sensor – or rather the low-pass filter in front of the sensor. The tools you need are a blower, a statically charged cleaning brush, cleaning fluid, cleaning swabs, a lens cloth, a small light (headlamp or flashlight), a bright white surface or clear blue sky, and a small zoom or 50mm lens, like the Canon 50mm f/1.4 shown in the video).


Doug talks about two methods of cleaning your sensor – the dry method and the wet method. (Personally, the wet method is too scary for me to even fathom, but I’m a wimp). Even watching him stick the cleaning brush in the sensor makes me uneasy, but I do admit that this video was helpful to me to see him break it down step by step.

He warns that before you begin cleaning, make sure your camera’s battery is fully charged otherwise you run the risk of the mirror dropping and shutter closing while you’re in the middle of cleaning. The video is full of small common sense tips that I personally never thought of.


There are many methods regarding how to properly clean your sensor, and this is only one way. How do you clean your sensors?

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bob Davis

    Nice video for reference…

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  2. Colin Woods

    I paid for a sticky pad on a stick that was supposed to be a marvel. Luckily I practised first on my retired D300 – it made more of mess than ever and took ages to clean up with the always reliable wet method (though the little cloth is just damp rather than wet). So $70 dollars wiser, its the damp PecPad wipe for me.

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  3. Justin Haugen

    Can of compressed air, as I laugh in blatant disregard for all the naysayers who warn me of frozen damaged sensors! MUAHAHAHHA

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