Yes, you can (and should) clean your phone camera lens– here’s how

In other posts I explained how high-quality smartphone cameras have opened up the real possibility of shooting with smartphones exclusively. Whether you use your smartphone as your go-to camera or for day-to-day moments, your camera phone lens is likely to get dirty quickly. And I’ve had more than a few smartphone photos impacted by a dirty lens. Here’s what you can do to keep that little piece of glass on your phone clean.

How to clean a smartphone camera properly

  • A microfiber cloth is best for cleaning the camera. You can’t go wrong with a clean, wet cloth, either. You can alternatively use any camera lens cleaning kit.
  • For best results, use glass cleaner and a cotton swab. However, spray the glass cleaner onto the cotton swab beforehand and not directly onto the smartphone.
  • If you don’t have all that at hand, you can also use other materials. These should not contain lint or coarse fibers. If you want to be very precise, however, you should not use a handkerchief. Small wood particles could scratch the glass under certain circumstances.
  • I personally use a special camera lens cleaning paper that contains no lint or fibers

This is a situation where a bit of spit and your T-shirt could provide a quick fix, but this might scratch your glass in the long-run.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. The most important thing when cleaning is to be careful. The camera lens is a sensitive instrument that can quickly get scratched.
  2. Lay your smartphone flat with the display on a surface that will not scratch it.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth and carefully wipe the lens of the iPhone X in small circular motions.
  4. If coarse dust is already noticeable in advance, try to remove it by blowing or using a brush first.
  5. Alternatively, you can also use an eyeglass cleaning cloth to carefully remove fine grease spots.
  6. If you do not have one at hand, it is also sufficient to moisten the cloth with warm water and carefully run it over the lens.


Cleaning in and around the camera

Close-up of a phone camera lens
Constantly grabbing your phone is bound to make the camera lens dirty. Cleaning it can improve the quality of your photos.
  • With some smartphones, the daily dust and dirt from your pocket also collects inside the device. If you can easily open the device, you should also clean the camera from the inside.
  • If you have removed the back of the smartphone, clean the back of the glass. You can also clean the glass of the lens. However, be especially careful here.

A warning for Galaxy S8 owners

Some owners of smartphones with fingerprint readers near the camera have complained of constantly dirty lenses. Samsung has confirmed that the fingerprint scanner on the back of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is positioned incorrectly nin this way. So not only does the camera get dirty with fingerprints quickly, but you should be especially careful when cleaning the camera lens on a Galaxy S8 so as not to scratch the fingerprint sensor.

With this model the smartphone actually recognizes when the camera on the back is dirty and tells the user to clean it. So you’ll always know when it’s too dirty!

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