How To Clean Phone Camera Lens

How To Clean Phone Camera Lens featured photo

When you have a dirty phone camera lens, you have probably used your cloth to wipe it. I am also guilty of doing this because it is the easiest way to remove dirt and smudges. However, I learned that wiping the lens on your cloth is harmful because it can scratch the glass surface.

To clean a phone camera lens properly, use a clean microfiber cloth. The soft material does not leave scratches or lint on the lens. And most importantly, it can remove the dirt and other debris stuck on the glass surface. 

Besides using a microfiber cloth, you can consider other methods of cleaning the lens. Below, I will share these five ways how to clean a phone camera lens. This article also covers what you must avoid to prevent damaging the glass.

How To Clean Camera Lens Phone? 5 Easy Methods to Try

Cleaning your phone’s camera lens can help you capture sharper and clearer images. Below are five ways to clean the glass without scratching it.

Wipe the Lens with Microfiber Cloth

Wipe the Lens with Microfiber Cloth

The most common way to clean your smartphone camera lens is to use a microfiber cloth. It contains soft threads that gently remove dust particles and fingerprints on the lens surface.

Wiping the lens with a clean microfiber cloth can also eliminate oil residue and smudges. At the same time, it does not leave lint and scratches behind.

However, before using microfiber lens cleaning cloths, ensure they have not been soaked or washed in fabric softener. This cleaner can cause streaks to appear on the glass surface, which could be challenging to clean.  

Buy a Cleaning Pen

A cleaning pen is usually enough to clean your camera lens. It comes in different sizes and shapes to meet your needs. Some cleaning pens have broad and fluffy brush ends, while others are slimmer for small lenses. But no matter their design, they are still compact enough to fit your pocket or bag. 

Choose a lens cleaning pen that suits your needs and preferences. Then, simply brush away the large dust particles on the lens surface.

An excellent alternative to a cleaning pen is a soft makeup brush. Make sure it is tidy before using it to clean a dirty iPhone or Android camera lens.

Invest in a Lens Cleaning Solution

If you are dealing with more stubborn marks, buy a dedicated lens cleaner to remove them. Pour the liquid solution onto a microfiber cloth. Then, wipe the surface as you would normally do. Expect the lens cleaning fluid to eliminate the oily residue or stuck-on filth.

However, be careful when using a lens cleaner as it can easily spill out. Do not let the lens cleaning fluid enter your lens or phone because it can damage the delicate interior parts.

Use Lens Wipes

Use Lens Wipes

You can also use a lens wipe to eliminate stubborn grease and grime stuck on the lens surface. 

These lens wipes are already soaked with a lens cleaning fluid. Hence, they offer a more convenient way to remove unwanted marks on your phone lens. 

All you need to do is pull out a wipe and rub it on the glass. Once clean, you can throw away the material. You do not have to wash a dirty cloth after, which is ideal if you are always traveling. 

Consider Compressed Air

Finally, use a can of compressed air to clean your phone’s camera lens. It does not make contact with the glass surface. Hence, it can eliminate the chances of scratching the lens.

To use compressed air for lens cleaning, read the instructions on the can. You likely need to give the can a good shake. 

Next, hold the can several meters away from your iPhone or Android phone to prevent damage from pressure. Ensure the nozzle is facing the lens.

Then, spray quick bursts of compressed air to blow out stuck-on dust particles. Keep releasing the air until you do not see dust and sand on the camera lens.

After cleaning the camera lens, you can use your phone again to take photos and videos.

What Do You Need to Avoid When Cleaning a Phone Camera Lens?

Cleaning a phone camera lens is relatively straightforward. However, you must avoid certain cleaning practices and materials to prevent lens damage.

Below, I will talk about what you should NOT do when cleaning your camera.

Can I Use Alcohol to Clean a Dirty Camera Lens?

This is one of the most common questions about lens cleaning. And there are conflicting answers on the web. Some people use them to eliminate debris and sticky residue on the camera lenses, while others caution you against it.

I am part of those who advise against using alcohol to clean a phone camera lens. That is because alcohol is a harsh material that can strip off the lens coating. The liquid can eventually damage the lens. You must also avoid other chemicals because they can degrade the overall lens quality. Stick with microfiber cloths or any of the cleaning methods above.

Can I Use Tissues to Clean a Dirty Camera Lens?

Tissues have rough fibers that could scratch and damage your phone’s camera lens. They can also leave sheddings that attract more dust to the glass surface. So avoid using facial tissues and toilet paper when cleaning a dirty camera lens. Instead, gently wipe the iPhone and Android camera lens.  

Can I Use a Domestic Glass Cleaner to Clean a Camera Phone Lens?

Similar to alcohol, domestic glass cleaners can be too harsh on the lens coating. They can damage the lens over time, ultimately leading to costly repair or replacement. Steer clear of these harsh chemicals and use the appropriate products instead when cleaning a smartphone camera.

Can I Use Tap Water to Clean a Camera Phone Lens?

You may feel tempted to use tap water to remove the stubborn smudges on your phone lens. However, tap water contains minerals and other impurities. So even if it eliminates the oily residue, it could leave streaks on the lens surface. Water can also enter your lens or phone, ultimately damaging the internal parts.

Stick with the lens wipes method and other safe ways of cleaning a dirty camera phone lens. You will thank me later. 

How To Protect Your Phone Camera Lens?

You can use a phone case to protect the rear camera lens of your phone. Consider a model with a raised back to keep the glass from touching the rough surface.

You can also stick lens protectors to the glass surface to minimize scratches. You will notice that this camera lens protector eventually gets dirty, but you can easily replace it. Also, note that this lens protector might require a rear lens cap if it does not have built-in adhesive sticker. 

Meanwhile, having a screen protector on your phone can keep the front camera clean and scratch-free. It can even minimize the chances of a broken screen when you accidentally drop your phone.

Finally, consider getting a rear lens cap to protect your phone’s camera lens.

Doing all these tips can keep your lens in excellent condition for as long as possible.

How To Remove Condensation From the Phone Camera Lens?

If you are taking pictures outside in cold weather with your mobile phone, you might notice foggy and unclear images. That could mean moisture has already penetrated the camera lens.

You must dry your phone to remove condensation from the camera lens. There are various ways to draw out this moisture. One of the easiest methods to do is to place your phone in an airtight container. Put silica gel packets or uncooked rice inside to extract moisture within 24 hours. Make sure to turn off your phone to minimize damage.

Avoid placing your phone in extremely hot temperatures because they can damage the lens surface. So no matter how desperate you are, do not use a hairdryer or radiator. Allow the moisture to dry naturally over time. 

You should also avoid disassembling the phone to wipe the camera lens from the inside. You risk doing more harm than good. Plus, you might find it challenging to put all the components back together.

Can You Fix Scratches on Your Phone Lens?

You can fix and remove minor lens scratches on your own at home. Use petroleum jelly to correct small scuffs on the plastic lens. If you have a glass phone lens, consider a soft eraser. Avoid those abrasive and coarse erasers because they can do more harm than good.

Those who badly damaged their phone camera lenses have no choice but to replace them. Go to a reputable phone or camera store and ask them to install a new lens.


It could be frustrating to take photos with a dirty camera lens. Clean it if you want to capture clear, detailed pictures.

The most common way to clean a phone camera lens is to use a microfiber cloth. It can remove dirt and smudges without scratching the delicate glass surface. You can also try other lens cleaning methods listed in this article.

Do you know other ways to clean a phone camera lens? Feel free to share your thoughts via our contact page!