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How To Clean Security Camera Lens

how to clean security camera lens

Have you ever wondered why your security footage looks blurry or grainy, even though you have a high-quality camera? The answer might be as simple as a dirty lens!

A dirty camera lens can hinder your camera's effectiveness, making it difficult for users to identify people or objects via video footage. That's why you should clean your security camera lens regularly.

In this guide, we'll show you how to clean your camera lens step by step, including the materials you'll need and tips for maintaining a clean lens. Keep reading to know more!

The Necessity of Having A Clean Camera Lens

Security cameras provide essential safety and surveillance for businesses, homes, and other locations. Having a clean lens is absolutely essential to ensuring that the footage provided by these cameras is clear and accurate.

Dust and debris can build up on your CCTV camera's lens over time, reducing its clarity and potentially impairing its ability to detect movements. This could cause misidentification or inaccurate alerts, essentially compromising the entire security system's reliability.

Without a clean lens, the images captured by the security camera could be distorted or blurry, making it difficult to identify individuals moving in and out of a particular area. More details would be lost such as clothing features and license plate numbers.

In addition, dirty security camera lenses can look messy and unprofessional. This can lead potential intruders to believe that your camera is not frequently used or that it is fake, which would increase their intention to break into your house.

For all these reasons, it is always important to make sure that your security cameras have clean lenses. Regularly cleaning them will help ensure that your cameras are working at optimal levels and your property is firmly protected.

For professional photographers seeking an effective solution to clean their lenses, explore our advanced internal lens dusting method.

The Right Way to Clean CCTV Camera Lens: Step-By-Step Guide

Cleaning CCTV camera lenses requires proper technique to avoid damaging the lens or the camera itself. In this step-by-step guide, we will discuss the right way to clean your security camera lens.

Step 1: Prepare the tools

First and foremost, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for cleaning your camera lens.

What you may need:

  • Microfiber cloths: This kind of cloth is more effective than other materials and won't scratch the lens.
  • Lens cleaning solution: The specialized liquid helps clean and maintain the surface of camera lenses without damaging the lenses or their coatings.
  • Compressed air (or a vacuum cleaner): It removes debris without touching the lens.
  • A blower brush (optional): It can be used to remove dust and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
  • A security camera cleaning pole (optional): This tool can help you clean security cameras mounted in hard-to-reach places without having to use a ladder or other climbing equipment.

Step 2: Turn off the camera

Before starting the cleaning process, ensure that your security camera is turned off to avoid any damage to the device or the lens. Also, you'd better make sure that the camera is unplugged from the power source.

Editor's Note: It is not recommended that you take apart your camera to clean the stains inside. We only suggest you clean the outside of your camera and the lens. If you're unsure about cleaning the camera yourself, it's best to contact the manufacturer for guidance or hire a professional to do the job.

Step 3: Clean the camera and lens

If there is a lot of dirt or debris on the outside of your dome or bullet security camera, you can use a soft brush to gently sweep it away. Avoid using anything abrasive like tissue paper or paper towels as these could potentially scratch or damage the lens surface.

Then you can use canned air to gently blow any dust or debris off the lens and surrounding areas. Take care not to focus on one area for too long as this can cause friction which can impact picture quality over time.

Once you have removed loose dirt, it's time to apply the microfiber cloth. Apply a few drops of lens cleaning solution onto a microfiber cloth. Gently wipe the lens with the cloth using a circular motion, starting from the center and working your way outwards. Do not apply too much pressure as this can scratch the lens.

Finally, dry off any remaining moisture from the lens surface with another dry microfiber cloth. You should be careful not to rub too hard and risk scratching the lens.

Step 4: Reconnect the camera

After you have cleaned the lens, now you should securely connect the cables before turning back on the power source for your CCTV camera.

Ensure that you securely tighten any screws or fasteners that you may have removed during the cleaning process.

Things You Should Not Do When Cleaning Camera Lens

When cleaning a security camera lens, there are certain things you should avoid doing to prevent damaging the lens or affecting the camera's performance.

Here are some useful tips for you:

  • Don't use harsh chemicals. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning agents, as they can damage the lens coating or leave streaks on the lens.

  • Don't use abrasive materials. You'd better not use abrasive materials like scouring pads, paper towels, or tissues, as they can scratch the lens surface and cause permanent damage.

  • Don't blow directly onto the lens. Never blow directly into your lens since this could potentially cause dust particles to get lodged inside your camera.

  • Don't touch the lens with your fingers. Touching the lens with your fingers can leave oil, fingerprints, or smudges that can affect the quality of the footage. Always use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the lens.

  • Don't apply too much pressure. Applying too much pressure while cleaning the lens can damage the lens. Instead, you should use a gentle, circular motion to wipe the lens.

  • Don't clean the camera in extreme weather conditions. Avoid cleaning the camera lens in extreme weather conditions, such as during heavy rain, snow, or strong winds, as this can damage the camera or put you at risk of injury.

By avoiding these actions, you can safely and effectively clean your security camera lens, ensuring that it performs well in protecting your property.

How Long Should You Clean Camera Lens

The frequency at which you should clean your security camera lens depends on various factors, such as the environment, weather conditions, and the quality of the lens. Generally speaking, it is recommended to clean your security camera lens at least once every three months.

If you live in an area with a lot of dust, pollution, or heavy rainfall, you may need to clean your camera lens more frequently, perhaps every month.

Similarly, if you notice that the lens has smudges or fingerprints, you should clean it as soon as possible to maintain the clarity of the footage.

Meanwhile, you can also check whether there are any obstructive objects near your CCTV camera, such as tree branches or spider webs. Keeping the area around the camera clean can reduce the amount of debris that will accumulate on the lens.

In a word, regularly cleaning your security camera lens will ensure that it captures clear and sharp footage, providing you with reliable security monitoring.


How do I know if my security camera lens needs cleaning?

The image quality can be the most obvious sign. If the images are blurry and hazy, or there are visible smudges or dirt, it may be time to clean the lens. Additionally, if you notice a decrease in the clarity of the image, it could be a sign that the lens needs cleaning.

It's a good idea to regularly check and clean your security camera so that it can perform at the optimal level all the time.

Can I clean the camera lens while it's still mounted?

Yes, but it's not recommended as a routine practice because it's more challenging to clean all areas of the camera lens. If you decide to do so, you can use special cleaning tools, such as a lens cleaning pole or an extension wand, to reach the lens properly. Additionally, you should make sure that the camera is turned off before cleaning the lens to avoid any accidents.

Meanwhile, it's important to be cautious and make sure not to damage the camera or surrounding area during the cleaning process.

Can I clean dust from inside the camera lens?

It is not advisable to try cleaning the dust inside the camera lens by yourself. Doing so can void the warranty and there is a high probability that you may not be able to reassemble it correctly.

Most camera lenses are fairly well sealed and generally do not have a lot of dust built up in them. If you assume the dust accumulation is affecting your images, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer and inquire about a reasonable solution.

How to defog a security camera lens?

To defog a security camera lens, you can follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the camera: Before removing the condensation on the lens, turn off the camera to avoid any damage or accidents.

  2. Remove any visible moisture: Use a soft, dry microfiber cloth to wipe away any visible moisture on the lens and camera housing. Avoid using any abrasive material that could scratch the lens.

  3. Use a hairdryer: You can use a hairdryer on a low, cool setting to blow air over the lens and camera housing. This can help evaporate any remaining moisture.

  4. Utilize anti-fog solutions: Apply an anti-fog solution to the lens, according to the manufacturer's instructions. This can help prevent fog from forming on the lens in the future.

You can check this article about Security Camera Condensation Causes & Solutions to know more.


To sum up, cleaning your security camera lens is an important task that should not be overlooked. A dirty or smudged lens can negatively affect image quality and impair the effectiveness of your security system.

By following the steps and bonus tips in this guide, you can easily keep your camera lens free of dirt and debris. Don't forget to clean your camera lens regularly and keep your property safe. Start taking action now!


All Comments Are Welcome

Aoli is an editor from Reolink. She loves to share her thoughts about how to enhance home security and helps anyone in need.