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Caring for All Kinds of Lenses

What All Lenses Have In Common

A lens may be made of glass, plastic or some space age material.  This will be true no matter where they are found: eyeglasses, binoculars or cameras. In addition, some lenses have coatings to improve their optics.  Dust is the enemy of every lens.  It consists of silica, among other materials.  Think of silica as microscopic rocks which will scratch your lenses if not removed properly and carefully.  Fingerprints accumulate on glass of all kinds.  You should never try to clean a lens with paper towels or tissues.  These paper items are made from wood pulp which can easily scratch a delicate surface.  You should not breathe on your eyeglasses and rub them with your shirt tail.

Eye Glasses

Your glasses should be cleaned every day.  Start by washing your hands to remove any dirt or lotions that might smear your lenses.  Then rinse the glasses under lukewarm tap water.  Be sure the water is not too hot.  Use a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid on your fingers to clean the lens, the nose piece and the side pieces.  Pay special attention to the area that sits on or behind your ears to remove body oils.  Rinse under gently running water.  Then use a lint free cloth to dry the glasses.  You can find microfiber cloths which are specially made for this purpose at any optical shop.  Never launder these cloths with dryer sheets because they leave a residue that can smear your lens.


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The lens in a binocular is particularly fragile.  It has a special coating that provides a clear view.  As with all lenses, the first step is to remove all the dust.  Do not blow on them as this can leave microscopic droplets which can damage the coating.  Use the brush end of a lens cleaning pen to gently loosen dust.  Hold the binoculars upside down so the dust can simply fall out.  You may also choose to use canned air which can be found at a camera store.

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Once the dust has been removed, moisten a Q-tip with water or with a special solution made for binoculars.  DO NOT use fluid made for cleaning eyeglasses or windows. I t may have an additive that will attack the coating of your lens.  Once the lens is clean, wipe it with a special lens tissue, a microfiber lens cloth or a lint free soft cotton cloth.  Be careful not to touch the lenses with your fingers.  Always check the owner’s manual for specific instructions regarding your binoculars.


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Camera Lenses

If you have moved up to a DSLR camera, you have probably spent a good deal of money.  You will want to take great care of your expensive lenses.  The key to a camera lens is not to clean it too often.  You should take care to keep the lenses as clean as possible.  Invest in a lens filter.  This will form a barrier between the actual lens and the outside world.  Then you will be cleaning the filter, not the lens.  Always use lens caps on the front and the back of the lens.

First, use a blower, not compressed air.  You will find a good blower at your camera shop.  Then use a lens brush with camel hair bristles.  Using lens cleaning tissues or a soft, clean microfiber cloth, gently rub the lens in a circular motion beginning at the center and working out to the perimeter.

Keep your camera bag clean as well.  Use silica gel packets in the bottom of the bag to attract moisture that may get into the bag.  Change out the packets regularly or they will absorb too much moisture.

Keeping all your lenses sparkling clean will give you a clearer outlook on the world!  Now go take some beautiful photos.  Take up bird watching.  Read a good book and let Custom Maid clean your home for you while you relax.  Call us at 499-8568 so we can help!

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Editor’s Note:  We originally published this article in July 2016.  We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.