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Best Camera Lens Cleaner [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 02/08/2021

A dirty lens can cause unwanted blur and softness or lead to dark spots on the resulting image. It's therefore important to equip yourself with the best camera lens cleaner to prevent such scenarios. In this review, we will help you identify the right lens cleaner for your camera.

Our Top Camera Lens Cleaner Reviews 

Cleaning your lens regularly using the best camera lens cleaner will ensure the lens performs as expected during your real estate photography shoots. Let us dive into our best picks of lens cleaners.

Brand
Best Overall
LensPen SKLK-1
Best for the Money
Nikon 8228
Best Cheap Pick
SAD 14
Product
LensPen SKLK-1 Camera Cleaning Kit
Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit,black
Bower SAD14 6-in-1 Digital Camera Cleaning Kit
Product Dimensions
8.25 x 7.5 x 8.25 inches
6.3 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches
8 x 1.5 x 4.75 inches
Item Weight
11.2 ounces
3 ounces
2.56 ounces
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
LensPen SKLK-1
Product
LensPen SKLK-1 Camera Cleaning Kit
Product Dimensions
8.25 x 7.5 x 8.25 inches
Item Weight
11.2 ounces
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Nikon 8228
Product
Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit,black
Product Dimensions
6.3 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches
Item Weight
3 ounces
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
SAD 14
Product
Bower SAD14 6-in-1 Digital Camera Cleaning Kit
Product Dimensions
8 x 1.5 x 4.75 inches
Item Weight
2.56 ounces
Rating
Price

Best Overall Camera Lens Cleaner: LensPen SKLK-1

The LensPen SKLK-1 is a reliable and safe camera lens cleaner that works in all types of optical lenses, removing dust and oily fingerprints. 

LensPen SKLK-1 Camera Cleaning Kit

The cleaning tip features a unique carbon compound, with the molecules of the infused compound having the ability to absorb a considerable quantity of contaminants and oil. It weighs 11.2 ounces which is more than twice heavier than Nikon 7072, making it unsuitable to carry in your pocket. 

The LensPen cap features a unique design to protect the tip from collecting dirt when carrying or storing it. Unlike the UES DSLR Lens Cleaner, it doesn't use liquids which eliminates accidental spillage and drying out. 

Also, the lack of liquids means it can't be affected by temperatures, which makes it ideal for harsh conditions such as arctic cold or desert heat.

Pros

  • The molecules of the carbon compound absorb oil and contaminants effectively.
  • The cap is designed to safeguard the tip from dirt when storing and carrying it.

Cons

  • It is more than twice heavier than the Nikon 7072.
  • It lacks liquids making it difficult to eliminate accidental spillage.
Sale
LensPen SKLK-1 Camera Cleaning Kit
  • Safely clean your DSLR Sensor
  • Detect dust on your sensor
  • Easily watch your sensor while removing dust

Best Camera Lens Cleaner for the Money: Nikon 8228

The Nikon 8228 is a cleaning kit designed with portability in mind, with the inclusion of a carrying case with a zip and belt loop. The cleaning gear includes a LensPen micro and a LensPen standard. 

Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit,black

However, with a weight of 3 ounces, the portability is less impressive compared to the Nikon 7072. It comes with an anti-fog cloth that helps prevent your camera lens from fogging, giving you peace of mind when shooting even in misty conditions. 

The LensPen micro is a great tool for removing dust, debris, and fingerprints from corners and tight spaces. This cleaner doesn't require a power supply or batteries to operate, making it suitable for use even in remote places such as jungles. 

However, it lacks a cap ring, which makes it impossible to attach it to a keychain like the Carson C6, reducing the carrying flexibility many photographers enjoy. 

Pros

  • It features an anti-fog cloth that safeguards your camera from misty conditions.
  • It uses no batteries, making it ideal for jungles.

Cons

  • Unlike the Carson C6, it lacks a cap ring reducing the carrying flexibility.
  • Its weight is less impressive than the Nikon 7072.
Nikon 8228 Lens Pen Pro Kit,black
  • Nikon LENSPEN Pro kit includes the following items:
  • Lens pen standard and LENSPEN micro
  • Dry anti-fog cloth

Best Cheap Camera Lens Cleaner: Bower SAD 14

The Bower SAD 14 comes with an anti-static microfiber cloth that will help you clean all types of lenses. It uses streak-free cleaning fluid, which effectively removes smudges, debris, and light scratches from the camera lens. 

Bower SAD14 6-in-1 Digital Camera Cleaning Kit

Unlike the Carson C6, it includes a blower brush that helps remove dust even in the corners and hard-to-reach places. The kit also consists of cotton swabs that help to remove light scratches. 

Although it's a 6-in-1 kit, it's lighter than LensPen SKLK-1 as it weighs 2.56 ounces, which allows you to carry it in your bag with ease. 

It's compact than the AmScope CK-I, with dimensions of 8 x 1.5 x 4.75 inches, which makes it suitable for carrying in a pocket. However, the liquid-based cleaner can be affected by temperature changes, making it unsuitable for use in trying environments.

Pros

  • The cotton swabs in the kit help in removing light scratches.
  • It is lighter than LensPen SKLK-1, making it ideal for carrying in a purse.

Cons

  • The cleaning liquids can be affected by changes in temperature.
  • Unlike the Nikon 8228, it lacks a carrying bag.
Bower SAD14 6-in-1 Digital Camera Cleaning Kit
  • Cleans cameras and other optical devices of debris, smudges and light scratches
  • Includes anti-static microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Protects LCD or touchscreen from scratches, liquids and debris

Best Camera Lens Cleaner with Filter Cleaners: LensPen NDSLRK-1

The LensPen NDSLRK-1 lens cleaner comes as a kit containing three pen-shaped cleaners that are lightweight and small. These tools feature a unique design that is geared towards the safe and fast removal of fingerprints, oil, and dust from the camera lens.

LensPen New DSLR Pro Camera Cleaning Kit, NDSLRK-1

Apart from the standard LensPen, the kit consists of a MicroPro that is designed for use in corners and tight spaces. Unlike the Carson C6, it also comes with a FilterKlear pen that is uniquely designed to clean the glass filters.

Like the Carson C6, the pens come with a retractable brush that helps in wiping off the dirt and dust before cleaning. However, you can't attach it to a keychain to enhance the carrying convenience. 

Pros

  • It has a brush that assists in wiping off dirt before cleaning, unlike the Carson C6.
  • Its design enables quick removal of fingerprints from the camera lens
  • It is suitable to use in tight spaces and corners

Cons

  • It cannot be connected to a keychain
  • It might not be effective to clean heavily soiled lenses and lens filters.
LensPen New DSLR Pro Camera Cleaning Kit, NDSLRK-1
  • Everything you need to clean your lens, viewfinder & filter
  • The Original LensPen for DSLR lenses
  • FilterKlear for lens filters

Best Lightweight Camera Lens Cleaner: Carson C6

The Carson C6 is an easy-to-use lens cleaner that will help you maintain your camera lens free from grime, fingerprints, dirt, and dust. Unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, the tip features the Nano-particle cleaning formula from Carson Dry, which is specifically designed for eliminating contaminants from the lens.

Carson Optical C6 Series Mirror-Less Camera Lens...

It features an in-built cap ring for attaching the carabiner or keychain with the cleaner, allowing you to carry it with ease without inconveniencing your camera bag. Like the LensPen NDSLRK-1, it features a soft brush that you can retract when you are not using it.

The cleaner doesn't need power or batteries to use it, making it ideal for traveling, especially when going to shoot in harsh conditions in remote areas. However; it doesn't include a filter cleaner.

Pros

  • The formula is designed to eliminate contaminants from the lens
  • It comes with an in-built cap that enables you to carry it easily
  • It requires no power making it suitable for use in remote places.

Cons

  • It lacks a glass filter cleaner.
  • Sometimes it may leave some smear marks across the lens.
Carson Optical C6 Series Mirror-Less Camera Lens...
  • Dry Nano-Particle Cleaning Formula Wipes Away Smudges, Grime and Fingerprints
  • Micro-Size Tip (0.375 Inch) is Specifically Designed to Clean Mirror-Less Camera Lenses
  • Great For Cleaning Binocular, Telescope, Microscope and Other Smaller Sized Lenses

Best Camera Lens Cleaner with an Air Blower: UES DSLR Lens Cleaner

The UES DSLR Lens Cleaner uses a non-aggressive formula that is free from alcohol. Typically, it uses ultrapure water-based cleaning liquid that is safe for use in all kinds of lenses and coatings.

UES DSLR Camera Sensor and Lens Cleaning Travel...

Without leaving any streak behind, it effectively removes smudges, dust, stains, and fingerprints, making it ideal for use in muddy situations. Unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, it comes with an air blower that is made of good-quality natural rubber. 

Also, the blower nozzle is soft, ensuring no scratches even on the most delicate lens in case you accidentally touch them with the nozzle during blowing. 

The blower is compact and fits in your hand well, allowing you to squeeze it easily or carry it in a camera bag with ease. However, unlike the Carson C6, you can't attach it to a carabiner to enhance portability.

Pros

  • It uses a water-based cleaning liquid safe for all types of lenses and coatings.
  • The air blower ensures there's no scratch even on the most fragile lens.

Cons

  • It cannot be connected to a keychain, making it difficult to carry
  • It weighs 12.4 ounces more than Carson C6
Sale
UES DSLR Camera Sensor and Lens Cleaning Travel...
  • The APS-C sensor cleaning swab is compatible with all APS-C camera sensors. The extremely soft and...
  • The non-alcoholic and ammonia-free lens and sensor cleaner has a non-aggressive formula. It is safe...
  • The microfiber lens cleaning cloth is made of special ultra-micro fiber which has excellent...

Best Compact Camera Lens Cleaner: Nikon 7072

The Nikon 7072 is a versatile camera lens cleaning tool that features a distinguished design that allows you to clean even the most delicate lens. Unlike the Carson C6, one end comes with a non-liquid natural chamois tip, eliminating the drying out or spillage scenarios. 

Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System, Black

The chamois tip is ideal for wiping away fingerprints and smudges. If you turn around the pen, you can clean using a brush that looks similar to that of the LensPen NDSLRK-1. The brush is retractable, enhancing protection from damage when carrying it around in a camera bag.

Also, the chamois tip features a cap, enhancing the cleanliness of the tip. With a weight of 0.5 ounces, it's suitable for carrying in a backpack, camera bag, purse, or shirt pocket. However, unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, you can't use it for cleaning lens filters.

Pros

  • It's lightweight, making it ideal for carrying in a camera bag.
  • The retractable brush secures it from damage when carrying it in a backpack.

Cons

  • Unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, It cannot be used to clean lens filters.
  • Sometimes it leaves black residue even after cleaning it.
Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System, Black
  • Introducing our new simple lens-cleaning system effective, durable and long lasting
  • Introducing our new simple lens-cleaning system effective, durable and long lasting
  • Quality is assured and maintained up-to a certain level, another very important feature of this...

Best Non-Aerosol Camera Lens Cleaner: AmScope CK-I

The AmScope CK-I is a non-aerosol cleaner that will help you get rid of the messy stains, dust, and fingerprints from your camera lens. It comes as a cleaning kit that consists of a special cloth, unique cleaning liquid, and soft brush. 

AmScope CK-I 3 in 1 LCD Professional Cleaning Kit...

Typically, the cloth is for wiping the dirt and dust, and the brush is for cleaning the hard-to-reach corners and tight places. Unlike the LensPen SKLK-1, the package weighs 0.35 ounces, which is impressively lightweight for carrying in a backpack, camera bag, or purse. 

The bush features a high-grade construction to ensure no scratches on the lens's coatings as you clean. The cleaning liquid is non-corruptive and leaves no watermarks, ensuring the lens is perfectly clear. 

However, unlike the LensPen SKLK-1, the liquid can dry out or spill, which may inconvenience you or damage other camera gear if it spills in a camera bag.

Pros

  • It is the second most lightweight on our list, making it portable
  • The kit includes a brush to clean the hard-to-reach corners.

Cons

  • Accidental spillage of the liquid can damage other camera gear.
  • Unlike the Nikon 8228, it lacks a fog-cloth
AmScope CK-I 3 in 1 LCD Professional Cleaning Kit...
  • Safe for using on LCD surface, no water marks left, non-corruptive.
  • No harm to the coating of screen.
  • Non-aerosol cleaner removes fingerprints, dirt, dust, stains etc.

Features to Consider for the Best Camera Lens Cleaner

Camera lens cleaners come in varying qualities and cleaning methods, making it difficult to choose the most suitable one. Below, we detail the various features you should consider in a camera lens cleaner. Besides, the table gives you a summarized view of these attributes. 

ProductCleaning MethodWeight (Ounces) Dimensions (Inches)
LensPen NDSLRK-1 Non-liquid1.61.25 x 5 x 8
Carson C6Liquid0.37.75 x 3.75 x 0.75
UES DSLR Lens CleanerLiquid12.76.54 x 4.65 x 2.48
Nikon 7072Non-liquid0.56 x 3 x 1
Nikon 8228Non-liquid36.3 x 3.5 x 1.8
LensPen SKLK-1Non-liquid11.28.25 x 7.5 x 8.25
AmScope CK-ILiquid0.358.7 x 5.6 x 0.1
Bower SAD 14Liquid2.568 x 1.5 x 4.75

Constituents

Most camera lens cleaners are either water-based or alcohol-based. Some feature solvents and surfactants, which helps in cleaning. Such formulas may include isopropanolamine, lauryl dimethyl amine oxide, sodium Laureth sulfate, and hexoxyethanol. 

Moreover, some lens cleaners use ammonia formulas that have surfactant which may irritate your eyes and nose. To avoid such a formula completely, avoid any lens cleaner that uses ammonia. However, there are some water-based lens cleaners with formulas that are not aggressive such as UES DSLR Lens Cleaner. 

Cleaning Method

Some camera lens cleaners are liquid-based, while others are non-liquid. For instance, the Bower SAD 14 uses a cleaning liquid to remove dust, smudges, and fingerprints from the lens. 

On the other hand, cleaners such as LensPen SKLK-1 use a carbon compound at the tip of the cleaning pen, which absorbs the grime, fingerprints, smudges, and dust. The non-liquid cleaners have a limitation on the number of times you can use them, with many around 500 times of use. 

However, this time may vary depending on the level of smudges on the lens, and the quantity of dirt the tip is absorbing in one cleaning time. On the other hand, the liquid-based method has the risk of accidental spillages or drying out. 

Besides, as a liquid, it can be affected by the temperatures, making it inappropriate for use in extreme temperatures such as arctic cold or desert heat.

Person holding a clean camera lens

Weight and Size

If you are planning to purchase a camera lens cleaner that you can travel with, then you should consider weight and size that will enhance portability. 

Some lens cleaners, such as the Nikon 8228, and although relatively heavier than the others, have been designed with carrying in mind, as it comes with a zipped carrying bag to facilitate carrying. 

Some are impressively lightweight and compact, allowing you to carry them in a backpack, camera bag, purse, or pocket. Besides, some like the Carson C6 feature a built-in ring that allows you to attach them in a carabiner or keychain to enhance portability. 

Additional Tools

When purchasing a lens cleaner, the package may not come as a single lens cleaning tool but as a cleaning kit that includes additional tools for improving the cleaning performance. 

For instance, the LensPen NDSLRK-1 comes as a kit with three LensPen cleaning tools, with each tool featuring a unique design for its purpose. This inclusion enhances versatility as you will have tools specifically designed for cleaning the lens filters.

Ease of Use

All the lens cleaners are not equal, and some will be easier to use than others. For instance, the LensPen SKLK-1 doesn't use any cleaning formula, and you can carry it and use it virtually in any location. 

You won't need any explanations on how to use the soft brush to wipe off the dirt and dust. 

However, many liquid-based lens cleaners are not straightforward to use, especially if you don't know the situations that require the use of the formula, cotton swabs, or wiping with the microfiber cloth dry. Also, using an air blower may be challenging to some.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove Scratches from a Camera Lens Using a Camera Lens Cleaner?

Yes, it's possible to remove light scratches from the camera lens using the proper cleaning formula and microfiber cloth to wipe off. For instance, the Bower SAD 14 comes with a streak-free formula, anti-static microfiber cloth, and cotton swabs which you can use to effectively remove scratches from the lens. 

However, the effectiveness depends on the lens's quality and the extent of the scratch. Before removing the scratch, make sure the lens is well cleaned.

Can I Use Both the Liquid-based and Non-liquid Lens Cleaners?

It's possible to use liquid-based and non-liquid lens cleaners interchangeably without any issues. However, using them at the same time will reduce their effectiveness. For instance, if you apply the Bower SAD 14 formula and instead of using its microfiber cloth or cotton swabs for wiping, you use the LensPen NDSLRK-1 for drying. 

The result will be the same, but you will have wasted the resources. Depending on the condition of your lens, you should be able to decide which cleaner to use and at which time and situation.

Conclusion

With many glass cleaning options in the market, identifying the right cleaner for a camera lens may be confusing. However, any pick from the cleaners above will suit your wiping and cleaning goals.

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