How to clean an iPhone lens. Apple recommends a microfiber cloth.

iPhone lens and microfiber cloth

The iPhone camera lens is teeny. The actual lens itself is protected by an external lens casing. While the lens casing is about 4-5 mm, the lens itself is less than 2 mm. Even a small smudge or a fingerprint on your lens can really effect the quality of your images. Fortunately, keeping your lens clean is quick and easy.

To clean the iPhone’s lens, Apple recommends that you use a microfiber polishing cloth, such as the one that comes with the iPhone or one that you would use to clean the lenses of a pair of eyeglasses. For me, a quick breath on the lens casing adds just the right amount of moisture to handle just about any dust or smudges. I then carefully clean the casing with the corner of the cloth (or a well-worn T-shirt), using small, soft circles as if I were polishing the lens.

Regardless of what Charmin and Kleenex say about how soft their paper is, they’re still made from wood pulp and don’t compare to the softness of the synthetic materials used in microfiber cloths. You don’t want to risk scratching your lens and permanently damaging your camera.

For regular cleaning, I used to use a very small amount of alcohol-based liquid lens cleaner and a Q-Tip cotton swab to clean my lens, but as my father — a very old-school analog photographer — pointed out to me, you don’t want to risk any liquids getting inside your lens, even a slight amount. Actually, he wasn’t that nice about it…. Also, the iPhone lens casing has an anti-reflective coating that can be worn off by liquids or aggressive cleaning.

You should never clean the iPhone touch screen (or any other part of the iPhone) with any kind of liquid or aerosol cleaners, especially those which contain alcohol, ammonia or other solvents or harsh ingredients. These common household cleaners could damage your iPhone’s sensitive touch screen.

Got an iPhone 4? Read our updated post, “Keep your iPhone 4′s lens clean.”



Related links: iPhone Lens Coating (from Loblogamy)