Clean a Camera’s Sensor Quickly and Safely at Home with This Pro Technique (VIDEO)

Most professional photographers are meticulous about keeping the sensors on their cameras clean, because it’s far easier to do that than use Photoshop to remove every speck of dust on an image. In the quick video below, pro Tony Northrup demonstrates his favorite sensor-cleaning method, after experimenting with several others.

Northrup says he checks his camera for sensor dirt before every important shoot, and he illustrates the simple procedure that takes just a few seconds. Dust on the sensor is easy to spot, so if it’s time for a cleaning you’ll know right away.

Because DSLRs have a mirror obstructing the sensor, you’ll begin by selecting the camera’s Sensor Cleaning mode to flip the mirror out of the way. There are obviously no mirrors in mirrorless cameras, but some do have a Cleaning mode that should be activated, so be sure and check your manual.

You’ll need a simple cleaning kit before you get started, and Northrup recommends three options in the description below the video. They range in price from $15-$20, and the one you need depends upon the camera you use and the size of its sensor. Northrup says he always carries a kit while traveling, so he can keep his sensor spotless when shooting on the road.

The cleaning kit is nothing more than a purpose-built swab and a vial of cleaning fluid. As you’ll see in the video, the procedure for using these supplies is really fast, simple, and effective, although Northrup notes that if something goes wrong, “don’t blame me.”

You can find more interesting tips on Northrup’s YouTube channel. And be sure and watch a tongue-in-cheek “tutorial” we posted earlier, explaining how NOT to clean a camera unless you want an expensive paperweight.