How To Clean Camera Mirror

How To Clean Camera Mirror

If you’re an avid photographer, then “how to clean camera mirror” is a topic that must be near and dear to your heart. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the steps for a safe and effective cleaning routine, and help you maintain that crisp, clear image quality you desire.

Getting to Know Your Camera

Before we embark on this cleaning mission, it’s crucial to comprehend the anatomy of your camera, much like a doctor must understand the human body before treating it. We’ll primarily focus on DSLR cameras in this discussion.

Consider your DSLR camera as an organism, with the mirror playing a crucial role, similar to a vital organ like the heart in the human body. The mirror is the organ that reflects the ‘blood’ (light) from the ‘veins’ (lens), transporting it up to the ‘brain’ (viewfinder).

This transmission process allows the camera, like the human body, to function efficiently. Consequently, the cleanliness of the mirror – like the health of a heart – can greatly influence the ‘well-being’ (clarity and quality) of your photographs. Understanding this integral correlation will help us appreciate the importance of maintaining a clean camera mirror.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Camera Mirror

You may ask yourself, ‘why does a camera mirror need cleaning?’ Over time, even with the most careful handling, dust particles and grime can accumulate on the camera mirror. These tiny obstructions can distort the light that hits the mirror, leading to subpar images. Regular cleaning ensures that your camera remains in optimal condition, providing you with crystal-clear images each time you click the shutter.

Preparation: The Key to Effective Cleaning

Like any specialized task, cleaning your camera mirror requires the right tools. To effectively clean your camera mirror, you will need a high-quality blower (preferably a ‘rocket’ blower for precise control), a cleaning brush specifically designed for camera cleaning, a microfiber cloth, and optional sensor cleaning fluid for stubborn stains.

Beginning the Cleaning Process

Before starting the cleaning process, remove the lens from your camera. This exposes the mirror and allows you to clean it directly. It’s crucial to perform these steps in a clean, dust-free environment to prevent additional dust from settling on the mirror during the cleaning process.

Employing the Blower

The first tool in your cleaning arsenal is the blower. With the camera positioned upside down (to ensure dislodged dust falls away from the mirror), gently squeeze the blower to push a stream of air onto the mirror. This process helps dislodge larger dust particles without physical contact, minimizing the risk of scratching or damaging the delicate mirror.

The Cleaning Brush: Your Second Line of Defense

Once you’ve blown away the larger particles, some stubborn debris may remain. That’s when your cleaning brush comes into play. Gently brush away the stuck particles, ensuring you exert minimal pressure to prevent potential damage.

The Role of the Microfiber Cloth

If there are still stubborn smudges present on the mirror after the blower and brush, a microfiber cloth comes in handy. With delicate, circular motions, gently wipe away the smudges. This cloth’s fine fibers are designed to pick up and hold onto debris, effectively removing it from the mirror.

Resorting to Cleaning Fluid

In some instances, dry cleaning methods may not be enough. If you encounter a particularly stubborn stain, a camera-specific cleaning fluid can be used. It’s crucial to apply the fluid to the cloth, not directly onto the mirror. This method helps control the amount of fluid used and prevents potential damage to the camera’s internal components.

Wrapping Up the Cleaning Process

Just as a surgeon would meticulously clean and sanitize their tools before a surgical procedure, a similar approach is needed when cleaning a camera mirror. After ensuring that the mirror is free of dust and smudges, it’s time to close the ‘operation’ – that is, reassembling your camera.

However, before doing so, an essential step is to clean the lens. Think of the lens as your camera’s ‘skin’. If any ‘bacteria’ (dust particles) are present on the skin, they can easily ‘infect’ the freshly cleaned ‘internal organ’ (the mirror).

Therefore, ensure that the lens is as clean as the mirror before reattaching it. In this way, you maintain a sterile ‘operating field’, preventing any dust particles from reversing your hard work and potentially affecting your camera’s performance.

Expert Tips for Cleaning Your Camera Mirror

The most important rule when cleaning a camera mirror is to be gentle and patient. It’s better to spend a little extra time cleaning than to rush the process and risk damage. Regular cleaning also helps prevent the buildup of dust and grime, making each cleaning session more manageable.

Conclusion on How To Clean Camera Mirror

In summary, knowing how to clean camera mirror is a vital skill for any photography enthusiast or professional. By following the steps outlined above and making mirror cleaning a regular part of your camera maintenance routine, you can ensure that your images are always of the highest quality. Remember, your camera is an extension of your creative vision, and keeping it clean is integral to capturing the world as you see it.


Q1: Can I use any cleaning fluid on my camera mirror?

No, always use cleaning fluid specifically designed for camera use. Other cleaning fluids may have harsh chemicals that can damage the mirror.

Q2: How often should I clean my camera mirror?

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often and where you use your camera. However, a general guideline would be to clean your camera mirror once a month.

Q3: Can I use canned air to clean my camera mirror?

Canned air is not recommended as it can be too strong and potentially damage the mirror.

Q4: Do I need to clean my camera mirror if I use lens filters?

Yes, dust can accumulate on the mirror even if you use lens filters, especially when changing lenses.

Q5: Can a dirty camera mirror affect image quality?

Yes, a dirty mirror can cause issues like spots, haziness, or a lack of sharpness in your photographs.


  1. “Camera Lens Cleaning: What to Use and How to Clean Your Lens” from Adorama Learning Center. URL:
  2. “How to clean your camera sensor in three easy steps” from TechRadar. URL:
  3. “Cleaning Your Camera’s Sensor: Tips for Digital Photographers” from B&H Photo. URL:
Ken Marshall

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