Which is the Best Lens Cleaner?
Introducing Our Simple 3 Step Method for Discovering YOUR Best Lens or Screen Cleaner
There is no simple answer which will work for all screen cleaning needs. But finding the "best lens cleaner" to solve your lens cleaning problem is easy if you follow our easy three step method which follows.
The 3 Steps to Discover YOUR Best Lens or Screen Cleaner Are:
- Understanding the types of screen cleaning methods and product types which are available
- Being clear about the type of screen you wish to clean
- Selecting YOUR BEST product.
STEP 1: The Available Methods and Product Types
This question has become a bigger puzzle in recent times as there are a host of products available now to choose from and nearly all of them claim to be the best.
Available Cleaning Methods
Starting with the most traditional lens cleaning methods we list the available methods below:
- Lens cleaning fluids wiped onto the lens and dust and dried-on dirt removed by a clean lint-free cloth (usually a microfiber cloth)
- Forced air (pneumatic) methods to remove dust ranging from flexibly bulbs to blow air onto the lens using hand pressure to compressed gases in a cylinder
- Lens Pens and CD/DVD cleaners to provide a wiping action with or without the presence of a lens cleaning fluid on the pen head.
The Range of Product Types to Choose From
For each method there are product types to match:
- A variety of bottle types containing lens cleaning fluids from standard PET bottles to pump-action spray dispensers and fine mist atomizers
- Squeezable devices that operate using air pressure
- Aerosol cans and pressurized air
- So called "Lens Pens" some of which may also combine the wiping action of a pen with the flow of air in a blowing action.
So What Factors Are Important?
All screen cleaning methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, and some are better than others for each type of dirt as follows:
- A lens cleaning fluid is a "solvent" and it is important that the solvent dissolves all dirt that has been deposited on the lens. It needs to do it quickly and to evaporate as rapidly as possible afterwards. Water is a good solvent and is usually the recommended cleaning "fluid" given by the lens manufacturer. However, water is not the best solvent for oily and greasy deposits, and our hands and fingers do tend to be slightly oily/greasy, so other chemical solvents do work better most of the time, and a good lens cleaning solvent will evaporate much more quickly than water.
- A solvent will only dissolve soluble chemical deposits, so if there is dust and there are also larger dust particles (including grit) which are not soluble on the lens, the action of wiping the lens to remove the solvent may scratch the lens surface. The pneumatic methods which use air to blow dust ad grit away, are very good for avoiding scratching the lens surface as the risk of rubbing the grit along the surface of the lens is much reduced.
- Once the dirt on a lens has been dissolved by a solvent, it becomes important that the lens cloth used is highly absorbent and grabs as much as possible of the solvent and dissolved dirt mixture off the lens surface as what is left will dry on to the lens again preventing smearing and smudge marks. For this reason high quality microfiber lens cloths are the best.
So, to summarize:
It is important for lens surfaces which may have been touched by fingers, or have been in a greasy environment for a long time (e.g. kitchen area) to be cleaned by:
- solvent (liquid) [for example by using lens cleaning fluid]
- and the cleaning agent to be wiped dry with a lint-free cloth [for example by using a clean high quality microfiber cloth] to avoid smearing.
But, for lenses which are affected by dry dust only (e.g. microscopes in a clean air laboratory environment) these can effectively be cleaned by:
- blowing air only.
The best defence against scratching a sensitive lens would be to blow the dust and grit away first, and after that to use a solvent wiped off using a using a clean high quality microfiber cloth.
STEP 2: Being Clear About the Type of Lens or Screen You Want to Clean
As the racing fraternity would say:
"You need to choose the right horse for the course. Know the course and you will know which nag to bet upon, and it's the same with lens cleaning."
Lenses come in a very wide range of types and sizes from microscope lenses, to DVD lazer devices, to eyeglass "lenses" and even at a stretch to LCD and Plasma TV and Monitor screens.
In this step we classify the most common lens types for you to use in Step 3, the final step to find out which is the best lens cleaner for YOU!
Identify Your Lens and Screen Type Here!
Type A1 - Dusty lens with small lens area and recessed/ inaccessible to a cloth
Small optical devices, camera lenses, CCTV cameras, binoculars
Clean environment non-greasy atmosphere
Type A2 - Finger marked or greasy ditto above
Normal Use and greasy environment (e.g. kitchen)
Type B - Eyeglasses and large lenses
Also includes, spectacles, monacles, magnifying glasses
Type C - Hold-in-the-hand electronic devices, and screens
Includes: Monitors, Laptops, Tablets, iPhone, iPad, Apple iMac, Kindle, MacBook etc
Type D - CD and DVD Lenses
Bu-ray, Xbox, and all consoles
STEP 3: So Which Product Type is Best?
Simply choose your Lens Type from the Table above, and read off our recommended Best Lens Cleaner Product Type for Your Needs:
Lens Type from Table Above
Recommended Lens and Screen Cleaning Product Type
Bottle Size/ Comments
Type A1 (dusty)
Pneumatic (blown air) hand bulb type or pressurized can
Type A2 (marked/greasy)
Ditto above plus Lens Pen,
Microfiber cloth may be used initially and a lens fluid used if the cloth does not completely remove the dirt
Up to 2 Oz. size if to be carried in a handbag or briefcase. 3 Oz. and above if not to be carried around
Type D - CD and DVD Lenses
Specialist CD cleaner product
1. Take care to wet the cloth first with any fluids used and apply the damp cloth to the surface to be cleaned, and do not wet the lens first. Reason: To avoid excess liquid possibly penetrating into the device being cleaned.
2. Always read manufacturer's instructions and comply with them, even if they contradict the recommendations provided here.
3. Always comply with manufacturer instructions if they state that the device must only be cleaned with "ammonia-free" products.
4. Always check whether your lens is "AR" and ensure that the lens cleaner you buy is suitable for AR coated lenses.
What Type Lens Do You Want to Get Clean?
Which of the following lens types do find you need to clean?See results without voting
Whatever Lens Cleaning Method you use the important thing is to keep your lenses and screens clean.
The longer the dirt stays, the harder it will be to remove and the more likely it will be that the lens will get damaged...
How To Clean An iPhone Screen Safely
We suggest Amazon.Com has a wide range of Lens and Screen Cleaners to Choose from, including:
This is amazing value for money! I like to refill the small bottle, and I always take that with me while I keep refilling it from the large bottle. The combination of these two bottle sizes means that this lasts for ages, and makes this product a really cheap way to buy lens cleaner.
I also like the fine misting ability of the spray bottle, one pump coats one side of an entire lens very evenly with the soapy solution. I've used other products where the sprayer shoots the product out in a solid stream, which bounces off the surface of the lens and doesn't distribute very evenly.
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