How to Clean a Security Camera Lens

by | Feb 5, 2024

How to Clean a Security Camera Lens

You’ve done extensive research and purchased the right security cameras—hopefully, cameras from Deep Sentinel! You’ve placed them strategically around your property and engaged a live security monitoring service. But all of that hard work is for naught if you don’t maintain your cameras. The lenses need to be clean and clear to provide that ever-important visibility. Part of responsible surveillance camera ownership is learning how to clean a security camera lens.

As a note—when we say “lens,” we mean the clear outer glass or plastic surface that your camera “sees” through. The actual camera lens is inside this housing. But since that’s how most camera owners use the term, that’s how we’ll use it here.

The Importance of Camera Maintenance

Camera cleaning and maintenance aren’t always top of mind. But when you rely on those cameras for your safety, taking these steps is an absolute must. If your lens is blocked in any way, your camera can’t see. If your camera can’t see, it can’t record or relay any visual data. That makes your home security cameras virtually useless, and you might find yourself the victim of a preventable crime despite having an otherwise functional security setup.

What isn’t always clear is how to go about tackling the dirt, dust, bugs, weather, spiderwebs, and other elements that could collect on your cameras. Obviously, you want a clear vantage point. But you also want to avoid scratching or damaging the camera in any way when cleaning a security camera lens. Like any other cleaning procedure, it’s a balancing act.

With the right approach, you can easily maintain your security cameras as a DIY project. You should plan to tackle this project every quarter at an absolute minimum. However, if you live in an area with high air pollution, dust, or precipitation, you may need to increase your camera cleaning frequency.

The DON’Ts: What to Avoid When Cleaning a Security Camera

Before jumping into proper security camera maintenance, here are some tips for what you should avoid to ensure the longevity and functionality of your cameras.


  • … apply an alcohol wipe. While they may be handy, alcohol wipes are not your best friend. Alcohol can damage the lens coating and cause it to become cloudy and blurry.
  • … use heavy-duty cleaning supplies. At best, harsh cleaners may leave streaks. At worst, they damage the lens and its coating.
  • … grab the paper towels or tissues. These are abrasive on lenses and their coatings.
  • … apply heavy pressure. This isn’t the time for applying elbow grease, as excessive force can remove the protective coating and scratch or otherwise damage the lens.
  • … allow your fingers to touch the camera lens. Skin—including the skin on your fingers—has natural oils that aren’t good for the lens surface. Plus, they’ll add more smudges.
  • … take the camera apart to access other areas. It may be tempting to disassemble your camera so you can get into nooks and crannies, but this kind of work is best left to the professionals. Today’s cameras have excellent sealing properties to prevent natural elements from entering the camera. This sort of tinkering is also likely to void your warranty.
  • … pick a rainy, snowy, or windy day to clean your lenses. Conditions like these can put you at risk of injury if you’re on a ladder and interfere with your results.

The DOs: How to Clean a Security Camera Lens Effectively

These are the musts in how to clean outdoor security camera lenses.


  • … get the right tools. This includes non-abrasive microfiber cloths, lens cleaning solution (formulated for maintaining protective coatings), a compressed air can, and a soft brush (for carefully sweeping debris away). If you don’t like heights or ladders, consider investing in a security camera cleaning pole. In a pinch, you can use distilled water in place of the cleaning solution, perhaps mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap.
  • … start simple. If all you’re dealing with is a foggy lens, you might just need a basic hair dryer. Run the dryer on a low, cool setting over the lens to remove moisture.
  • … turn off the camera. This is for your safety, and it prevents motion-activated cameras from recording your cleaning session. If your cameras have wires, unplug them for now.
  • … apply the compressed air to remove debris. Be careful not to hold the spray in one area for too long and don’t focus it directly in the center. Doing so can push debris into the camera lens.
  • … add a few drops of cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth and lightly wipe the lens. Use circular motions from the center out, being mindful to use a light touch.
  • … use another microfiber cloth to remove all moisture from the lens.
  • … consider applying an anti-fog solution.

Protecting Your Cameras

Of course, you can make your cleaning job far easier if you locate your security cameras in sheltered areas. If you can create some housing above and around the camera, you can prevent a lot of the water spots and damage from rain and snow even if you still have to brush away bugs, spiderwebs, and other natural hazards.

Regular maintenance is essential to protecting your investment in your Deep Sentinel security camera system. You want to be sure that all equipment is in full working order at all times. That way, you’ll maintain pristine visibility for yourself and the LiveSentinel surveillance guards and ensure the security of your property year-round.

Need a Solution that Prevents Crime? Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Call 833.983.6006 for your free security consultation.

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